We are currently moving forward with plans to hold the 26th annual Lodging Conference commencing on Monday, September 21st at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

Over the past several months we have been in touch with hundreds of industry executives and clearly, we all want to gather again in person. During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to share strategies for surviving & thriving during this crisis and to make deals that will continue to ensure the success of our hotels and our companies, but obviously this all needs to be done in a smart and safe way. Please know that we have placed the utmost importance on implementing measures that will ensure the health and safety of our attendees, sponsors, exhibitors and personnel including adhering to AHLA's Safe Stay™ initiatives, Marriott's Commitment To Clean, and the recommendations of the CDC.

AHLA's Safe Stay ™ Initiatives

Marriott's Commitment to Clean - Hotel Spaces

Video: https://clean.marriott.com/

Our goal is to provide a safe space for our conference attendees. In addition to the specific AHLA Stay Safe Initiatives and the Marriott Commitment to Clean Standards for Hotel Spaces linked to above, in conjunction with The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort we are also implementing the following protocols throughout this year's Lodging Conference:

- We are requiring everyone to wear a mask during their time at the conference, in all public spaces, with the only exception being the time they are eating or drinking. Once finished eating or drinking masks will have to be worn again. Individuals not wearing a mask will not be permitted to attend the conference. The hotel will require masks in all public spaces as well.

- In addition to a social distancing seating set-up in our General Session, the General Sessions will also be streamed into the guest rooms on the hotel TV channel for any guests that would like to watch those sessions from the comfort of their guest rooms

- In a typical year we would have up to 7 Think Tank/breakout sessions in any given time period - this year, for social distancing purposes we will only be having 5 breakouts per time period so that we can use larger rooms for each breakout without subdividing the rooms with airwalls and thus providing ample space in each breakout for each person to socially distance. We will also have our staff outside the rooms limiting the number of people in each room

- Social distancing signage and floor decals will be placed throughout the hotel

- All of our meals and refreshment breaks will be outdoors and social distancing seating will be implemented at all of the tables

- All food and water stations will be serviced by the JW team and there will not be self-serve options for attendees

- The JW's restaurants will require reservations to control the flow when busy and that reservation system is going to be incorporated into the Marriott Bonvoy app

- The JW is implementing roomless key mobile entry to the guest rooms so that there is one less touchpoint, but if you require a physical room key the front desk will have UV boxes there to sanitize the keys

- To best control the overall conference environment, the hotel will not be allowing outsiders/non-conference attendees to enter the hotel

- The hotel will also be installing the following type of air filters in all public spaces: MERV 13 LEED pleated air filters, which are designed to meet the air-filtration efficiency criteria required for earning points toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building certification. MERV 13 air filters provide close to 90% efficiency for filtering particles between 3 and 10 microns in size (such as mold spores, dusting aids, and cement dust). They also provide between 80% and 85% efficiency for filtering particles between 1 and 3 microns in size (such as legionella, lead dust, humidifier dust, coal dust, and nebulizer droplets) and between 35% and 50% efficiency for filtering particles between 0.30 and 1 micron in size (such as bacteria, most smoke, sneeze nuclei, insecticide dust, copier toner, and face powder).

Given the current environment and social distancing protocols, our attendance at this year's Lodging Conference will be limited and more exclusive. We will not be sacrificing quality for quantity.

During this crisis, we have also had to re-think every aspect of building and operating hotels and this is reflected in our conference program: https://www.lodgingconference.com/agenda.html

Of course this year's conference will look and feel different than past year's, but staying on top of all of the changes within the hospitality industry and having meaningful conversations with other industry leaders at this year's Lodging Conference may now be more important than ever for you and your company.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns that we can address in order to make this the best possible conference for everyone.

We look forward to seeing you in September at this historical pivotal moment!

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