Management firms Joie de Vivre, Thompson Hotels merge
By Danny King
New York-based Thompson Hotels and
San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre Hospi-
tality have merged. The resulting manage-
ment company combines the luxury and
boutique hotel operators and expands the
coast-to-coast presence for what had been
two independent companies.
50% of JT Hospitality. Thompson Hotels CEO Stephen Brandman will serve
as CEO of the newly merged company,
which will be based in New York. John
Pritzker, whose Geolo Capital acquired a
majority stake in Joie de Vivre last year,
will be co-chairman.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
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The merger gives the 33-property Joie
de Vivre an affiliation with Thompson’s
five New York hotels, including a property
flagged as a 60 Thompson and another
flagged as 6 Columbus. Thompson, whose
West Coast presence includes the Hollywood Roosevelt and Thompson Beverly
Hills, will now get San Francisco exposure
through Joie de Vivre properties such as
Galleria Park and the Hotel Drisco.
“We get five properties in Manhat-
tan, and it gives Thompson an enormous
California presence,” said Pritzker, whose
father, Jay Pritzker, founded Hyatt. “We
think there’s a big opportunity in the
niche we occupy.”
The new company will unveil a global
branding strategy during the first quarter
of 2012. Pritzker said the branding strat-
egy will give both entities a chance to ad-
dress “a real glitch”: the fact that Joie de
Vivre’s properties each carried its own
The merged company, which now oversees Joie de Vivre’s Carmel Valley Ranch
and Ventana Inn & Spa in Central California, also plans to pursue more management contracts and to create a resort
The new company is strictly a branding and management entity and does not
include real estate holdings, though the
merger gives JT Hospitality access to the
$150 million that Geolo Capital previously set aside for hotel acquisitions, and
JT Hospitality would manage the new
“Joie de Vivre has been looking for
a CEO since Pritzker bought it, and
Thompson has established leadership,”
said Rick Swig, president of hotel consultant RSBA & Associates. “And the marketing and stylistic cachet of Joie de Vivre
will benefit Thompson. Given that New
York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are
each within the top five demand generators for the other cities, this presents a
great opportunity for the hotels and their
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San Francisco’s Galleria Park Hotel, a Joie de Vivre property.