Manifest destination

Luxury travel club jets into Houston with custom getaways via private plane

Luxury travel club jets into Houston with getaways via private plane

Private plane
Hop aboard a private flight for a Manifest adventure. Photo by Alana Watkins for Manifest

Houstonians who’ve been feeling like a restless shut-in of late (thanks a lot, pandemic) and are craving a travel experience in the lap of luxury, ca now join a new getaway club.

Manifest, a Denver-based lifestyle and travel club launched in 2020 by the former CEO of Frontier Airlines, is bringing three new club chapters to Texas: in Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

The company provides “custom-crafted getaways” — via private plane service — to a variety of U.S. destinations, managing all the logistical components of each offered experience, which includes adventure, wine/culinary, golf, cultural, and romantic themed excursions.

While the experience of skiing in Telluride, soaking up the sun in Destin Beach, doing yoga at Aspen’s Snowmass, rocking out on a Nashville music tour, and attending shooting school in Mississippi may be grand adventures, they also come with a grand price tag.

Here’s how it works: Manifest chapters start off with a limited number of memberships, and members pay annual dues of $2,500, which gives them access to the club’s exclusive travel experiences, which it offers throughout the year as three-, four-, six-, and seven-day trips. The cost to members for each experience ranges, depending on the specific destination, activities, and length of stay.

The impetus for Manifest — which also has chapters in Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Phoenix, and plans to open chapters in 50 to 60 U.S. markets — came amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when shutdowns and stay-at-home-orders forced adventure addicts to rethink how they travel. It’s an idea Manifest’s founder thinks will resonate with Texas travelers.

“There has been a growing interest from travelers in the Texas market and we believe it is a natural fit for Manifest to expand to the Lone Star State,” says Jeff Potter, founder and CEO of Manifest. “Throughout COVID-19, Texans, like many of us, have continued to search for moments of excitement and discovery but in destinations much closer to home. What we are offering — small group trips, U.S. destinations, private plane travel — continues to resonate with what travelers want right now.”

But it’s the actual experiences that Manifest says are the real attraction, with the company pointing to a semi-recent Skift Research report, the U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey, in which the industry site notes that 67 percent of affluent travelers would rather spend money on activities than on a hotel upgrade.

And with a 2020 survey of 14,000 travelers finding that amid in-flux international travel restrictions, domestic travel is booming, Manifest may be onto something.

With its entry into the Lone Star State, Manifest is offering Texans who join the club by December 31 extra incentive: the first six months free.