Thirty years later, they are a small group who help and confide in one another and still have that passion for serving the Charleston Marriott's guests, Walker said.
"We want the company to continue to improve, so it's nice to know you can rely on them. If I need something from Larry or Linda or Jeff, I can go to [them]," Robinson said.
With a tray full of breakfast, Robinson might see a guest at their hotel door, and hours later, Wolfe refills their drinks at dinner in the hotel's Whitewater Grille.
When groups host events in the Marriott's meeting rooms, Messinger has to "strike a medium" with temperatures to ensure the speaker isn't too hot and the audience too cold.
Every group has a meeting planner who is always in panic mode, Walker said, but he is there to keep them calm.
"If something isn't going right, how quick we react eases their worries," Walker said. "People who come to the Marriott know what to expect and that hasn't changed."
A 'prime tourism partner'
But what has changed is the hotel's appearance.
Messinger calls the renovations "the most dramatic change we've ever done here."
Every seven years, different areas of the hotel are revamped, he said.
Workers spent four months completely upgrading the 352 guest rooms. From new plumbing to repairing the ceilings for the first time, the renovations have been a "hectic time," Messinger said, but "exciting times."
The ballroom and meeting rooms -- 17,500 square feet of space -- will be upgraded next.
People want an updated, fresh feel in a hotel and the Charleston Marriott has accomplished that, said Jama Jarrett, vice president of office operations and communication at the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"The Marriott is one of our prime tourism partners," Jarrett said. "It's great to have a full service hotel, for us, because when we're out selling Charleston, to try to bring business back to Charleston, the Marriott is one business we are able to promote. Thirty years speaks volumes to the dedication they have to the city."
The Charleston Marriott has had a $90 million economic impact on the city, according to Charles DiClemente, director of hotel operations for the city's Marriott.
For the charter associates, the hotel has had an unexpected, positive effect on each of their lives.
They each agreed that they learn something new every day working at the Charleston Marriott.
Messinger has received training and certifications he said he wouldn't have gotten if it weren't for the Marriott. He even remembers when the Charleston Marriott got its first computer.
Wolfe learned quickly to "serve from the left and clear from the right" at the restaurant's tables.
"I've really learned from these people," Wolfe said. "People talk about their job getting boring; mine never gets boring."
Walker's managing team won a Marriott contest, and, as a reward, he and his wife got to go to Aruba.
Robinson has learned to make guests happy, "whatever their needs and desires are," he said.
"The people I've met over the years who come [to this Marriott] make it easy. My co-workers, too. We're all in this together," Robinson said.
Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.