Tuesday, 14 February 2012

If you remove it, will they come?

For many years we have been using our H.M.S. Breton Room to host meetings, receptions and numerous other types of functions.  Although successful, we’re always looking for ways to improve and this month we decided to tackle one of the things that had always been targeted as a challenge.  Those darn beams!!!  We’ve talked about it a lot – How do you preserve the character of a 166 year old building while at the same time, making it functional.  In the meeting room.....those beams are trouble.  Right in the middle of the room, they are approximately twelve inches square and right in the middle of the sight lines.  So, we came up with a plan. 

What happens if you replace a square twelve inch beam with a round, black metal pole?

Now, we don’t take this kind of thing lightly.  We’re custodians of the building and as such we don’t like to make significant changes to the way the builders did things but in this case, we decided to go for it. 
The outcome is quite startling.  Beams that used to create sight challenges and seating nightmares are barely visible any more.  A meeting room that could accommodate 25 – 30 for a comfortable meeting can now take up to 40 – 45.  

But, don’t take our word for it....take a look at the photographic proof.  Better yet, why not stop in and take a look for yourself.  You’ll be amazed at the difference. 

Oh, and our new sales associate, Jordan Dicks would be happy to show you around.  Jordan Dicks you say?????  Stay tuned.  Full details on Jordan will be in our next blog-edition.  We’ll let her get her feet wet and then she can tell you all about herself. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Santa's Helpers have been busy, busy, busy this past week, decorating the hotel for Christmas - we have a great team of elves.  Although a daunting task, it's still one of my favourite times (as much as I pretend to "Grinch" about it underneath my breath).  I like watching it come together - bit by bit.  I like having people come through the lobby and having people stop by to see the big Christmas Tree.

About the Christmas Tree.  We have a new one this year.  A beautiful 9 foot tree with pretty white lights that stretches right to the ceiling.

This may not seem like a big deal if you don't know about the tree we had previously.  It was 12 feet tall and last year we put that 12 foot tree in a lobby with 9 foot ceilings - we just didn't put the top on it.  It looked like it was stretching up right into the rafters.  As usual around this place - imaginations ran wild.  Someone was all for putting the top of the tree on the roof so it looked like the tree grew up through the whole building.  Someone else thought that we should cut a hole in the floor of the room right above it and put the tree top through it.  The last bright spark in all of the crazy ideas was to turn the tree into an upside down tree so no one would notice that the top was missing. 

And then, there's the wreath on the front door.  We've never had so many people comment and be completely confused by a wreath.  It hangs on the two swinging front doors.  Right in the middle.  It looks like it covers over the door itself - and it stops some people right in their tracks.  How do you open the door?  There's a wreath over it.  The wreath is cut in half!  Once past the initial, "Um, what?" you get to the "Wow, that's pretty cool!"

We're still decorating but if you want to pop down to take a look.....please do.  In the meantime, hope you have fun with your decorating.  

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Remembrance Day

The time of year is again upon us when we take a 
moment to remember.

Remember our fallen soldiers.

Remember all those who have served.

Remember those who are serving.

Remember those left behind at home.

Remember those who have given.

Remember what has been taken away.

Remember and just say thanks.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Shhhhh - Christmas is coming!

I know that it's all lingering in the back of our minds and it will happen more quickly that we can imagine, but the Christmas season will soon be upon us! Here at the hotel, it starts at this time of year with the planning of the lobby decoration.  It's a big space with high ceilings which means you get to have lots more fun!

This is only my second year decorating here.  It seems like such a daunting task when you first start.  We pull out everything and pile it all up in the meeting room and then we start a plan.  First the big tree - The big tree in the lobby.  Luckily we have some pretty talented tree decorators on staff.....oh and some tall people too.  Everyone who has to decorate a big tree should be able to hire one tall person!

Then we start the planning of the team Christmas Party.  Our staff look forward to it every year because it's the time when we all get to sit down and just enjoy each others company. 

So, are you the person in your office who has to plan your Christmas Party?  Just a thought......why not treat your team to something special here at the hotel.  We've got a variety of options that will leave your team knowing that they're valued and appreciated and at the end of the day, you can treat yourself as a reward for a job well done!

Give us a call......Try Lori at 738-7773. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Sometimes, Time Does Stand Still

We’ve all heard about the long history of Murray Premises – the building but sometimes we forget that along with the building, there’s a long history of businesses that have operated here.  People who showed up at the door each and every morning, ready to put in a full days’ work.  

Occasionally, little things stand out as reminders though.  The other day, I was in a guest room and happened to glance at one of the beams and noticed that some counting hash marks were engraved into the wood – four vertical lines with a slash mark across the middle.  Rumour has it that this was a typical method of counting fish in the A.H. Murray Company was operating right down on the harbour.  

I wonder if any of you could guess what this is?  

A couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to be able to purchase the original time clock for the A.H. Murray Company dating back into the 1800’s.
The Dey’s Dial Recorder from W.A. Wood Company of Montreal, shows the number of each employee around the circumference of the large dial on the front of the machine.  The employee recorded their starting and stopping time by positioning the pivoted pointer arm to their own number and then pressing it into the guide hole, thereby printing the exact time opposite their number on a prepared sheet in the machine.  Remarkable!  

Do you know of any antiques or artifacts that you’d like to share with us?  We’re always eager to hear about anything that you might have that links to our past. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Catching Up

I believe apologies are in order....sorry that it’s been such a long time since I blogged last.  What a summer it has been.  We’ve been busier that we’ve ever been before.   I can’t believe that it’s been almost a month since I sat down to write and we were suffering through Fogust!  Now here we are butting up against the Labour Day weekend, a sure mark of the end of summer and finally our summer has arrived.  How not to enjoy warm sunshiny days? 

So, what have we been up to since we last chatted?  Let’s start with the courtyard.  Just a few blogs ago, I showed you a courtyard under construction. 

And now you ask?  I won’t say that Mother Nature was exactly “kind” to the Gypsy Tea Room because when they were finally ready to serve their first guests “al fresco” the weather changed and dining outside was only a dream.  This weather though is more like a dream come true now and on a beautiful summer evening a few weekends ago, dream became reality. 

This summer also brought us another highlight and quite an honour as Murray Premises Hotel was chosen to host Rick Hanson and his team as they began the 25th Anniversary of the Man In Motion Tour.  For three nights, Rick used us as his home base to begin his journey – starting at Cape Spear.   Press conferences were held.  Interviews were conducted.  Pictures were taken.  We can all only stand back in awe of this remarkable individual and wish him well as he travels across the country.  We were thrilled that he took the time for a picture (in the new and improved courtyard!) with:  (l-r) Kelly Finlay (General Manager), Rick Hanson, Lori Coleman (Sales Associate), Adam Chiu (Guest Services Agent). 

If you want to follow Rick as he travels across the country, go to his website:  Rick Hanson 25th Anniversary Relay

To all of you, we wish a happy Labour Day Weekend.  Here’s hoping for sunshine, warm breezes and plenty of family.  Happy Labour Day Everyone!

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Joys of "Summer" in Newfoundland!

Ahhhhh August.  Or as we're calling it here - Fogust or Augember or Fogagedon or Augtober.  Maybe just call it "Summer in Newfoundland".  Anyway you look at it, it makes enjoying our beautiful province a bit of a challenge.  Twitter has been buzzing with all the different words to describe our weather.  We're certainly not short of creativity although I have to give credit where credit is due - "Fogust" is also trending out there on the other side of the country.

Hats off to our exceptionally, resilient travellers though - Or maybe hats on!  Today is just one of those days.  Pea Soup has nothing on our fog today and the airport has become something closer to a waiting room.

Just a little while ago I was helping a large group of people as they struggled to get all of their luggage into the hotel.  I mentioned how tough it was, lugging around all the bags and that they looked like they could use some help.  As I'm holding the door, one of them says those words that we all dread.  "Our flight was cancelled".  Turns out that they were on their way back from the airport where they had learned that our weather had gotten the better of them.  We chat some more as the front desk team tries to hurriedly figure out where we can put them.  It's madness as the phone rings off the hook.  People need rooms, people cancel rooms, people need to stay.  Pure craziness! 

In the end though, keys in hand they head back upstairs to rest and relax.  That's when you hear it.  One of them turns to the other and says, "I guess we just weren't supposed to leave". 

And even with all the nuisance and frustration, they really didn't sound unhappy!  Just point them in the direction of George Street.