Arizona Here We Come
Back when we were in Lake City, Florida, I took the winter off due to a failed workamping experience (see workamper experiences Lake City) and Chris was working at Publix part-time. When she was off and the weather was nice we enjoyed visiting state parks.
Unexpected Phone Call
One day while we were at the Suwannee River State Park we were just getting out of the truck and getting our hiking stuff ready when the phone rang. I usually don’t answer the phone when I don’t know who the caller is but for some reason I answered it this time.
The call was from the managers of an RV resort in Yuma, Arizona. They introduced themselves as Wayne and Jeanette and explained that they were looking for a housekeeping couple for the winter months and had seen our resume. We are assuming they saw it on Workamper News because besides the KOA website that was the only other place it was.
We were a little surprised because we had not applied for the job but that is the beauty of leaving your resume on a site like Workamper News. Not every employer posts their jobs because they tend to get bombarded with resumes that they will need to sort through.
Swinging On The Suwanne!!!
They asked us if we had some time for an interview. We explained that we were at a state park and as long as the signal held up we would do the interview. We found a swing right on the bank of the Suwannee River and did our interview which was almost an hour overlooking the river!!!
When all was said and done we accepted the position. Arizona was on our list of states to visit so why not? The position was at a 55 and older RV resort in Yuma owned by Cal-Am Resorts. The job was for 7.5 hours apiece per week and that was to cover site only. There would be no opportunity for any extra paid hours.
No Out Of Pocket
They explained that we would be paying the actual rates as if we were staying there as guests ($500 per month plus electric) but would always have enough hours to cover the site fee and electricity. They promised we would not have any out of pocket for those costs. We were also able to participate in all activities and amenities they had at the park which turned out to be many. Check out our review on Sundance RV Park for more information on that.
We negotiated our start date and they asked us for a 6 month commitment. We had no problem with that length of time. The interview went great and they sounded like really nice people so when all was said and done we accepted the position.
How about that. We started the day off thinking we were just going to go for a hike and came back with a winter job!!!
Big Stack Of Paperwork
Over the course of that summer while we were working at KOA Mystic they sent us a packet from Cal-Am that we had to complete and return. It was like a million (slightly exaggerated) pages!!! It was quite the challenge but we got it all done. Jeanette was good about answering all questions (and we had a few…lol).
Once we completed all the paperwork and emailed it back to her she looked it over and said we were all set. That was a workout…lol
Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a very warm welcome. The office was located in a building that also housed a large ballroom. We received a map of the resort and were told how to get to our site which was pretty easy. It was a corner site and was a pretty tight fit but we got in and made it work.
Name Tags & Keys
After we were all settled in and a few days had passed we met with the managers in their office. A few more forms needed to be completed and we received our name tags which we were instructed had to be worn at all times by both workers and residents.
We also received our keys and begun our tour of the place. We were shown the 2 main buildings we would be responsible for. The main building and the clubhouse. Each had it own set of bathrooms and the clubhouse also had showers.
The main building consisted of the office, the bathrooms, a ballroom, and a kitchen area. The clubhouse consisted of a common area with pool tables, a card room, puzzle room, gym, laundromat, beauty salon, bathrooms w/showers and an outside pool and hot tub with a stage area and tables.
Our first thought upon seeing all this area was how in the world are we going to keep all these areas clean while working only 2.5 hours a day for 3 days! That turned out to be a valid concern. There simply was not enough time to get everything cleaned the way we like to do it.
Besides the cleaning, we also changed the bags at the two dog parks. Residents (including workampers) were allowed to take free bags of ice from the freezer located in the clubhouse. Each of the 3 mornings we worked it was our job to fill bags with ice from the main ice machine and bring them over to the clubhouse to fill the freezer.
The most time consuming job we had was taking care of the ballroom floor. It was some kind of wood imported from Norway (I think) and needed special care.
About a month or so into working we were asked if we wanted to do a special project. It was to clean and wax the clubhouse floor. This was to be done after the clubhouse closed which made it much easier for us. There were also other times that we were asked to work extra hours which we always agreed to. Wayne & Jeanette were very good to work for so we had no problem helping out.
The season was progressing along nicely. We were given the freedom to work whatever hours we wanted on our scheduled days. The one request was that we didn’t do the main building until after 11am on Sundays. The non- denominational religious services were over by 11 am.
2 Time Clocks
Each day we worked we would punch in and punch out. There were two time clocks. One in the main building and one in the clubhouse. You used your thumbprint to activate the clocks. It was a simple system that worked well.
Up until this point, things were great. We came up with systems to get as much area covered in a short amount of time and everyone seemed happy. Then one day on our day off we received a text from Jeanette. It stated we were over in hours and that moving forward we were to only work 2 hours each for 3 days.
What had happened is corporate was reviewing our hours to site fees and we were too much in the green. Our guess is it was because of the extra hours we spent on the additional projects.
Oh well. For the remainder of the season, we did 2 hours a day for 3 days. We completed as many of our tasks as possible. Jeanette helped out by getting the maintenance guys to stay on top of the ice refills so that was a big help.
Our time spent at Sundance RV Resort was a very positive experience. The managers, Wayne & Jeanette were extremely nice to us the entire time we were there. I also have to mention Joanne. She was in charge of the kitchen and was so appreciative that we took care of mopping her floors (not part of our original assignments) that she would always have fresh baked cookies and other food samples for us…Yummy!!!
If there is one thing I want to stress it’s that they were extremely accurate with the hours to site fee calculations. At the end of our assignment, we were about .45 cents in the positive…lol. One strange thing I forgot to mention is that you would get paid for your hours (we chose direct deposit) but then you would have to write them a check to pay for your site each month.
One thing that we feel was a little bit of a bummer was that in regard to the electric, they never mentioned that you pay an administrative fee on top of your actual kilowatt usage. We were never told that. We found that out after talking to other people when I couldn’t figure out why the kilowatt price seemed to change each month
If we were looking for a job that paid site only, we would consider Sundance RV resort for the future.
Have You Ever Worked For This Park or Cal-Am Resorts? What Was Your Experience? Let Us Know In The Comments Below