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When Marie Erickson walked into Muckleshoot Casino for her new job as a server, she thought she’d only work here for a few years. Instead, those few years turned into over 20 years of building relationships and providing stellar service to our guests.

Now, she’s calling it a career as she marks her 22nd year.

“I took this job in the first place because my husband was sick,” Marie said. “I was working as a waitress at Denny’s and everybody that worked up here would come down and say ‘Marie, you’ve got to come work with us.’”

Marie has gone from Kookaburras to Coyaba Grill here at Muckleshoot Casino. She remembers the tree that used to stand in the middle of the restaurant. There are also memories of the pies that used to be displayed, ready for eager guests with a sweet tooth.

There have been a lot of changes that have led to the cozy experience that Coyaba Grill offers today, and Marie has been there for many of them.

“After a few years, I became the one that’s been here for the longest,” Marie says. “I was only supposed to stay for a few years, but then one crisis after another happened and that’s life, right? So, I put both kids through school and now it’s time for me to retire. It’s time for mama.”

Marie, a server at Coyaba Grill at Muckleshoot Casino

Working in the same spot for 22 years, one might wonder why she never transitioned to another position like manager. It wasn’t for lack of opportunities, she just never wanted it.

“I’ve been asked to be a supervisor over and over and I keep saying no,” Marie states. “I love how they accommodate me in my position. I’ve done my own bit of owning my own businesses and being in charge. I don’t have to have a title. It’s not important to me.”

With promotions not a goal, Marie had to find something else to inspire her. But, it wasn’t hard to discover. The people that come in each day are her driving force, those she’s worked with as well as the guests she’s served.

Much of her enjoyment as a waitress has come from getting to know those around her and the relationships that have flourished.

Guests have invited her to dinners, parties, and more. She’s gone to funerals. She’s gone to weddings. Some have even come to see her for the entire length of her service.

“A job’s a job, right?” said Marie. “It’s the people you interact with that make it enjoyable. It’s a delight to see a lot of the regulars I have. They brighten my day as much as I try to brighten theirs.”

Marie and coworker at Coyaba Grill at Muckleshoot Casino

Her career at Muckleshoot Casino wasn’t the first time Marie received more than she expected from a workplace. Prior to having children, she owned and operated a travel agency. Originally, she applied for a position there; but, instead of an interview, she ended up buying the business.

Marie has also enjoyed a career in real estate. She and her husband have bought properties, fixed them up and sold them for years now. It’s sort of like living out her own HGTV series.

Her plans for retirement still tie into both of those interests. She has no plans to stop with her real estate ventures and expects to travel even more.

“The ones that know me, know I take a lot of cruises,” laughed Marie.

Marie has plans to cruise the Caribbean with family not too long after retirement. She’s also wants to get back into swimming and take Tai Chi classes, too.

Now, after 22 years, her time has come to an end at Muckleshoot Casino. She’ll be able to enjoy looking back at the relationships she cultivated at Muckleshoot Casino knowing that she touched many lives and created numerous memories.

Enjoy your retirement, Marie.

Marie worked her final day at Coyaba Grill in early July 2019.