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Commune Hotels & Resorts Appoints Niki Leondakis as New CEO

New York, November 7, 2012 -John Pritzker, Co-Chairman of Commune Hotels & Resorts, named Niki Leondakis to serve as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.  Ms. Leondakis joins Commune from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group where she most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer. 

After nearly 20 years with Kimpton, Ms. Leondakis makes the move at a pivotal time of expansion for Commune Hotels & Resorts.  Ms. Leondakis’ breadth of experience brings key operational leadership, as Commune’s forty-six hotel portfolio is poised to become increasingly influential and one of the more diverse lifestyle brands in the hospitality industry.

Pritzker commented, “Niki’s work at Kimpton exhibited her passion and balanced approach to leadership. Having Niki partner with us at this time gives her a unique opportunity to impact all aspects of the company during a period of rapid expansion.”

The selection of Ms. Leondakis, an accomplished operator who successfully served Kimpton in multiple leadership positions, speaks to Commune’s commitment to superior service and efficient operations and its belief that its hotels should reflect the local color.  She joins a growing team of industry leaders in development, finance, design and marketing, who will lead the company’s expansion into the key markets of London, Miami, Chicago, New York City, Seattle, Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii and the heart of Silicon Valley – Palo Alto, California.

About Commune Hotels & Resorts:

In June of 2010, Geolo Capital, a private equity firm founded by John Pritzker, purchased a majority stake in Joie de Vivre Hospitality with plans to expand the brand beyond its California portfolio.  The following year, Geolo Capital and New York’s Pomeranc family merged their hospitality interests to form Commune Hotels & Resorts.  The resulting merger combined the more than 30 boutique hotels operated by Joie de Vivre Hospitality with the twelve luxury Thompson Hotels to form an international collection of lifestyle properties.  Since the formation of Commune Hotels & Resorts, the company has announced its acquisition of and/or management of the iconic 5 Beekman in New York’s financial district, Chicago’s historic Chicago Athletic Association, Thompson Chicago (formerly Sutton Place Hotel), Thompson Ocean Drive (formerly the Hotel Victor) and Epiphany in Palo Alto, California, among others.

About Joie de Vivre Hotels

Since its founding in San Francisco in 1987, Joie de Vivre has made curating authentically local and eclectic experiences its signature. Each one of Joie de Vivre's more than 30 hotels is an original concept designed to reflect its location and to engage the five senses. Today, the company manages the largest collection of boutique hotels and resorts in California and is expanding outside the state with hotels in Chicago, Honolulu and Scottsdale, Ariz.

Founded in 2001 with the launch of its first project, 60 Thompson, Thompson Hotels is an international hospitality company that offers sophisticated luxury to its discerning clientele.  The Thompson portfolio of lifestyle hotels includes 60 Thompson, Gild Hall, 6 Columbus, Thompson LES and Smyth Tribeca in New York City; the famed Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and Thompson Beverly Hills in Los Angeles; and Thompson Toronto and the recently opened Belgraves in London.  Sutton Place in Chicago and Hotel Victor in Miami, also part of the portfolio, will re-launch as Thompson Chicago and Thompson Ocean Drive, respectively, later this year, following multi-million dollar renovations.  Thompson Hotels also has multiple new projects in development, including the iconic 5 Beekman Street, and Thompson Cabo San Lucas.  For more information please visit .

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Press Contacts:

Jennifer Foley Shields
VP of Communications and Special Projects
T. 212.204.6493

Karolina Kielbowicz
Sr. Director of Public Relations
T. 415.773.1067