Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Murray

Michael Murray

Director of Technology, Lansdowne Resort

Michael Murray was born and raised in the Downeast area of Maine and by age 11 had developed a passion for writing. After graduating from George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill he moved back to Bangor to take classes for Psychology at the University of Maine. While working in one of the few VCR repair shops in the area he found he enjoyed working with electronics and frequently ended up working beyond the original scope of the store. Mr. Murray soon began working with the first large-chain video retailer to open in the state and took part in their computer-based inventory control. He also became a key player on the task force to open and manage their first location to heavily feature gaming and PC technology, client interaction, and ways to bring in new products. After moving to the San Francisco Bay area in 1996, Mr. Murray focused his career exclusively in the Audio Visual field before relocating to the Washington DC area in 1998. Recognizing the need to integrate technology into all aspects of the field, he took whatever steps he could with new PC's as they became available to utilize them for back-office operations as well as front of house guest services. Having been with Lansdowne Resort now for over 12 years in both the Audio Visual and IT fields Mr. Murray has become familiar with the tendency of technology to shift in both slow, subtle ways as well as dramatic, rapid fashion. In his current position as the Event Technology Manager, Mr. Murray is responsible for both the AV and IT aspects of guests at the Resort. He has been honored by Lansdowne as Manager of the quarter, Employee of the Year, “Best of the Best,” and is an active member of the Resort's Green Team.

Mr. Murray can be contacted at 703-729-8400 or mmurray@benchmarkmanagement.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.