Hospitality at its best: Muskogee Inn’s Assistant Manager Angel Caraway is a natural-born caretaker. Day in and day out, Caraway, who is a Tribal member, sees a countless number of guests check in and out of the hotel. And she makes it a point to stop and talk, even if it’s just a few words.
“One of best parts of working at Muskogee Inn is all the new and different people you meet,” she said. “In talking to some of our guests throughout the years, you hear a lot of interesting stories, and you can’t help but stop and take a minute to listen.”
This October will be Caraway’s 18th year at the hotel, and she said she’s incredibly proud to be a part of its history.
“Many people don’t realize that Muskogee Inn was the very first business purchased by the Tribe and entrusted to CIEDA (Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority),” Caraway said. “It was bought in 1986 and has seen a few changes over the years, including our recent remodel and updating of the rooms.”
As assistant manager, Caraway oversees about 20 employees. Her day-to-day operations vary, she said, but it’s always something new every day.
“I absolutely love it,” Caraway said. “We are like family here, and one thing is for sure, this place holds a lot of great memories. I have had the opportunity to work with some awesome people throughout my 18 years and have met some great folks from all over the world; you really never know who is going to walk through the door next. I guess you say hospitality is in my blood.”
Caraway said the hotel sees a lot of traffic from industry workers who come in for various jobs.
“I love when the hotel fills up with companies that are here for any given time,” she said. “They always have a story to tell, and I enjoy learning about their backgrounds and where they live. It’s just really neat to see so many different people and get to know them and make them feel at home.”
She said things really get interesting and start picking up once summertime hits and families start traveling. A lot of family reunions and weddings take place in the summer, too, as well as concert season at Wind Creek Atmore. When days get busy, Caraway doesn’t miss a beat. She said it’s because she has fun at work.
“I’m not saying I haven’t had some very challenging days, but I love my job. I have cleaned my share of rooms and made many beds in my time here and won’t hesitate to get out and help in any way I can to make our guests have the best stay possible and keep them coming back.”
Truly a blessing
Caraway said she started out working in a few restaurants and fast food places before beginning her career at the hotel.
“I just decided to stop by to put in an application, and the manager at the time hired me on the spot,” Caraway said with a smile. “I started out in housekeeping, moved to laundry, room inspector, worked front desk and also have helped in maintenance if they needed a hand. Then I moved to administrative assistant in 2008. In 2009, the assistant manager job opened up, and I applied for it and got it.”
Caraway is very humble talking about her career.
“I don’t say I started at the bottom and worked my way up because I believe all the different departments here are equal. It takes team work. Everyone here is important. It takes a lot of hard work and team work to keep this place going, and I have to say we really have a terrific crew here. I’m proud of all of them for their hard work. I’m truly blessed to be part of the Muskogee Inn team.”