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[This story has been updated from yesterday's, which was originally posted on 2/21/12 at 3:28pm.]
We've been anxiously anticipating the new name for the newly merged Joie de Vivre Hotels and Thompson Hotels as the temporary name, JT Hospitality, was not very original and also conjured up a line of hotels from Justin Timberlake.
Nevertheless, the wait is over as the announcement comes today that the hotels will now fall under the new company name...COMMUNE HOTELS AND RESORTS. (And yes, the website is already up and running.)
"Our ethos is about individuality, community, locations that are authentic to their environment, and the kind of service that exceeds guests' expectations and makes travel exciting again," the three executives wrote in a statement. "We believe celebrating individuality is the best way to elevate the guest experience."
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UPDATE, 1.5.12: We just heard that the JT Hospitality name is still a "provisional" name. Yippee! The official name is going to be revealed sometime in Q1. We'll let you know as soon as we hear!
It seemed like such an odd-pairing but when you broke down the dynamics (Thompson has the style; JDV has the money), it made sense.
Yet while we were hoping for a sophisticated name change, we stumbled across the website for JTHospitality.com, leading us to believe that the JT Hospitality name is sticking around.
There's not much to the website--just a few shots of glam hotel rooftop spaces, info about the merger and who to contact for development opportunities (that would be Mr. Brandman.)
We're guessing more information will be forthcoming when the hotels do their official rebranding/merger announcement, which should be any day now.
Know of any cool things happening with JT Hospitality? Send it to us!
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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.