Wednesday, 25 May 2011

"The Murray"

May 25, 2011

I sat down yesterday to start writing another edition of our monthly newsletter "The Murray" and it got me thinking.  How long has "The Murray" been going now?  We're kind of big on birthdays around here at the moment having just celebrated the 10 years.  So I checked back through my records and realized...."The Murray" is one year old!  How did that happen?  When I mentioned it to Mr. Mahoney, he was surprised too.  It certainly doesn't seem that long ago that we started talking about it.  How could we connect with our guests?  How can we answer their questions?  How about a Newsletter.  Now, what started as an email blitz to around 100 email addresses has blossomed into a web-based email forum sent to around 3500 addresses!!!!!

We didn't want to stop there though.  Then we added a Facebook, and then Twitter, and in the middle of it all.....this blog. 

Why?  Well, it all boils down to this.  We want to talk to you and we hope that you want to talk to us.  The gratifying part is that you have.  We get so many comments back from "The Murray".  The Contest obviously gets a LOT of response.  Who doesn't want to win a night of pampering at the Hotel?  But, mixed in among the responses, are the comments.

How do people feel about us?  We know how we feel about Murray Premises Hotel - this beautiful, historic building, saved from destruction and turned into a thriving hotel - sounds like a movie plot and we're the superheroes!  Do others feel our passion?  It's always great to hear nice things from people on the outside.  People who spend their honeymoon with us  People who come to St. John's once a month and always stay with us.  People who are being wooed by other hotels, but would rather stay with us.  People experiencing Newfoundland and St. John's for the very first time. That's what it's all about.  Any hotel, any where, lives and dies by the feedback from it's guests and we're humbled by the fact that our guests like us.

If any of this has "tweaked" your interest and you'd like to get onto our mailing list, just click here to send an email with your address or just follow our blog.  The next edition of "The Murray" - our "One-Year Anniversary Edition" will be coming out around June 1st.  We hope that you won't miss it.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Week After....

May 18, 2011

The cake is cut.  The dishes are washed.  The banner has been taken down.  The balloons are slowly fading away.  The flowers are hanging in there...for now.  The celebration of our 10th Anniversary is just about over.  Time to get back down to business.

Yesterday though, we topped it off by taking the opportunity to sit down with each other to share the accomplishment.  Lunch for the team at The Gypsy Tea Room was lovely.  Great food, great company and a great chance to make sure that our team, the heroes of it all, know how much they're appreciated.  We call them our team but it really is more like a family here and I believe a lot of that has to do with the great people that we have and the great building that we represent.  It's different you know - working and representing a great old building like this.  It gets into your heart and soul and we all feel the same way.  Employees who have been with us for years feel protective.  New employees marvel that they get to work here!

So at this time, we'd like to say thank you and congratulations to (in no particular order):

Our amazing front office team - Adam, Bill, Brent, Frances and Johnathan.  And, welcome aboard Tim, Alex and Mark.  We're glad to have you join us.  This is the team that is at the beginning and end of each and every hotel experience.  They answer the calls, make the reservations, check you in, recommend restaurants and attractions, give directions and then at the end of it all wish you a great day and hope that you enjoyed your stay.  In between, they're the ones that answer all the questions - the good and the, well, unusual!!!!!  Believe me when I say that they've heard it all.  At the head of this team is David and that's all that needs to be said!

Our Breakfast attendants, Debbie and Os - starting everyone's day with a smile and a hot cup of coffee.  Glenn, keeping the inside spaces neat, clean and tidy.  Joe, keeping the outside spaces neat, clean and tidy.  And, Tom filling in wherever we need him.

And then, the unsung heroes of any hotel.  Working in the background - the housekeepers.  I'm sure that I don't even need to tell you that what they do isn't easy.  It's hard work and we could couldn't do it without them.  We're thrilled that you're here Diane, Laurie, Tracey, Claudette and Melinda.

From all of us on the management team:  Kelly Finlay - General Manager, Lori Coleman - Sales Associate, Jean Dwyer and Dawn Ring in Administration, Hilary Simpson (me!) - Director of Operations and the head of it all, Bill Mahoney, we say, "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.  Here's to 10 More Years"

......and NOW, back to business.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Open House

May 12, 2011 
On Thursday, May 12th, we shined up our hallways, polished the brass, opened the doors and invited everyone in!  And they had a great time!  After 10 years, we had a lot to celebrate. 

Bill Mahoney is extremely proud of the accomplishment and with good reason.  From a building that was scheduled for demolition, a spectacular building has been created.  A national historic site, containing shops, restaurants and a beautiful boutique hotel.   Check out his speech here.
We were excited to have both the Mayor of St. John’s, Dennis O’Keefe and the Acting Mayor, Shannie Duff  with us to cut the cake.  The Mayor, looking great after some health troubles.  The Acting Mayor as Chair of the Heritage Committee has always been a friend of Murray Premises so we were thrilled to have her.  It’s times like these that new stories come out and we were amazed to hear about the incredibly deep connection that Shannie has to us.  Little did we know that it was her, with a placard out front of the building, protesting the demolition that saved this amazing building.  In a day, when we hear so many stories of people who “remember” beautiful buildings, isn’t it great to hear about one that didn’t fall to the wrecking ball!
Want to check out some pictures from the event?  They’re all here. 

So what's next? The busy summer season looms ahead.  Phones are ringing off the hook as people prepare their trips - business and leisure alike.  We're ready for summer #11.  Let's go!

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Time has Arrived!

I wanted to put out a quick word because it's a big week for us let me tell you.  The big 10!  Lots of preparation going on for our Open House on Thursday!  If you're going to be around between 12 Noon and 2:00pm, we would love to have you drop in.  At approximately 12:15pm Shannie Duff, the Acting Mayor of St. John's will be cutting the cake.  We'll have lots of prizes to give away as welll......  If you haven't seen our rooms, this is the perfect opportunity. 

If you can't make it, we understand completely.  In the meantime, if you'd like to feel a part of the celebration, I'll be updating the blog on Friday.   

And then it gets even better.  You're hearing about it here first!  On Friday, May 13th (yes, Friday the 13th) we're making our TV debut.  Check out the NTV news on Friday for "Places to go with Sharon Snow" and you'll be treated to a first hand interview with Bill Mahoney, the owner.  Plus you'll get a great view of the property. 

So, check back with us on Friday for all the details on the Open House.  I'll have pictures and maybe videos too. 

Hope you can join us!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

That’s it! It’s Official. We’re 10 Years Old.

May 4, 2011

Wow!  It doesn’t seem like a long time until you think of all of the changes that have happened in the last 10 years. So I went around the building to our team - some new and some, well, not so new and said, “We’re Ten Years Old – “What does that mean to you?”
First I asked Lori – Sales Associate.  “Being relatively new to the team, I’m always amazed when I’m talking to clients and hear over and over again, how much we’ve grown and that our clients feel like they’ve been a part of it because they’ve been with us since the beginning.  They’ve seen all the changes and they keep coming back.  I love that.”

Next I went to Debbie from our breakfast room.  “10 Years?  Hey, I just realized that I’ve been here for 3 years tomorrow.  Did that ever go quickly.  It’s been so much fun that I didn’t even notice it.”

I went for another little walk and came across Diane from our housekeeping department.  “You know what I really love.  It’s that no matter what’s happening or how busy everyone is, we always pull together.  I love the team spirit.  More like a family than a place to work.”

And then I found our General Manager, Kelly.  "It's hard to believe that its 10 years.  I can still remember my old office when I was with Destination St. John's, on the 2nd floor.  Hard to belive the office is now Rooms 201 and 203.  Every time I walk into those rooms with clients, I show them where my desk was!!!"
When I ran into Laurie and Tracey from our housekeeping department they also mentioned the team spirit here, “We laugh so much.  We’ve both worked here for a while now and some people have been here since the beginning.  Sometimes when that happens it gets kind of “stale” but not here.  We have too much fun.”
And what do I think?  Every day that I walk into the building I’m blown away by the fact that this building was almost demolished!  I'm so glad that it was saved and lovingly restored.  I’m just happy that I get to be a part of the its new history.

Finally, I’ll leave the last words to David because he’s been here from the beginning and seen it all.  When I asked him he said, “10 Years!  More than a quarter of my life!  I feel like I’ve been the lucky one.  It’s not often that you get a hotel “grow up” from the inside out.” 
Next week the blog continues.  Hope you’ll check back.