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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.
The Carmel Valley Ranch is set to unveil its new look in September after undergoing about $25 million worth of renovations. All the rooms and suites have received a major upgrade, there will be a new Spa Aiyana on-site and the Pete Dye-designed golf course will get a "beautification."
And speaking of Hotel Fun the new Carmel Valley Ranch will be sort of like taking a trip to summer camp again. The hotel plans to offer "creative learning experiences" such as bee keeping, photography walks, cooking lessons in the hotel's Adventure Kitchen and behind-the-scenes access to the best of the region.
Of course, there will be your fave camp activities such as basketball, bocce ball, tennis and two new resort pools, along with a kids' playground for the actual kids who come to visit, not just you grown-up kids.
Hotel News / JDV Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / John Pritzker / Chip Conley / Hotel Industry News / → All Tags
JDV founder and CEO Chip Conley with new partner, John Pritzker of Geolo Capital.
There's some major news in the hotel world today. JDV Hotels--a California-based boutique chain that we love for their free WiFi, quirky promotions and most importantly, geek amenities--recently partnered up with a big new investor, John Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt Hotels chain.
Pritzker's Geolo Capital private equity firm has bought a majority stake in JDV, which was started by hotelier Chip Conley who will remain on board as CEO. Geolo Capital will now have about 60 percent stake in JDV but will also funnel $150 million into the company for expansion plans.
And that's the really big news here--JDV will start to expand outside of California.