Portico and Inspirato have just announced that they are combining and will be known as Inspirato with American Express - the largest destination club in the world. Current Portico members will have the opportunity to join Inspirato with American Express with no initiation fees.

The combination of the two destination clubs is effective immediately, and is scheduled to be complete in January 2014 when members will be able to login to Inspirato.com and see all available properties. Inspirato CEO and co-founder Brent Handler will lead the new combined company. According to Handler, "Inspirato and Portico share a deep commitment to providing our members the very best experiences the world has to offer. This combination delivers on that promise. I am thrilled to introduce new vacation options to both Inspirato and Portico members and look forward to welcoming Portico members to the Inspirato family.”

The majority of Portico's residential portfolio will be combined with Inspirato's, offering members more than 500 luxury vacation property options in 100 different destinations. Members of both Portico and Inspirato will benefit from the larger portfolio of available properties. Current Portico members will continue to have access to most of the current Portico portfolio throughout the remainder of their membership and then can choose to transition to an Inspirato membership with no initiation fee.

The two companies already have a shared history. Brent and his brother Brad also co-founded Exclusive Resorts in 2004, before selling it to Steve Case, the CEO of Revolution Places and founder of AOL. Exclusive Resorts launched Portico in 2012 and as a result of this deal, owner Revolution Places, will now have a minority stake in Inspirato as well as a seat on the board.

In addition, as part of the partnership, Exclusive Resorts members will be offered a complimentary unrestricted Inspirato with American Express membership. Exclusive Resorts notes that many members may appreciate the flexibility of Inspirato’s pay-as-you-go travel at variable pricing as a complement to the set nightly rates of an Exclusive Resorts membership.

Inspirato with American Express expects to have over 7,000 members after the combination. The company emphasizes that they provide a very high level of quality and consistency in both their homes and the whole vacation experience, this is in contrast to the variable levels that can be found in the larger vacation rental space. SherpaReport will continue to follow this new combined company with interest.