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Bi-weekly podcast

Safe Travels During the Pandemic

From airports to resorts to restaurants, this episode of the California Now Podcast explores how different segments of the travel industry are innovating to put consumers at ease

Despite restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers are slowly but surely turning their vacation daydreams into reality. And as we quickly discover during this podcast, California is ready for them.

Host Soterios Johnson first checks in with San Francisco International Airport Public Information Officer Doug Yakel to get a feel for the scene at this busy travel hub. Masks and social distancing are top priorities, of course, but the airport has introduced a variety of other enhancements designed to help get the country moving again.

Innovation is also the name of the game at Montage International, as Executive Vice President James Bermingham explains. Thanks to its Peace of Mind commitment, Montage Academy program, and partnership with One Medical, guests at Montage Laguna Beach and Pendry San Diego can relax with confidence. Finally, Johnson chats with San Luis Obispo brewery owner Hamish Marshall, who discusses safety protocols, entertainment pivots, and how California businesses can take advantage of the great weather.


Doug Yakel, public information officer at San Francisco International Airport

James Bermingham, Executive Vice President of Operations for Montage International and Pendry Hotels

Hamish Marshall, owner of SLO Brew and Rod & Hammer's SLO Stills


Doug Yakel says SFO is seeing air travelers come through at about 85 percent below normal travel levels, but he's confident the numbers will increase in the coming months.


Travel Well Ambassadors

SF Travel


If you're working remotely, why not work remotely at a luxurious resort? As James Bermingham points out, Montage and Pendry properties are ready to accommodate leisure travelers, remote workers, and students.

Montage Laguna Beach

Pendry San Diego

One Medical

Montage Academy


Montage Healdsburg

Pendry West Hollywood

Visit West Hollywood

Hamish Marshall, owner of SLO Brew and Rod & Hammer's SLO Stills, says the bar and restaurant scene in San Luis Obispo is making a comeback.

SLO Brew

Rod & Hammer's SLO Stills

San Luis Obispo

Downtown San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport

About the Host

Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis in 2016. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson will use the California Now Podcast platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.

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