Housekeeper retires after more than 50 years of working at the same hotel

 PASO ROBLES — The Black Oaks Best Western hosted a luncheon to bid a fond farewell to a retiring employee. After 50-and-a-half years of service at the same location, Mauricia Arrowsmith stowed her housekeeper cleaning cart for the last time. 

Before the luncheon, hotel General Manager Angela McKee spoke with the Paso Robles Press about Maurcia, describing her as a dependable and gracious worker who always had a bright and positive attitude. 

“It’s going to be an adjustment not to see her working in the rooms that she normally cleans,” Angela said. Speaking of the disappointment of seeing Mauricia go, she said, “It’s bittersweet. I like to see people be able to retire and enjoy themselves… but it’s going to be a big change for us not to see her every day and her not to be here every day.” 

Born and raised in Mexico, Mauricia moved to California when she married at age 25. Mauricia spoke with tears in her eyes, saying it is tough to leave what she considers a second home. She started working at the hotel in 1967 and finally retired at the beginning of January 2020. 

“We have become friends, we do things together all the time,” said Maurica’s Supervisor Romona Hernandez. 

“I [will] miss everything,” Mauricia said. “I [will] miss my rooms.” 

She worked throughout the hotel but eventually was assigned to a specific set of rooms that she became attached to. She said that she would talk to her rooms when leaving for vacation, assuring them that she would be back. 

Of all her memories over the years, Mauricia said that birthday celebrations and 

 favorite memories. Christmas parties are some of her 

“We had good times,” Mauricia said.

Mauricia said that taking care of her daughter-in-law will be her new occupation. Tina suffered from two aneurysm ruptures, causing a stroke. Although Mauricia says she does not have the physical endurance to continue cleaning rooms, she will carry on tending for her loved ones. 

The Best Western Plus Black Oak Hotel has operated as a family-owned business since its founding in 1961. Angela said that where the principal office stands now is where the family used to live. Subsequently, the family continued to construct additional building until the 1980s. Angela told the Paso Robles Press that the very first person to stay at the hotel was recovering from heatstroke. 

According to Angela, longevity is not uncommon for the Black Oak staff. She quickly named several people that have worked at the hotel for decades.

“I figured it out the other day,” said Angela, “that there’s over 600 years of combined experience of my employees at this hotel on my current employee list.”

Getting through this together, Paso Robles