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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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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.
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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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This morning we speculated that another Ace Hotel is coming to New York City. But surprise, surprise! Instead of the Big Apple getting its second Ace, the city will now be home to SIX Thompson Hotels.
Not long after our story went up this morning, Thompson Hotels, which is a part of Commune Hotels and Resorts, went live with their announcement for the management contract of 5 Beekman, which included a statement from building owner:
“With its deep New York lifestyle hotel experience and growing international presence, we’re delighted to have chosen Thompson Hotels, an operator uniquely suited to capture the building’s inherent drama. We relish the opportunity to transform this one-of-a-kind building and adjacent parcel into a 297 room luxury boutique hotel with 90 residences” said Bruce Blum, president and co-founder of GB Lodging.
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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.
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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.
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The old Sheraton Belgravia is getting Thompson-ized!
Summer 2011 will bring the 85-room Belgraves, a joint venture with the Hong Kong-based Harilela Group, located in London's Belgravia neighborhood. Interiors will be done by British designer Tara Bernerd and the architectural design by EPR Architects.
Absolutely rabid for more details, we hit up Thompson's other co-owner Stephen Brandman for more details and this is what he said:
We've learned from Thompson Hotels' co-owner Stephen Brandman that the 24-hour restaurant/diner, Counter, will open on June 19th. Toronto Life's The Dish has some more detes on the look of the joint which will serve artisanal beers and burgers as well as breakfast and lunch dishes.
Until the 19th, guests will be able to order delivery from local joints to their room. In the mornings, there are muffins and coffee in the lobby.
When we last checked in with Thompson Toronto, it was June and they were hinting at a 2010 opening. Judging from Thompson's past hotel opening delays we figured Summer 2010 would be a kind estimate. But Thompson co-owner Stephen Brandman has told us they are looking at March 2010 and they seem very confident in that date.
Now, the old adage says "March comes in like a lion but goes out like a lamb" yet we say that with the Thompson's penchant for soft-openings, TT will come in like a lamb and go out like a lion in June or so, when the rooftop bar and pool are ready to open.
Meanwhile, the Thompson Hotels website still says "Opening 2009."
Room 1433 at Hotel Sax Chicago.
We received a couple of tips lately that there was something brewing with Thompson Hotels and usually when more than one tip comes in, we know something's up. But today we have confirmation that indeed The Hotel Sax in Chicago, best known for its RockBand studio and where we recently shacked up the other week, is turning into a Thompson Hotel.
The conversion will officially happen on December 1st and while the hotel was recently renovated a few years ago, we fully expect the place to get "Thompsonized."
Big news out of Thompson today. First up: remember how we reported on some cha-cha-cha changes at Cha inside the Donovan House, near and dear to our hearts because of a Hanson sighting and some delish sushi? We knew Todd English was out and Toronto chef Susur Lee was in (the same chef behind Shang at the Thompson LES), but we didn't know the name was changing too.
'Cha' is now 'Zentan', and "the menu will feature favorites from Shang in NYC and his restaurant, Lee in Toronto, as well as a selection of sushi, sashimi and Asian crudos." The new Zentan is set to open June 8, 2009, and until then, you can still snag sushi and small bites at the bar like we did.
On the East Coast, New Yorkers are not happy with Thompson Hotels due to their failure to open Smyth Tribeca in a timely fashion or open it at all, really. We're not sure if they're adding finishing touches or what. Meanwhile, over on the West Coast, some people are unhappy with Thompson because they've been making too many, er, "finishing touches" to the Hollywood Roosevelt building. And by "finishing touches," we mean plastering the architectural landmark building with ads for a Swedish clothing company. Whoops!
From LA's CityWatch blog:
The Hollywood Roosevelt first sported huge supergraphic ads in 2006. The company that installed these 6,000 sq. ft. plus ads, In Plain Site Media, was cited by the city’s Department of Building and Safety for failing to obtain permits or inspections for the signs. The company then applied to the city for permits. Last July, the Cultural Heritage Commission voted to deny the application, but one of the supergraphic sign still remains on the east side of the building.
It's an H&M ad! Come on, who doesn't love H&M?
Some people, apparently. The blog actually provides Stephen Brandman's email addy, and the author encourages people who are unhappy with the "owners' custodianship of an historic building" to voice their concerns to Brandman directly. While we're sure the B-man will read and respond to those emails, we're going to go ahead and throw out a bit of unsolicited advice here: maybe wait until Smyth Tribeca is up and running you may get a better response once the opening-delay crisis is over with.