A Day in the Life of Hotelier Jason Pomeranc
Published: April 2009
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Thompson Hotel’s cofounder Jason Pomeranc spends his days building—and dreaming—big. Here’s a look at his schedule, from morning to night.
8:15 a.m. Jason Pomeranc (pronounced “pom-mer-antz”), the 37-year-old entrepreneur behind the growing Thompson Hotels group, sleeps through his alarm (twice) and gets a late start on a Manhattan day. No matter. A self-described “nocturnal kind of guy,” he usually stays up late brainstorming ideas for the portfolio of mod-luxe hotels he owns with his two brothers and business partner Stephen Brandman. (They currently have eight U.S. properties, including five in New York City and two in Los Angeles.)
10:00 a.m. It’s a short walk from the gym to the Thompson Hotels offices, where the studiously unshaven Pomeranc strides into a meeting of his New York GM’s. On the agenda for discussion: slippers. Or more specifically, whether flip-flops or slip-ons belong in the rooms of his new hotel Thompson LES, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Pomeranc chooses the former for their dual use at the hotel’s roof-deck pool, which has an image of Andy Warhol printed across its bottom.
10:30 a.m. Next up: a call with restaurateur Jonathan Morr about their joint venture, BondSt, the restaurant at the Thompson Beverly Hills. Pomeranc, who is as concerned with creating buzz for his hotels as he is with details like thread counts, is planning the design of a promotional mailer to send to Hollywood A-listers. Behind him hangs his inspiration board, a collage of images of everyone from Steve McQueen to Bernard-Henri Lévy.
11:30 a.m. He then heads to the conference room to meet with another culinary partner, chef Todd English, to discuss their clubby restaurant, the Libertine, set to open this month in Pomeranc’s Gild Hall hotel, a converted Holiday Inn in New York’s Financial District. Pomeranc proposes running a series of VIP tastings and setting up a secret reservations hotline. After the meeting, the pair leaves the Thompson offices for a site inspection of the Libertine.
12:50 p.m. Surrounded by sawdust, Pomeranc, English, and Gild Hall designer Jim Walrod tour the still bare-bones space. With details like a quirky antler chandelier and mahogany bookshelves, the restaurant is meant to resemble a 19th-century drawing room.
2:00 p.m. Next stop: the Chelsea-based architecture and interior design firm Studio Gaia, to look at renderings of upcoming Thompson hotels in Toronto, Seoul, and San Juan. Pomeranc pores over the details of his Canadian property—everything from the type of projector they’ll put in the screening room to the atmosphere of a private, members-only club he’s creating.
3:15 p.m. After eating a sandwich back at his office, he dashes in late for a meeting with his bankers to analyze the financials on future projects.
6:00 p.m. Pomeranc—changed into a crisp, white short-sleeve shirt after a stop at his apartment—arrives at the nearly completed Thompson LES, where he ponders the construction of a profitable mini-bar; in the case of the LES, it includes trail mix from Dean & Deluca, Tocca candles, and a Kiki de Montparnasse Intimacy Kit.
7:10 p.m. Over a cocktail at 60 Thompson’s A60 rooftop bar, Pomeranc powwows with girlfriend Ali Wise, a fashion public-relations executive, and music industry veteran Julie Panebianco about the creation of a Thompson-branded CD. Pomeranc favors indie musicians, including Santogold and Iron & Wine.
8:20 p.m. Now it’s off to 6 Columbus hotel’s Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill for a dinner meeting with Steve Garbarino, the editor of Thompson Hotel’s magazine, Room 100. But it’s not all business: the meal of fried chicken, cucumber rolls, and sake devolves into planning a motorcycle trip through Laos.
11:45 p.m. Rather than moving on to mix with regulars Chloë Sevigny and Scarlett Johansson at the downtown haunt, the Beatrice Inn lounge, Pomeranc calls it an early night and heads home, where he’s back on the BlackBerry till 1:30 a.m.
6 Columbus Circle; 212/204-3000; thompsonhotels.com; doubles from $395.
60 Thompson St.; 877/431-0400; thompsonhotels.com; doubles from $699.
15 Gold St.; 212/232-7700; thompsonhotels.com; doubles from $499.
190 Allen St.; 212/460-5300; thompsonhotels.com; doubles from $599.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
At 6 Columbus; 212/397-0404; dinner for two $120.
At Gild Hall; 212/232-7700.
At 60 Thompson; 212/219-2000; drinks for two $20.
285 W. 12th; no phone.