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It's been a roller coaster ride this past week for hotelier Jason Pomeranc and his partners in
crime lifestyle hotels.
After we got word that one of the hotels they left behind in the Commune/Thompson split wanted out of the Commune, Pomeranc, along with Stephen Brandman and his brothers Michael and Larry Pomeranc, announced the new name of their hotel group, The Sixty Collective, an obvious homage to the original Thompson Hotel, 60 Thompson.
While we were still digesting the new name, another report landed that said the owners of 6 Columbus wanted out of the Collective and back into the Commune. (The owners apparently did not even know their Commune had become a Collective.)
But the boys were back on top last night at the Cornell Hotel Show cocktail party in New York. The event was held at the Grand Hyatt as a kickoff for the International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Show. All that backslapping, LinkedIn friending and industry networking aside, the party served as the stage for the unveiling of the Sixty Hotels logo. Tah-dah! Here it is. We're loving the infinity logo that's worked into the 60. We're just relieved the idea of a phoenix rising from the ashes above Thompson LES was nixed. Har, har.
But wait, there's more. There's also a website!
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On the heels of Jason Pomeranc's announcement that he would be rebranding his hotel company as Sixty Hotels comes some sour news about the fate of 6 Columbus. Specifically, the hotel's owners are asking Pomeranc and his partners to leave their management contract.
Crain's New York reports that the hotel's owners were not aware that Pomeranc's former partner, Commune Hotels, who is now the sole owner of the Thompson Hotels brand, was no longer managing the property. Um, what? Sounds like the 308 Hotel Corp needs to start reading HotelChatter a little more often.
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We weren't too far off on Monday when we mentioned that former Thompson hotelier Jason Pomeranc, his brothers Michael and Larry and their longtime partner, Stephen Brandman, had trademarked the name Sixty House Hotels.
But in today's Wall Street Journal, it was revealed that the hotel will be a part of the Sixty Collective with each property going by the Sixty Hotel moniker. (Remember, as part of the deal with Commune, Pomeranc and co. still have 60 Thompson, Thompson LES, 6 Columbus and Thompson Beverly Hills in their portfolio.)
Here's what Pomeranc told the WSJ about starting over again.
"In some ways, yes, we're back to where we started," Mr. Pomeranc said in an interview. "But it's obviously starting from a different perspective with a lot more experience, a lot more focus and a different place in the industry than we were before."
He said he hoped the new company would turn out to be a "360-degree culture experience" that involved "communicating not only through our properties" but also through print, film and new media.
Which when you go way back into the early Thompson Hotel days, that's what they were always about--merging a hotel stay with cool culture.
When Thompson Hotels' Jason Pomeranc and his partners left the Commune Hotels collection the other month, they walked away with Thompson's prized NYC properties but had to leave a few choice hotels behind as well as the beloved Thompson name.
Now, as Pomeranc and co. toil away on their new boutique hotel brand, we're getting word from some super secret hotel insiders that the Hollywood Roosevelt wants out of the Commune. We're not exactly sure of the reason but there is speculation that the hotel's owners liked the Pomeranc association. But again, this is purely speculation.
Indeed, a spokesperson for Thompson and Commune told us that the Hollywood Roosevelt "will remain a Thompson-branded property under Commune's management."
Keep reading for some hotel rumor mongering!
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Some crazy news out of Miami yesterday. Gianni Versace's former South Beach residence, Casa Casuarina, was sold yesterday for $41.5 million to a company called VM South Beach LLC, whose principals include the Nakash Family, who in turn own Jordache jeans. Versace being taken over by Jordache? We never thought this day would happen. But wait, there's even more shocking news.
Most recently, Versace's abode had been a 10-room boutique hotel called The Villa By Barton G. Before that it was a members-only club by the name of Casa Casauarina. Now, the new owners plan on turning it into a hotel (again) and they want to merge it with another one of the properties they own--The Hotel Victor which sits next door.
But wait, isn't the Victor about to turn into a
Civilian Hotel new hotel from the Thompson Hotel founders? That's what we thought. But the Nakash family, who also own the Breakwater and Hotel Ocean, is saying they want to merge the two properties and rebrand the whole shebang using the Versace name.
'We'd like the public to use it, so we're going to create a hotel that will be consolidated with the Victor,' Nakash said. 'We're going to use the name Versace after we receive OK from the family.'
Ay dios mio. Mamma mia. We need a drink.
Hotel Industry News / Hotel News / Thompson Hotels / Jason Pomeranc / Pomeranc Hotels / Stephen Brandman / → All Tags
It's only been about six weeks since Thompson Hotels parted ways (and ceded their name and brand) with Commune Hotels & Resort, but the boutique hospitality world is anxiously awaiting to see what Thompson's original founders will do next.
When we bumped into suave hotelier Jason Pomeranc a few weeks ago, he told us "the old band was getting back together" meaning himself, his brothers Michael and Larry and their right-hand operations whiz, Stephen Brandman.
Today, Brandman confirmed to us that the "four original founders of Thompson Hotels are back to doing what we do." And what they do is create cool boutique hotel experiences with hot restaurants and exclusive bars attached. And hotel owners and developers want in on it.
"It's a nice feeling for all of us," Brandman said. "Because people are so interested in what we are going to do next and so many hotel developers are approaching us, saying, 'We want to work with you guys.'"
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The other week, we were searching hard for information about the reopening of the Thompson Ocean Drive hotel in Miami Beach yet we were met with absolute silence when it came to the matter of the hotel's name change--would it go ahead with the Thompson name or stick with the original moniker, Hotel Victor?
Well, today's HUGE news from Commune Hotels has answered that question. No, it will not be a Thompson hotel in name, mainly because Thompson Hotels' founders--Jason Pomeranc and his brothers, have sold out the rest of the company, including the Thompson name, to Commune. Get comfortable, because this is going to take a while to explain.
Way back in 2011, Joie de Vive Hotels linked up with Thompson Hotels and the two formed Commune Hotels and Resorts. Joie de Vivre was fresh off its own acquisition from Geolo Capital, founded by Hyatt heir, John Pritzker (he has nothing to do with Hyatt Hotels today btw.) The two companies, Geolo Capital and Thompson BP, were equal partners in the formation of Commune Hotels although Thompson Hotels would be its own brand, as would Joie de Vivre, as would the spin-off brand of Thompson Hotels, Tommie Hotels.
Fast forward to today and all brands are expanding to new locations as everyone hoped they would. Commune even managed to snag Niki Leondakis away from Kimpton Hotels. And now, Commune has bought out the Pomeranc brothers. Here's the parting statement Jason Pomeranc gave today: "After nearly 15 years, my brothers Lawrence, Michael and I are incredibly proud to see how Thompson Hotels has evolved into an enormously impactful global hospitality brand," said Jason Pomeranc. "We now look forward to exciting new endeavors and wish John Pritzker and the entire Commune family well."
"After nearly 15 years, my brothers Lawrence, Michael and I are incredibly proud to see how Thompson Hotels has evolved into an enormously impactful global hospitality brand," said Jason Pomeranc. "We now look forward to exciting new endeavors and wish John Pritzker and the entire Commune family well."
So the pressing question is, who gets what in the deal? Here's how it all shakes out:
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Commune Hotels & Resorts have finally unveiled the name of the long-awaited, “value-conscious” spin-off brand to Thompson Hotels. That would be TOMMIE. As you can probably tell from its name, Tommie is going after the hottest demographic right now, The Millennials (aka younger folk.)
The brand is described as being “borne from the savvy of Thompson Hotels and the playful approachability of Joie de Vivre, defining utilitarian chic." In case you forgot, Thompson merged with Joie de Vivre to form Commune. This is the first brand from the merged companies. Here’s what proud father, Jason Pomeranc, had to say about the new addition to his Thompson family:
“Tommie is about stripping away the non-essentials to create a functional efficiency. Everything is beautiful, but also has a purpose,” said Jason Pomeranc, co-chair of Commune Hotels & Resorts and founder of Thompson Hotels. “We are creating hotels that will appeal to youthful, design savvy, connected, and discerning travelers seeking responsible and immersive experiences. Tommie will be a choice, not of economy but of desire.”
So what's there to "desire" about Tommie? Hint: It begins with Wi and ends with Fi! Keep reading to find out!
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It's no secret that the handsome doormen of New York's coolest boutique hotels could (and do) work part-time as male models (we still wish we had gotten a close-up of this guy) but today, we've got an actual modeling shoot from the male employees at 60 Thompson.
Here they are posing in their new uniforms designed by fashion label, Theory, with some style input from Thompson's own Jason Pomeranc. A hotel rep tells us originally the unis were done by Tophat but then were mixed and matched with various retail items until the new Theory threads arrived. Overall, it's a stylin' yet still casual look. We like.
We've got a couple of more photos after the jump. And yes, you're welcome!
JT Hospitality / Thompson Hotels / JDV Hotels / Jason Pomeranc / John Pritzker / Hotel News / → All Tags
6 Columbus, a Thompson Hotel.
We are still reeling from the news yesterday that JDV Hotels and Thompson Hotels have merged but while we fret over details like--what will happen to the free WiFi at JDV Hotels (because Thompson charges) and will there be a new loyalty program and what will this new branded logo look like--John Pritzker, the Hyatt heir whose Geolo Capital took over JDV and is now a major partner in the new JT Hospitality, spoke with the Chicago Tribune about the merger.
And he had some interesting things to say, including recounting how Jason Pomeranc can "BEE" adventurous at times. But being serious hotel geeks that we are, we were more interested in learning how these two hotels will blend together. Pritzker said:
It's like two people who met at a party and said, "Hey, I want to hang out with you." This feels like two families getting together, not two faceless corporations. I go to New York and hang out with these guys all the time. Thompson's ethos is the edgy, hip L.A./Manhattan feel, and ours is more of an earthy California feel. I think it's important that we each hold on to our personalities.
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What do you get when you merge The Custom Hotel with The Hollywood Roosevelt? JT HOSPITALITY. Note: JT is not actually involved in this one.
When we got an email in our inboxes a short while ago with the subject heading, "JOIE DE VIVRE HOSPITALITY AND THOMPSON HOTELS MERGE" we thought for sure someone was playing a prank on us. Or maybe that someone was celebrating April Fools Day six months early.
But given that the news came from JDV's director of public relations, we knew that this was no joke. So now let's get into the details of this seemingly unholy merger.
The merger took effect on October 1st and it is purely a management partnership involving only hotel management operations but not real estate assets. Together, the company will now be known as JT Hospitality (did anyone just think of Justin Timberlake? We did.) and will manage 45 properties under the Thompson and JDV brands. The company is set to be officially announced/rebranded in early 2012 when the global branding strategy is rolled out.
Thompson's CEO and co-owner Stephen Brandman has been named CEO of JT Hospitality and the company will be headquartered in NYC. John Pritzker, whose private equity firm, Geolo Capital, took a majority stake in JDV last year, will serve as co-chairman as will Jason Pomeranc, Thompson Hotel's other co-owner and poster boy.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel Rebranding / Hotel News / Thompson Hotels / Jason Pomeranc / Stephen Brandman / → All Tags
When Thompson Hotels peaced out of the Sagamore Hotel in South Beach way back when, they got busy expanding their hotel collection elsewhere--New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago and even London. But now Jason Pomeranc and co. are strapping on their roller blades and coasting along Ocean Drive once again.