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.

Please visit http://www.benchmarkmanagement.com for more information.

Mr. Murray can be contacted at +1 703-729-8400 or mmurray@benchmarkmanagement.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.