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#001: Michelle Heurung, Owner of the Lamberson Guest House, Tells Her Story of Tragedy and Triumph

Jun 21, 2018

For our premier Episode #1 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Michelle Heurung, the owner and operator of the Lamberson Guest House in Galena Illinois, who shares her story of tragedy and triumph.

Living the dream of opening and operating a B&B comes with many exciting challenging and life-changing opportunities – many that are completely unexpected.

As the owner of Lamberson Guest House, a bed and breakfast in Galena, Illinois, a historic town with 32 B&Bs and a large Main Street area that has a diverse offering of local restaurants, shops, and other attractions, Michelle’s story is truly remarkable.

Having opened her B&B about 18 months ago, Michelle is relatively new to the world of innkeeping. She and her husband, Brian, fulfilled their decades-long dream of owning a B&B in Galena when they purchased the home that ultimately became the Lamberson Guest House.

After a whirlwind renovation, they opened their doors to guests just 4 months after they bought it. Then, only 6 weeks later, Brian – Michelle’s husband, partner, and the love of her life – passed away unexpectedly. Her story is one of passion, tragedy, community support, perseverance, and triumph, which she has been kind enough to share in this podcast.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  • How Michelle got into the B&B business and purchased the Lamberson Guest House. (1:55)
  • Some of the early challenges that Michelle faced when she purchased the property. (6:11)
  • Insights into how Michelle handled the business in the wake of her husband’s death. (8:36)
  • How she has tapped into other business owners and the community in Galena, who helped her get through this tough time in her life. (11:54)
  • Her greatest joys and challenges of being a B&B owner today. (17:07)
  • What Michelle would have done differently in hindsight during this challenging time. (20:11)
  • How she got connected with the larger Galena business community. (38:50)
  • How her connections with local businesses help enhance her guests’ stays. (41:11)
  • How the Frictionless Guest App helps strengthen Michelle’s ties with area businesses. (43:51)

We would like to thank Michelle for sharing her special story. You can learn more about the Lamberson Guest House by visiting their website.