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Lodging Leaders

Business & Economics Podcasts

Lodging Leaders is an award-winning weekly podcast that examines news and topics trending in the hotel industry, shared through engaging stories told by co-hosts Jon Albano and Judy Maxwell, and amplified by interviews with hospitality experts and other thought leaders.

Lodging Leaders is an award-winning weekly podcast that examines news and topics trending in the hotel industry, shared through engaging stories told by co-hosts Jon Albano and Judy Maxwell, and amplified by interviews with hospitality experts and other thought leaders.


United States


Lodging Leaders is an award-winning weekly podcast that examines news and topics trending in the hotel industry, shared through engaging stories told by co-hosts Jon Albano and Judy Maxwell, and amplified by interviews with hospitality experts and other thought leaders.




(404) 594-4484


310 | Hotels Convert to Housing: Federal COVID-19-relief funds fuel transactions

Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local...


309 | ‘Stay the Course’: Kathleen Bertrand recalls hospitality career focused on growth through diversity

Kathleen Bertrand believes Atlanta is a city where dreams can come true. A jazz recording artist, she served at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau for more than 30 years, finding new ways to promote to the world the best things about the city she calls a “melting pot” of races and cultures. In Episode 309 of Lodging Leaders podcast Bertrand gets vocal and tells her story of rising through the ranks as one of the few Black women in leadership in the tourism industry. This session is...


308 | From Guests’ Mouths to Managers’ Ears: J.D. Power study reveals what satisfies hotel customers in COVID-19 age

Crestline Hotels & Resorts, a third-party management company in Fairfax, Virginia, recently celebrated its first-place position in J.D. Power’s inaugural Third-Party Hotel Management Guest Satisfaction Benchmark. Long Live Lodging features Aaron Olson, senior vice president of operations at Crestline, and Andrea Stokes, who led the benchmark study at J.D. Power. They share best practices hotel managers are implementing to keep guest satisfaction at an all-time high, especially in the midst...


307 | ‘A National Story’: Black travel in America evolved with the Civil Rights Movement

Noelle Trent is director of interpretation, collections and education at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. The museum is in the historic Lorraine Motel, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The venue is hosting the Smithsonian Institution’s The Negro Motorist Green Book exhibition, which tells the history of Black travel in mid-20th-century America. In this report, Long Live Lodging explores how African Americans travelers learned to...


306 | Calculated Risks: Catastrophic 2020 means higher insurance costs for hotels

Ben Seidel is founder, president and chief executive of Real Hospitality Group, a third-party manager with a portfolio of more than 100 hotels. Like most owners and managers, Seidel and his team view the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest risk facing hotel performance but acknowledge that other threats also loom large. The number and severity of climate-related catastrophes in the U.S. broke a record in 2020. As a result, Seidel has seen property insurance costs dramatically increase for...


305 | ‘Traveling on Hospitality’: Andrew Young remembers life on the road toward civil rights

Andrew J. Young Jr. became a civil rights activist 65 years ago, starting as a Baptist minister in Georgia. For more than a decade he traveled alongside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in pursuit of racial equality in America. Young, 88, has a storied career of public service. He served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a U.S. congressman and mayor of Atlanta. In this special report, Young shares his remembrances of hoteliers and private homeowners showing hospitality to civil...


304 | ‘This is Huge’: Choice Hotels makes history with Black-owned multi-unit deal

As a former analyst with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fred Washington knows commercial real estate development, if done with the community in mind, can change residents’ quality of life. Washington wants to do the same thing with the six hotels he’s building in Florida. A new hotel investor, Washington recently made history when he signed Choice Hotels International’s first minority-led multi-unit franchise development deal. This report kicks off Long Live Lodging’s...


303 | Hotel Tech Goes Viral: COVID pandemic forces industry to modernize operations

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing hoteliers to deploy new technology to run more cost-efficient businesses and to ensure customers that properties are safe by providing such services as contactless check in and mobile key. Long Live Lodging explores how the COVID-19 outbreak has invigorated hotels’ adoption of tech solutions and looks at what types of products owners and operators are investing in during the coronavirus crisis and for the post-pandemic era. This report is part of Long Live...


302 | Value Judgment: Hotel asset pricing in COVID-19 age is different from previous recessions

Hotel appraisers and brokers expect distressed assets to come to market as the pandemic recession continues into 2021. Analysts say billions of dollars in private equity are waiting in the wings to acquire hotels underperforming as a result of the coronavirus crisis. But pricing will be different than in previous economic downturns. While a transaction may be distressed, it will not necessarily reflect distress pricing,” said Daniel Lesser of LW Hospitality Advisors. Long Live Lodging...


301 | The Road Warrior Ahead: Business travel will come back ‘with a vengeance,’ say experts

Global business travel is a $1.4 trillion industry. The Global Business Travel Association calculates the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 resulted in a loss of $113 billion in business travel spend in hotels, airlines and other sectors of the travel industry. But all is not lost. GBTA, industry analysts and travel management companies see some green shoots of hope for 2021 as the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out and corporations put some of their people on the road again. This report is part of Long...


300 | 2020 Hindsight: Lodging Leaders reviews hot topics, gives sneak peek of what’s ahead

Long Live Lodging, an online multimedia news organization that covers the hospitality industry, found itself tossing aside its plans for news coverage late in the first quarter of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. and devastated the hospitality industry. The year turned out to be ground-breaking for Long Live Lodging, which developed the industry’s first live digital conference, and its podcast, Lodging Leaders, which increased its followers through timely, credible and...


299 | Conserve Cash, Save the Hotel: What asset managers are doing to survive the long COVID winter

The damage wrought on hotel businesses by the coronavirus pandemic is wide and deep. But the longevity of the pandemic is proving to be truly devastating, especially as the U.S. experiences another surge in the infection rate. In the early days of the crisis, owners, operators and asset managers acted quickly to prevent hotels from closing. Some advisers helped owners weigh the pros and cons of remaining open or temporarily closing. As the pandemic continues its assault, hotel operators are...


298 | Ready to Order: Ghost kitchen concepts may save the restaurant industry

The coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurants to close or scale back in-house dining operations in response to government mandates and residents sheltering in place. The crisis is accelerating the emerging trend of “ghost kitchens,” restaurants that cook up delivery-only menus and depend on third-party delivery services such as DoorDash and Uber Eats to serve their customers. Adding a tech-driven delivery model to any restaurant, whether it’s stand-alone or inside a hotel, could generate...


297 | Reply All: How hotels can use email to build back business

The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of business. Consumer buying habits are no exception as more sales than ever have shifted online. Omnisend recently charted a dramatic increase in consumers’ response to emails from retailers since the start sheltering in place. The hospitality industry can take a page from retailers’ email-marketing playbook as hotels and other accommodations brainstorm for creative ways to reach out to a captive audience of travel consumers. We...


296 | Flexible Business Model: Apartment-hotels are an emerging trend in an industry in crisis

It’s well known extended-stay-hotel and short-term-rental sectors have done better than their transient hotel counterparts during the coronavirus pandemic. Even before the crisis hit, residential-type accommodations were seeing a growth in interest from travelers as well as investors. The COVID-19 outbreak is proving mixed developments of hotel rooms, leased apartments and owned condominiums offer a unique value proposition during and after the pandemic. This report is part of Long Live...


295 | Doing Well: Coronavirus pandemic advances wellness design and programs in hotels

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing the lodging industry to rethink health and wellness. Designers such as Blanche Garcia of B. Garcia Designs see this as an opportunity for hotels to revise their messaging beyond clean and safe by introducing wellness products and programs they can market and attract guests who want to feel good during their stay and return home feeling better than when they left. Those who promote healthy buildings as well as safe travel are exploring how implementing...


294 | She is a Hotel Investor: What She Has a Deal can teach every hotel investor

She Has a Deal, a program that promotes women as hotel owners, last month minted several new investors through its inaugural pitch competition. Long Live Lodging examines what it took for the three women who comprise the team called Datcher to win the top prize of $50,000 in equity in a fund that would include their $27.4 million project proposed for downtown Detroit. Two additional projects proposed during the competition were selected to benefit from She Has a Deal’s first investment fund....


293 | Crisis Managers: Coronavirus challenge redefines GM role

General managers of hotels throughout the U.S. are redefining their job descriptions as they make beds, do laundry, vacuum lobbies and patrol parking lots – all jobs once done by employees they’ve had to lay off when the coronavirus pandemic struck in March. GMs also are charged with cutting costs and finding ways to maintain asset values amid a steep downturn in business. A recent study shows that even though hotels are calling some employees back to work, the number of hours GMs are...


292 | People of Persuasion: Travel influencers grow in sophistication and significance in COVID-19 age

Hoteliers might think of a travel influencer as a selfie-obsessed millennial looking to wrangle a free night stay in exchange for a positive review. But in the COVID-19 age even influencers would agree: Nobody’s got time for that. Influencers have come of age and are turning out to be digitally savvy sophisticated content creators who can be part of a hotel’s marketing strategy as it works to emerge from the coronavirus crisis with new business on the books. Long Live Lodging peeks into the...


291 | On The Brink: Hotel associations lobby on Capitol Hill to ward off disaster

Leaders at AAHOA and the American Hotel & Lodging Association say time is running out for the nation’s 57,000 hotels in need of federal government financial relief as the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. heads into its eighth month. Cecil Staton, president and CEO of AAHOA, and Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, are tirelessly rallying the industry to implore Congress to act soon before half of the country’s hotels go into foreclosure. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the...