Mirrored SICO Room Maker
Mirrored SICO Room Maker

Motif Murphy Bed
Designer Motif King SICO Room Maker
Las Vegas Hospitality Design Expo 2014
Hospitality Design Expo 2014 - Las Vegas

Hotel Murphy Beds

In 1980 I received a phone call from Harrah’s Casino in Reno that asked me to bid the renovation of 34 rooms. They wanted to install Murphy Beds. I phoned up a friend in New York City and asked him, "What the heck is a Murphy Bed?"

After that installation I decided this was the specialty industry I wanted to join. The system I installed in Reno was adequate, but had lots of room for design improvement. I started a worldwide search for other manufacturers of this concept. All but one had limits of weight or sizes. Except one.

I flew to Miami in early 1981 to attend a Hotel Show that had an exhibitor named SICO. I was pretty sure this was the company I wanted to make the mechanism for my furniture manufacture. Their display was perfect for hotels, but much to my chagrin, they had a sales force for hotel murphy beds. But those guys had to sell dance floors, staging, food service carts, banquet tables…. And, most of them hated the complexity of a bed that was really a machine.

I asked the powers at SICO if I could sell (market to) the resort community of Colorado and Utah. Years later they admitted that many sales people had gone into those Rocky Mountains never to be heard from again. They had nothing to loose giving me free reign to become another Mountain Man lost in the Rockies.

I survived by some individual sales to condo owners until 1983. I landed a 187 bed order from a resort outside Winter Park, Colorado. It was a pretty bland design I came to call "A Bed In A Box". After that experience of a very boring installation, I came to realize this concept needed somebody to make this Murphy bed dance. Instead of just functional change, I wanted to make the bed Deceptive.

The Denver Post ran an article the following year with the headline: Ron McKey won’t mind if you can’t find his bed!

I was off and running with the ready answer, "We can do that! Nope, never have before…" Over the years "never have" became less and less.

My factory could take the SICO Wall Bed concept and the make furniture surrounding it in every possible theme. We developed a Murphy Table, a Murphy Bed Mirror, a Murphy Bed Sofa, a Television Murphy Bed, and became the leader in an industry that had a stigma of marginal quality. We made real beds disappear. It was your choice of bedding manufacturer, weight, size and thickness. It was our job to make it disappear.

Along the way I forgot about vacations…. I was marketing to resort hotels around the world. From Conference Rooms to Hospitality Rooms to Time Interval Ownership properties. It became a passion to improve each year with new tests of design conception.

Here are some beds installed in hospitality properties. Never seen one? Thank you.

Ron McKey,

TV Murphy Bed
TV Murphy Bed

Murphy Table Bed
Murphy Table Bed

Gothic Murphy Bed
Gothic Murphy Bed

Two Twin Murphy Beds Make a King
Two Twins Make a King Murphy Bed




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