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The Most Mouthwatering State Fairs In The United States

The days are getting shorter and more importantly, cooler (please don’t hate us if you live in Florida). The start of the crisp fall air indicates that somewhere in the country, there’s a state fair.

The history of the state fair can be traced back hundreds of years—from livestock shows, horse races, and agricultural exhibits to modern additions like music festivals, carnival rides, and more. But no matter how far they’ve come or how much they change over time, the state fair celebrates the things that make each state special: its food culture (and its many deep fryers), and its ability to gather together as one community. 

Join us as we take on the 9 most mouthwatering state fairs in the United States:

Ohio State Fair

📍 Columbus, Ohio
📅 July 26 – August 6, 2023
🔗 ohiostatefair.com

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Buckeye Candy: Named after the Ohio state tree, these peanut butter and chocolate sweets are an Ohio tradition.

2️⃣ Deep Fried Swiss Cheese on a Stick: Warm, melty, swiss cheese with a crisp shell, this is a fun and delicious snack.

3️⃣ Ohio Cream Puff: An Ohio take on a cream puff, filled with decadent vanilla cream (sorry Ohio, but Wisconsin does it better but yours is a close second)

Wisconsin State Fair Cream Puffs

Wisconsin State Fair

📍 West Allis, Wisconsin
📅 August 3-13, 2023
🔗 wistatefair.com/fair/

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Cream Puffs: This iconic treat has been a staple since 1924. Bountiful mounds of fresh whipped cream, sandwiched between light and fluffy pastry. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better dessert.

2️⃣ Cheese Curd Tacos: This is where classic Mexican cuisine meets quintessential Wisconsin. Fresh, fried cheese curds wrapped in a soft tortilla, it’s a delightful fusion of flavors.

3️⃣ Wisconsin Brew Pub Loaded Twister Dog: An elaborate, mouth-watering, foot-long hot dog loaded with beer cheese, bacon, fried sauerkraut, and onions.

Indiana State Fair

📍 Indianapolis, Indiana
📅 July 28 – August 20, 2023
🔗 indianastatefair.com/p/state-fair

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Indiana Corn Dogs: This is not your average corn dog! It’s crunchy and delicious, with a fluffy interior surrounding the perfect hot dog.

2️⃣ Nutellaphant Ear: A twist on a whimsical state fair favorite. Generously slathered with Nutella and topped with bananas, strawberries, and powdered sugar. 

3️⃣ The Mac Daddy Empanada: Have you ever tried an empanada filled with mac and cheese, pulled pork, and turkey? Likely not. You don’t want to miss this one!

Iowa State Fair

📍 Des Moines, Iowa
📅 August 10-20, 2023
🔗 iowastatefair.org

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Pork Chop on a Stick: When it comes to Iowa’s fair food, pork is king. Don’t miss this succulent, smoky, and satisfying stick-mounted delight.

2️⃣ Hot Beef Sundae: Served with mashed potatoes and gravy, topped with shredded cheese, this ‘sundae’ is a hearty mid-western meal in disguise.

3️⃣ Apple Egg Rolls: A sweet twist on a savory classic, filled with tart apple filling and served with a side of caramel dipping sauce.

Kentucky State Fair

📍 Louisville, Kentucky
📅 August 17-27, 2023
🔗 kystatefair.org

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Kentucky Hot Brown:An open-faced sandwich with turkey and bacon, topped with mornay sauce. It’s a local culinary tradition.

2️⃣ Fried Green Tomatoes: These remind us of Grandma’s fried green tomatoes, but better (sorry Grandma). Crunchy, tart, and simply divine, this is Southern comfort on a plate.

3️⃣ Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie: This rich, boozy dessert perfectly represents the spirit of Kentucky.

Minnesota State Fair

📍 St. Paul, Minnesota
📅 August 24 – September 4, 2023
🔗 mnstatefair.org

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Sweet Martha’s Cookies: Fresh, warm, and gooey, they’re a must-try classic for any cookie lover.

2️⃣ Pronto Pups: Not your average corn dog, it’s made with a wheat-based batter for a distinctive taste.

3️⃣ Cheese Curd Hot Dish: This Minnesotan casserole is a scrumptious blend of tater tots, cream of mushroom soup, and of course, cheese curds.

Arizona State Fair

📍 Phoenix, Arizona
📅 September 22 – October 29, 2023
🔗 azstatefair.com

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Navajo Tacos: An Arizonian classic featuring ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes on top of traditional fry bread.

2️⃣ Funnel Cake Sundae: Sweet, warm funnel cake topped with rich ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

3️⃣ Cactus Tacos: A unique, must-try treat for the adventurous, these tacos feature sauteed prickly pear cactus.

Texas State Fair

📍 Dallas, Texas
📅 September 29 – October 22, 2023
🔗 bigtex.com

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger: This masterpiece is a mouthwatering burger with bacon and queso, sandwiched between two fluffy funnel cakes instead of traditional buns.

2️⃣ Fried Butter: It might sound crazy, but it’s a taste you won’t forget – rich, buttery, and fried to perfection.

3️⃣ Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet: A blueberry muffin, scone-style batter, cream cheese, and white chocolate chips, all beautifully deep-fried.

Florida State Fair

📍 Tampa, Florida
📅 February 8-19, 2024
🔗 floridastatefair.com

Our Top 3 Foodie Picks:

1️⃣ Amish Doughnuts: Giant, fluffy, and perfectly sweet, these doughnuts are a simple yet unbeatable treat.

2️⃣ Gator Bites: When in Florida, it’s time to try these tender, spiced bites of alligator meat.

3️⃣ Crab Cake Grilled Cheese: A decadent fusion of comfort food and coastal cuisine.

Remember, wherever you travel for these delightful culinary adventures, StayFrontdesk.com has got you covered for your accommodation needs. Happy eating, fellow fair-foodies!

A Delightful Journey: Exploring the Best Donut Shops Across America

Welcome, donut enthusiasts and fellow travelers, to an exciting gastronomic adventure!

Today, we embark on a mouthwatering journey through some of the most incredible cities in America, uncovering the hidden gems that make our taste buds dance with joy. Join us as we discover the best donut shops in each of these delightful destinations. From classic glazed wonders to innovative creations, get ready to indulge in the sugary delights that define each city’s unique donut culture.

Photo courtesy of Humble Donut Co. 

Humble Donut Co.
📍 Ames, Iowa

Our first stop takes us to Ames, where we find ourselves in donut paradise at Humble Donut Co. This beloved establishment offers a delectable array of freshly baked donuts. Whether you’re a fan of traditional glazed donuts, chocolate frosted, or prefer more unique flavors like maple bacon or blueberry cake, Humble Donuts has you covered.

Photo courtesy of Gourdough’s

Gourdough’s
📍 Austin, Texas

With their slogan “Big. Fat. Donuts.,” Gourdough’s is famous for its extravagant and indulgent creations. From the classic “Mother Clucker” topped with fried chicken to the “Flying Pig” featuring bacon and maple syrup, the menu is filled with whimsy and decadence. It’s a must-visit for those seeking an unforgettable donut experience in Austin.

Photo courtesy of Hero Doughnuts & Buns

Hero Doughnuts & Buns
📍 Birmingham, Alabama

Next, we make our way to Birmingham, where Hero Doughnuts & Buns reigns supreme. Prepare to be enchanted by their handcrafted, yeast-raised donuts that come in an assortment of delightful flavors. Don’t miss their classic glazed beauties or the tantalizing sea salt caramel donuts that will leave you craving more.

Photo courtesy of Duck Donuts

Duck Donuts
📍 Charlotte, North Carolina

In the vibrant city of Charlotte, Duck Donuts takes center stage. This charming donut shop allows you to customize your treat from start to finish. Watch as your donut is freshly made and then adorned with your choice of coatings, toppings, and drizzles. With options like powdered sugar, peanut butter, and chocolate icing, the possibilities are endless!

Photo courtesy of Holtman’s Donuts

Holtman’s Donuts
📍 Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati boasts a donut destination that has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike: Holtman’s Donuts. Known for their melt-in-your-mouth creations, Holtman’s serves up an assortment of flavors, including red velvet, maple bacon, and even vegan options. Prepare for a taste sensation that will leave you yearning for another bite.

Photo courtesy of Brewnuts

Brewnuts
📍 Cleveland, Ohio

Our journey continues to Cleveland, where Brewnuts offers a unique twist on the traditional donut. Combining two beloved indulgences, donuts, and craft beer, this innovative shop crafts their delectable treats with beer-infused dough. From their crowd-favorite “Beeramisu” to the mouthwatering “Maple Bacon,” each donut is a delightful marriage of flavors.

Photo courtesy of Destination Donuts

Destination Donuts
📍 Columbus, Ohio

As we arrive in Columbus, we find ourselves in donut heaven at Destination Donuts. This artisanal donut shop pushes the boundaries of creativity with their rotating menu of flavors. From the exotic passionfruit to the comforting brown butter glazed, the donuts at Destination Donuts are a testament to the artistry of their craft.

Photo courtesy of Glazed Donut Works

Glazed Donut Works
📍 Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas

In the vast metropolis of Dallas – Fort Worth, Glazed Donut Works stands out as a beacon of sugary delight. With their imaginative flavor combinations and stunning presentation, these donuts are a feast for both the eyes and taste buds. From the Nutella-filled S’mores donut to the zesty Lemon Poppy, every visit is a delightful surprise.

Photo courtesy of Donut Hut

Donut Hut
📍 Des Moines, Iowa

In Des Moines, Donut Hut has earned its reputation as a local treasure. This charming family-owned shop offers a warm and inviting atmosphere where you can savor their delectable donuts. From classic glazed to seasonal specialties, each bite at Donut Hut is a reminder of the simple pleasures in life.

Photo courtesy of Shipley Do-Nuts

Shipley Do-Nuts
📍 Houston, Texas

Our journey takes us to the vibrant city of Houston, where Shipley Do-Nuts has been a beloved institution since 1936. Known for their melt-in-your-mouth glazed donuts, Shipley’s commitment to quality and tradition is evident with every bite. Whether you opt for the original glazed or explore their wide variety of flavors, you’re in for a delightful treat.

Photo courtesy of Long’s Bakery

Long’s Bakery
📍 Indianapolis, Indiana

In the heart of Indianapolis, Long’s Bakery has been satisfying donut cravings for over 60 years. This humble yet legendary establishment boasts an impressive array of freshly baked donuts that keep locals coming back for more. From their heavenly cream-filled Long Johns to the irresistible apple fritters, Long’s Bakery is a must-visit for any donut aficionado.

Photo courtesy of The Mini Bar

The Mini Bar Donuts + Coffee
📍 Jacksonville, Florida

As we venture to Jacksonville, prepare to be charmed by the whimsical delights of The Mini Bar Donuts + Coffee. This artisanal donut shop creates miniature wonders that pack a big punch of flavor. With their ever-changing menu, you’ll discover innovative combinations like maple bacon, Fruity Pebbles, or even a decadent Nutella-filled delight.

Photo courtesy of Donutology

Donutology
📍 Kansas City, Missouri

In the heartland of Kansas City, Donutology takes the art of donut-making to new heights. Here, you become the artist as you customize your own donut creation from a vast selection of glazes, toppings, and drizzles. Let your imagination run wild as you craft a donut masterpiece that reflects your unique taste.

Photo courtesy of Hurts Donuts

Hurts Donuts
📍 Lincoln, Nebraska

As our journey leads us to Lincoln, we encounter the whimsical wonderland of Hurts Donut. This 24-hour donut shop delights visitors with their oversized and extravagantly decorated donuts. From their signature “Hurt” flavors like Cotton Candy and Oreo Crush to their specialty cinnamon rolls, Hurts Donut promises an unforgettable experience.

Photo courtesy of Nord’s Bakery

Nord’s Bakery
📍 Louisville, Kentucky

In the charming city of Louisville, Nord’s Bakery has been delighting locals for over 50 years with their homemade, old-fashioned donuts. From the iconic yeast-raised glazed donuts to the indulgent cream-filled delights, Nord’s Bakery serves up traditional treats that evoke a sense of nostalgia with every bite.

Photo courtesy of Supernova

Supernova Coffee & Doughnuts
📍 Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee brings us to Supernova, a neighborhood favorite renowned for its scratch-made donuts. With their commitment to quality ingredients and craftsmanship, each donut is a miniature work of art. From the classic cake donuts to the inventive flavor combinations, this cozy bakery inside 3rd Street Market Hall will win over your taste buds.

Photo courtesy of Glam Doll Donuts

Glam Doll Donuts
📍 Minneapolis, Minnesota

In the vibrant city of Minneapolis, Glam Doll Donuts stands as a beacon of retro-chic charm. As you step into their colorful haven, you’ll find a dazzling array of creatively named donuts, each one more delightful than the last. From the “Calendar Girl” with its vanilla icing and sea salt to the vegan-friendly “Femme Fatale,” Glam Doll Donuts caters to every donut lover’s dreams.

Photo courtesy of Five Daughers Bakery

Five Daughters Bakery
📍 Nashville, Tennessee

As we arrive in Nashville, Five Daughters Bakery beckons with its heavenly selection of 100-layer donuts, also known as cronuts. These flaky, buttery pastries are carefully crafted and filled with indulgent flavors like maple glaze and cream. A visit to Five Daughters Bakery is an absolute must for those seeking a taste of pastry perfection.

Photo courtesy of District Donuts

District Donuts Sliders Brew
📍 New Orleans, Louisiana

No visit to the vibrant city of New Orleans is complete without a visit to District Donuts Sliders Brew. Here, they elevate the humble donut to an extraordinary level. With their creative flavor combinations like Bacon, Banana, and Peanut Butter or the zingy Lemon Icebox Pie, District Donuts promises a taste adventure that showcases the city’s culinary prowess.

Photo courtesy of Federal Donuts

Federal Donuts
📍 Philadelphia, Pennslyvania

Known for their innovative combination of donuts and fried chicken, Federal Donuts offers a unique dining experience. Their donuts are made fresh throughout the day, ensuring a warm and delicious treat for visitors. From their signature flavors like the “Strawberry Lavender” to seasonal specials, Federal Donuts never fails to surprise and delight.

Photo courtesy of caro.lee.na

BoSa Donuts
📍 Phoenix, Arizona

Looking for the fluffiest donuts for an affordable price? Bosa Donuts has become a beloved destination for donut enthusiasts in Phoenix. With multiple locations throughout the city, Bosa Donuts offers a wide variety of donuts, from classic flavors to unique creations.

Photo courtesy of Peace, Love, & Little Donuts

Peace, Love, & Little Donuts
📍 Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania

Our journey takes us to Pittsburgh, where Peace, Love, and Little Donuts captures the essence of the city’s vibrant spirit. These little bites of heaven are carefully crafted and come in an array of unique flavors. From the classic cinnamon sugar to the funky maple bacon, each donut is a testament to Pittsburgh’s love for all things flavorful and fun.

Photo courtesy of The Local Donut

The Local Donut
📍 Scottsdale, Arizona

In the desert oasis of Scottsdale, The Local Donut delights visitors with their made-from-scratch creations. This cozy shop offers a variety of donuts ranging from classic favorites to innovative seasonal treats. Indulge in their blueberry cheesecake donut or the irresistible caramel pretzel, and let the flavors transport you to a state of pure bliss.

Photo courtesy of Rise’n Roll 

Rise’n Roll Bakery
📍 South Bend, Indiana

In South Bend, Rise’n Roll Bakery captivates locals with their handcrafted Amish-style donuts. From the traditional cinnamon caramel to the mouthwatering raspberry jelly-filled delights, each donut is a testament to the bakery’s commitment to quality and authenticity. A visit to Rise’n Roll Bakery is a delightful journey to the heart of Amish country.

Photo courtesy of Strange Donuts

Strange Donuts
📍 St. Louis, Missouri

In the bustling city of St. Louis, Strange Donuts offers a playful twist on the classic treat. This whimsical donut shop combines unexpected flavor combinations with unique toppings, creating a truly memorable experience. From the savory bacon and egg donut to the indulgent gooey butter cake, Strange Donuts pushes the boundaries of creativity in the donut world.

Photo courtesy of Daddies Donuts

Daddies Donuts & Delites
📍 St. Petersburg – Tampa, Florida

Our journey takes us to St. Petersburg – Tampa, where this shop steals the hearts of locals and visitors alike. From the vibrant Fruity Pebbles to the decadent s’mores, these little delights are bursting with flavor and charm.

Photo courtesy of Mochinut

Mochinut
📍 Tempe, Arizona

Last but not least, in Tempe, we discover the wonder that is Mochinut, an American-Japanese donut from Hawaii. Whether you opt for the classic powdered sugar or venture into more adventurous flavor combinations, Mochinut is sure to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Our adventure through the best donut shops in these incredible cities has come to an end. From the East Coast to the West, and the Midwest to the South, we have experienced the diverse and delectable world of donuts. These establishments, with their commitment to quality, creativity, and the art of donut making, have left an indelible mark on the donut landscape of America. So, dear readers, venture forth, explore these culinary treasures, and let the magic of donuts guide you on your own delectable adventures!

Frontdesk Celebrates Six Years

It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years since Frontdesk first launched with a single unit in downtown Milwaukee, WI. Since then, our company has grown exponentially, now boasting over 1,000 short-term stays in more than 30 markets across the United States. This is due to the continued efforts of our incredible (remote first) team! We truly wouldn’t be where we are today without our team.

Jacksonville Frontdesk

As a hospitality brand offering apartments, suites, and lofts in the best downtown neighborhoods, Frontdesk is on a mission to redefine hospitality for the modern traveler. From our intuitive booking platform to our commitment to providing a personalized and seamless guest experience, we have been driven by the belief that hospitality should be accessible, convenient, and, most of all, enjoyable. Our team works tirelessly to bring our guests enjoyable short-term stays for modern dynamic living.

Over the past six years, we have achieved numerous milestones and garnered recognition from leading industry publications. In 2020, we were named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America by Inc. Magazine. We’ve also been fortunate to be featured in several business and media outlets like the Milwaukee Business Journal, Skift, CNBC, and others for our innovative approach to the short-term rental market. In September 2022, we announced the most recent $13 million financing round led by JetBlue Technology Ventures, further solidifying our position as a leader in the industry.

Frontdesk turns Six!

As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our guests, partners, team, and supporters who have helped us get to where we are today. We are excited about what the future holds for Frontdesk and are confident that we will continue to set the standard for hospitality in the 21st century. 

Happy Birthday! Happy New Year!

-Team Frontdesk

Frontdesk Welcomes Will Petter as New CFO

Frontdesk, a hospitality company providing flexible stays for the modern traveler, today announced the appointment of Will Petter as the new CFO.

With his wealth of experience and expertise, we are confident that he will help us take Frontdesk to the next level and continue to deliver value to our investors, partners, and guests.

Will Petter, CFO

Will has rich experience in advising and operating rapidly growing businesses, with a strong track record of success in both private and public companies. Will’s expertise in financial strategies and deep understanding of venture capital, private equity, and public equity, will be invaluable as we continue to redefine hospitality for the modern traveler ✈️

“We’re delighted to welcome Will to the team and confident he will continue to make a meaningful impact at Frontdesk with the wealth of experience and the strong track record that he brings,” said Jesse DePinto, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Frontdesk. 

Meet Frontdesk: Project Manager

Meet Michael, one of Frontdesk’s Professional Nomads (Project Managers). Michael has only been with Frontdesk for less than a year and already embodies all of our core values. Michael enjoys exploring Frontdesk cities when he’s not creating new spaces for our guests. Read more about Michael and what he does at Frontdesk below.

Tell us about your role and what brought you to Frontdesk.

I’m a Project Manager, but have also played the role of Sales, TaskForce Manager, and City Manager in the past months. My main responsibilities include the procurement and logistics of furniture/decor to be placed in our units. I then work with a team of local hires to manage moving, furniture assembly, art installation, and trash removal. The only thing left to do after that is to get a local team of photographers to capture the units so I can finish the behind-the-scenes work of passing it off to listings.

I originally heard about Frontdesk through Carolina Martinez (Director of Development & Design). We met over two years ago at a bbq at a mutual friend’s house while she herself was still a Project Manager. She told me about the job and all of her experiences on the road and I remember being in awe of how amazing it sounded. I gave her my contact info and for the next two years she always kept me up to date on all the job opportunities. Then one day, after I had spent a couple months working as a carpenter in the dead of winter, she reached out and said “Would you still be interested in the project management position?” Without a second thought, I said yes! Within three weeks, I was given my offer letter, put my notice into my boss, and flew out to Tucson, AZ with nothing but two suitcases to start my training.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

I enjoy the project management position mostly because of all the different people I get to work with, in and outside of the company. I also like seeing a project start from nothing and by the end of it knowing that I did my best to produce not just a beautiful stay for our guests but also provided support and resources to our listings team, city staff, and guest experience team to help them continue the future success of that stay.

What have you learned about the hospitality industry?

I have a newfound respect for the challenges the hospitality industry faces. It can be difficult to supply all the work that goes into making a dwelling for someone to stay in. From the procurement, logistics, and labor into furnishing a unit to then maintaining that unit so that each guest has a five star experience. It’s a lot of work, but it is worth it when we see those five-star ratings come in.

What is your favorite Frontdesk city to explore -- any local experiences you'd recommend to our guests?

It comes as a shock to most people, but my current favorite FD city I have visited was Pittsburgh! This city is so photogenic and has a lot of great pockets of fun and excitement.

I specifically suggest people to visit the Lower Lawrenceville area. There are a ton of great coffee shops/retail stores to visit during the day and some amazing restaurants/dive bars to explore at night!

Best travel tip?

Always travel light and be open to new opportunities. Some of my best travel experiences started without a plan and just a backpack. If you travel light, you’ll be able to beat the lines and cost of a checked bag. If you move without a plan, you might be surprised by just how adaptable you can be and how much more fun the ride will be.

Since Frontdesk is a work-from-anywhere company, where is your "home base"?

I get to experience a rare position at Frontdesk where my role is one hundred percent travel. This makes my home base wherever I am.

When you're not busy being a Frontdesk rockstar, what do you like to do in your free time?

I really like to take photos/videos and wander around whatever city I am in at the time.

Bucketlist place to visit and why?

I really want to visit New Zealand next. 

I’ve read about the culture and lifestyle there and I can’t help but feel like my personality would mesh with the people there.

Meet Frontdesk: Senior Guest Experience Manager

Meet Kimberly, one of Frontdesk’s Senior Guest Experience Specialists and Cleveland Guest Experience Specialist. Kim embodies all of Frontdesk’s core values but especially “Wow Our Guests”.  Our brand reputation is critical for long-term success and it’s built one guest at a time. Without Kim, our guests would not have a delightful human experience. In Kim’s free time, she enjoys traveling (she’s been to 48 states and plans to knock out all 50!) and is a wizard at home improvements. Read more about Kim and what she does at Frontdesk below.

Tell us about your role, what do you do at Frontdesk?

Senior Guest Experience Specialist and GES for [Cleveland]. I oversee the guest experience of 11 Frontdesk cities and 7 GES’s. I help out with any escalations that arise that may require further direction so that our guests leave with a satisfying experience.

How long have you been working at Frontdesk?

I started in January, 2020.

What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?

Prior to Frontdesk, I was a General Manager for Hilton for 12 years. I left the hotel industry in 2019 to open up a kids developmental gym for children on the spectrum. I found that I missed the action of hotel life and was hired part-time as the Guest Experience Specialist for Houston. I quickly fell in love with the industry and the culture at Frontdesk. After COVID shut my business down indefinitely, I took a full-time role with Frontdesk.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The unique day-to-day experiences that arise. There could be 12 inches of snow in a city one day that you are handling guest interactions for and the next, it’s messaging guests about a tiger on the loose in Houston (real Frontdesk event).

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

The short-term rental industry is ever-changing and evolving in different cities. Learning the ins and outs and how they differ from the hotel industry has been quite a learning experience.

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

The culture at Frontdesk is so alive yet so remote. When you meet co-workers in person for the first time it feels like you are already family.

What advice would you give to future employees of Frontdesk?

View each day as an opportunity to learn something new and contribute your ideas. It is through your growth that Frontdesk becomes stronger and the leader of the industry. 

What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy reading, hiking, traveling, and home improvement.

Favorite Frontdesk city and why? Any recommendations of places to visit in the area?

Saint Louis is always a great place to visit. The Arch is amazing to look at and the food is mouthwatering. Add in the free zoo and a river cruise and it makes for a fun time for the whole family.

Bucket list place to visit and why?

Alaska and Hawaii are my last two states to visit in the US!

Ireland – heritage homeland

Announcing Frontdesk’s New CEO

Frontdesk Co-founder Kyle Weatherly transitions to Board Director, with Jesse DePinto becoming the new CEO of Frontdesk

By: Kyle Weatherly
Co-Founder, Frontdesk

Almost six years ago, on a cold December day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, my wife, Ruthie, and I had just returned from spending a year overseas. We may have been tourists, but we weren’t living like tourists.

After that trip and spending a year jumping from country to country, vacation rental to vacation rental, I felt that consumer travel would soon change forever. The opportunity to redefine hospitality for a new generation of travelers was clear.

After a few conversations with Jesse, a former technology vendor at my first company, we launched Frontdesk with a single unit as a short-term rental in our hometown and immediately started booking. In January. In Milwaukee. We knew we were on to something.

February 28, 2017 — Frontdesk hosted their first guest, in their first unit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

So, Jesse and I sat down and wrote a mission statement that included lines that we still live by today. We aspired to build something meaningful. A business that could generate opportunities for many. A culture that inspires, one that aims to put team success above individual success. To “Clean the toilets” or whatever it takes for the team to succeed. We began reaching out to landlords in city centers and offering a service for managing their flexible stays in an efficient and scalable way, enabled by our technology, and our desire to serve.   

With a focus on systematizing processes, wowing the guests, and hospitality, we figured we could take this idea and build something big together. From there, we started to grow. People liked the idea, our team started growing, and with sweat and sacrifice, a new, customer-obsessed hospitality company was born. And today, that company has grown to over 30 U.S. markets with more than 1000 units across 150+ buildings and counting.

August 2022 — Frontdesk’s newest units in Birmingham, Alabama, and Cleveland, Ohio.

Since those early days, Frontdesk has served over 400,000 guests and earned an average satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5.0. Even through a pandemic, Frontdesk remained strong, growing while others could not and striving to continue with a mission of getting our hands dirty while helping travelers enjoy cities the way locals do. Due to good fortune, financial discipline, and intense efforts from our entire team, our company has never been in a stronger position even in these most challenging times.

In our earliest conversations, Jesse and I had always planned for him to eventually lead and take the company to the next level. Over the last 5+ years, we have worked tirelessly to land in 30+ markets and grew to 1000+ units. Now for the next five years, we get to execute on the fun part, expanding within our current markets and building a residential hospitality brand in the process.

September 2022 — Frontdesk embraces remote culture with 300+ employees scattered across the country.

Jesse has been leading the day-to-day operations for some time, so, more than anything, this is simply our job titles catching up with reality. Today is an exciting inflection point in the company’s history, and Jesse’s arrival into the CEO role marks a turning point that we are entering a new phase of growth for the company.

It has been an honor to lead Frontdesk, and I am thrilled that the board has unanimously appointed Jesse as the next CEO. I believe Jesse will fully realize the vision we have laid out over these past five-plus years and make Frontdesk the most beloved hospitality brand of this generation.

Yours truly,
Kyle Weatherly

Meet Frontdesk: Guest Experience Training Manager

Meet Rachael Fields, Frontdesk’s Guest Experience Training Manager. Rachael is one of the Frontdesk OG’s (4 years and running) and even created Frontdesk’s training program! Rachael continuously embodies all of Frontdesk’s core values and is often the first impression of Frontdesk culture when it comes to the Guest Experience team. In Rachael’s free time, she enjoys studying the stars and is our very own in-house astrologist. Read more about Rachael and what she does at Frontdesk, below.

Tell us about your role, what do you do at Frontdesk?

I am currently the Guest Experience Training Manager. I am the longest-running GES on the Guest Experience team and I built and created Frontdesk’s training program from the beginning. Now, I train and onboard all new Guest Experience Specialists when they start with Frontdesk.

How long have you been working at Frontdesk?

4 years, pre-covid, as a contractor before Empower – June 2018

What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?

I came to Frontdesk with a 15+ year background in call center customer service and escalation management in the medical and prescription insurance industry. I came across this “too good to be true” opportunity that would pay me to do customer service from home. Frontdesk’s original GES, Angela, spent 2 hours on the phone convincing me it was a legit job. I’m super glad she did!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I’m incredibly proud to have trained every GES on our current team, and I very much enjoy being their champion and their cheerleader in everything I do.

What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?

Frontdesk has taught me the most about how to better communicate with all types of people. When I’m training someone the first thing I ask is “How do you best learn?” With the experience I’ve gained building and finetuning Frontdesk’s customer service training program to fit all kinds of remote learning styles, I’ve also been able to finetune how I communicate and deliver information to people internally and in my personal life.

What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?

Everyone always talks about the culture of Frontdesk. I was surprised the most by how much freedom I had in helping to create the way the company worked. Leaders had open doors and active ears to listen to all the wild ideas and suggestions that I had. It has been fascinating to watch how the company and the culture has evolved and continued to withstand the test of times. Our culture and the leaders’ ability to nurture it had a large hand in keeping us afloat during the beginning of the pandemic.

What advice would you give to new Frontdeskians?

If I had any advice to newcomers is this: Frontdesk thrives on fresh perspectives and new ideas. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn. Breathe and take it one moment at a time, there’s nothing too big we can’t solve together.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m a freelance graphic designer, with a special emphasis on informational design. I do a lot of digital art content for social media.  I also love listening to music. My main passion is studying and sharing my knowledge of astrology with those who are as fascinated by the stars as I am.

Favorite Frontdesk city and why? Any recommendations?

Milwaukee will always have a very special place in my heart. We only had 3 cities when I started (MKE, CLT, and IND), and I covered MKE for the first year and a half of my Frontdesk career. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit headquarters (not the one above the clinic, the current one) and meet the local group there. If I could recommend anywhere to visit, it’s Frontdesk headquarters. The people are amazing, they greet you with a hug and a table tennis match. There’s a plethora of snacks and puppies. Feeling the Frontdesk culture in the flesh, there’s nothing quite like it.

Your bucket-list place to visit?

I have always wanted to go to Greece. I find their culture and their landscape enchanting.

Announcing Frontdesk’s Redefined Partner Success Team

Frontdesk is excited to announce the transition of the Portfolio Management team to the Partner Success team! This initiative exemplifies the shift in focus from traditional master lease agreements with multifamily partners to revenue-sharing agreements and White Label management services. With this new focus, we are motivated to maximize revenue sharing opportunities and increase NOI for our partners across the Frontdesk portfolio.

What does this mean for our current partners?

There will be no change in terms of the service we provide to our current partners. Frontdesk will continue to provide white-glove management services. This newly formed team will enhance the Frontdesk standard. Our concentration on developing a more streamlined and revenue-conscious business model enables the Partner Success team to focus on developing new and improved ways to benefit our partners.

What are the differences between a Portfolio Manager and a Partner Success Manager?

Our number one goal is to keep our partners happy. This transition enables the Partner Success Team to expand and nurture this responsibility. Not only is the Partner Success Manager the liaison between property management and Frontdesk’s guest experience team, but they are also focused on collaborating with multifamily property owners to optimize revenue for both parties.

Portfolio Manager

  • Management of Traditional Lease Models and Renewals
  • Onboarding Utilizing Partner Portals
  • Liaising between property and guest experience
  • Portfolio evaluation, negotiating renewals

Partner Success Manager

  • Management of Traditional Leases, Third-Party Management, and Revenue Sharing Agreement
  • Onboarding partners specific to the form of their agreement
  • Liaising between property and guest experience
  • Analyzing revenue data, market and listing information, and other data in order to make recommendations to improve NOI for ownership
  • Evaluation of current partnerships and possible conversion to a more profitable business agreement
  • Reporting revenue and paying out RevShare partners, in addition to making recommendations for improvement

What is Revenue Sharing (RevShare) and how is it different from a traditional lease model?

We approach each opportunity uniquely and specifically tailor RevShare agreements to maximize NOI for our partners by sharing a percentage of revenue in lieu of monthly rent. RevShare is ideal for multifamily property owners who wish to earn above market rate while simultaneously improving their occupancy. With great reward comes great risk, and our RevShare partners share more risk than our traditional master lease partners. The Partner Success Team is there to support, advise, and improve partner takeaway.

While there is risk associated with a RevShare agreement, our highly-specialized Revenue Management team and proprietary pricing algorithm continually optimizes nightly rates. We outperform the competition by an average of 16.5%.

*Average of 7 properties that were shared with our largest VC-backed competitor from 1/1/2019 – 3/31/2020 in Charlotte NC, Columbus OH, Dallas TX, and Indianapolis IN

**Average from top 75th percentile top earning hosts on Airbnb in the same four cities (Charlotte NC, Columbus OH, Dallas TX, Indianapolis IN)

What is Powered by Frontdesk and how is it different from a traditional lease model?

Powered by Frontdesk is ideal for partners who desire shared responsibility with their  short-term rental units. We enable our partners to manage their short-term rental units through Frontdesk’s proprietary technology.  We offer both a White Label Management Platform and a White Label Management Platform + On-Site service. Services offered in these agreements include, but are not limited to, listing optimization, distribution on channels chosen by partners, guest screening and risk scoring, revenue management with a proprietary pricing algorithm, guest experience (chat, SMS, phone, and email), and reputation management. 

For more information about Powered by Frontdesk, click here.

THE FRONTDESK STANDARD

Criminal Background Screening

Identity Verification

Secure Building Access

Guest Risk Scoring

Certified Staff

Partner Portal

Insurance Protection

Resident Discounts

24/7 Compliance Enforcement

24/7 Active Noise Monitoring

24/7 Boots on the Ground

Partner success is just the beginning. At Frontdesk, we value safety, security, and comfort above all. We offer the same 12-point trust and safety standards to all Frontdesk partners.

Active Noise Monitoring and Enforcement

Frontdesk believes in a peaceful experience for not only our guests, but our neighbors as well. We have partnered with the best-in-class noise sensor technology services. This brings peace of mind not only to us at Frontdesk, but also to our partners. We are able to tell that our guests are not breaking our house rules by hosting parties or making excessive noise during quiet hours.

What is Active Noise Monitoring and Enforcement?

Utilizing revolutionary noise sensors and software, we are able to monitor the level of noise inside every one of our 500+ apartments at every hour. If noise levels are high enough to break our decibel thresholds, we communicate with the offending guest to be respectful and quiet, especially at night.

Our current partners are Minut Smart Home Monitoring and NoiseAware.

Why is Noise Monitoring and Enforcement Important?

Frontdesk cares about the experience our neighbors have with our guests. If our guest is disruptive and does not adhere to quiet hours as listed in our house rules, they are asked to leave our suite by our Trust and Safety specialists. If a guest breaks our house rules by hosting a party in our suite, we call on our local security partners to peacefully request the guest halt this behavior and/or leave the suite.

Who Monitors the Noise Alert Software?

You can sleep soundly as our team of thoroughly trained Trust and Safety specialists monitor the noise levels 24/7 in our suites. We are just a phone call, text, or email away if something disturbs the peace. Our phone number is +1-414-209-3277 and our email is neighbors@stayfrontdesk.com

How do Noise Sensors Work?

Noise monitoring sensors are installed in each of our suites by our local city managers. The sensor connects with a mobile app, as well as an expertly designed web based platform, for our Trust and Safety specialists to monitor. When the sensor detects a level or noise above specifically attuned noise thresholds in accordance with local times, the system sends an alert to our team and we immediately spring into action. Following a carefully curated alert protocol, the Trust and Safety specialist assesses the situation and acts accordingly. This can be a polite reminder of our rules or asking our local security partners, such as Securitas, to check with the guest in person to ensure rules are being followed. Our priority is to do what is necessary to give our neighbors peace of mind.

What Happens if a Guest Unplugs or Tampers with a Sensor?

Similar to the protocol of an elevated noise event, a disconnected or tampered sensor alert is sent to our Trust and Safety specialists to assess the situation. We communicate with the guest inside the suite to troubleshoot and get the sensor plugged back in. If we are unsuccessful, our local city manager assists to get the sensor functioning correctly. We pride ourselves on a consistent and connected sensor reading. Even with unforeseen circumstances like wifi outages, we ensure a 99% uptime of all noise sensors.

What else does Frontdesk do to ensure safety and security?

At Frontdesk, we value safety, security, and comfort above all. We offer the same 12-point safety and security standards to all Frontdesk apartment communities.  Stay tuned during the next few months while we dive deeper into each one of our 12-point Frontdesk standards. 

THE FRONTDESK STANDARD

Criminal Background Screening

Identity Verification

Secure Building Access

Guest Risk Scoring

Certified Staff

Partner Portal

Insurance Protection

Resident Discounts

24/7 Compliance Enforcement

24/7 Active Noise Monitoring

24/7 Boots on the Ground