For 32 hours beginning Wednesday afternoon, the 21-year-old was the only employee of the hotel. But for guests who have been counting on him for nearly two days, he is a hero.
Angela Chandler, a guest at the hotel, praised Smith's self-esteem in a Facebook post where it has been shared more than 13,000 times. While flooded roads kept his colleagues from getting to work, she writes, Smith serves the guests alone.
"He manages the phones, answers every one of our questions, makes sure we have a hot cup of coffee or tea and helped us serve a hot breakfast," Chandler writes. "He handled this situation with the grace, kindness and beautiful smile on his face."
To someone trapped, he certainly seemed cheerful. But in private, the Lamar University runway star was feeling overwhelmed, he told CNN.
"It was pretty intense," he said.
Usually located behind the reception desk, he was already the hotel's chef, the maintenance man, room service and any other vacant position that needed filling, even when his experience was lacking.
"I've never worked in the kitchen," he admitted. "I'm not really a good cook."