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TripAdvisor's swanky new Needham HQ will make you swoon

TripAdvisor's brand new headquarters in Needham features a game room, a cafeteria with free lunches for employees, a pub and a fitness room — and the company has 100 job openings. Need we say more?

Co-founder and CEO Stephen Kaufer officially unveiled the airy 282,000 square-foot facility at 400 First Ave. to members of the media on Tuesday, and said it feels like a kind of "homecoming" for the company.

When the online travel and reviews site was first founded in 2000, TripAdvisor (Nasdaq: TRIP) was based out of a tiny office on top of Kosta's Pizza & Seafood in Needham and had about eight employees. After spending eight years in neighboring Newton, TripAdvisor is back at its old haunts.

"We're thrilled to be an anchor tenant here and we think the opportunities are tremendous from a recruiting perspective," said Kaufer in an interview with the Boston Business Journal.

The expansive headquarters is home to 1,000 employees with room for 500 more and an option for another 150,000-square-feet worth of potential expansion space. Kaufer said the company will decide whether to expand in about two years.

With a market capitalization of $13.2 billion, the company has 340 million unique visitors and 200 million reviews. It bills itself as the world's largest travel site, and Kaufer said it's success stories like TripAdvisor that often get lost in the shuffle in the Greater Boston area, with its bustling startup scene.

"We're still struck by, even though we've grown up here and we've always been here, how few people in the Greater Boston area realize there' a consumer website as big as TripAdvisor is in your backyard," Kaufer said.

The company reported revenue for the first three months of this year of $363 million. Asia-Pacific revenue increased 20 percent to $42 million — representing 12 percent of total sales.


The company recently announced it's adding Maryland-based Marriott's global hotel portfolio to the TripAdvisor Instant Booking software. That means starting later this summer, travelers shopping for hotel rooms on TripAdvisor will be able to book at any of the 4,200 Marriott (Nasdaq: MAR) hotels around the world without leaving TripAdvisor's website.