Seattle-based Expedia Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) has officially opened its Interbay headquarters.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Expedia had started moving employees into its new Seattle campus. The company had joined other tech giants, such as Amazon and Microsoft, in delaying its office reopening as Covid cases spiked.
The pandemic stifled Expedia’s business at a time when the travel company was already restructuring. Expedia laid off 3,500 employees in February 2020. Last year, it moved to declutter its operations in part through a rebrand, more defined business lines and a simplified customer experience.
All the while, the online travel company was prepping its new headquarters, which is on more than 40 acres overlooking Elliott Bay and cost about $900 million to develop. The interior features roughly 1 million square feet of office space, according to a company spokesperson.
Expedia was headquartered at Tower 333 in Bellevue for years before its move to Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood in 2019. The company had started bringing employees to the new space before the Covid-19 pandemic hit but put those plans on pause for health and safety reasons.
Expedia officially began bringing employees back to the new office in April and expects employees to work at least half their time from an office. Employees and visitors must be vaccinated.
“Just as we’re seeing travel pick up and people reuniting with their families and friends, we too want to reconnect with our colleagues in person,” Peter Kern, vice chairman and CEO of Expedia, wrote in a company email earlier this year. “Over the past few months, we’ve crystalized our vision — to be traveler-focused and create a platform that will power the industry — and the No. 1 factor in realizing this vision is all of you. We believe the way to get there better, faster, and more creatively is having opportunities to collaborate in person.”
Amazon, meanwhile, is now leasing more than 400,000 square feet of office space at Expedia’s old space in Bellevue.