At Suncadia, you step out of urban life and into something that’s all too rare: a place where you know your neighbors instead of just passing them on the way to work. And as visits become longer and more frequent, you get to know the people who help shape Suncadia into a community you hold close to your heart. This column celebrates the Suncadia staff who play a role in the way residents and guests enjoy their time here. Some might be familiar faces or names, and others will be new to you. This week, we chat with Michael Ramirez, Manager of Resort Activities. He puts the fun in Funcadia.
This is Me
I am originally from Ballard in Seattle. I graduated from Central Washington University in 2015 with a Recreation & Tourism Degree and was immediately attracted to Suncadia’s Recreation Department. Being right out of college I was seeking to make my mark on this department by using positive change to create something special.
In a Previous Life
One passion of mine that many do not know is gardening. I grew up spending time in my family’s vegetable garden learning how plants grow, and still carry that skill to this day. Before Suncadia, I worked in sales for a small gardening equipment company in Ellensburg, Washington.
As a child, I probably changed my mind many times about what I wanted to be when I grew up. But the most memorable career I wanted to seek was an airline pilot.
Boss Man of Fun
I am the Manager of Recreation and I oversee all the fun that goes on at the resort. The recreation department has many different avenues of fun. We have a rental fleet of bikes, boats and mopeds. We facilitate family activities like Tie Dye, Bear Factory and Bingo. We have youth adventure programs called JR Rangers. The final program we provide for all guests is our extensive Group Recreation Menu, our teambuilding and excursion offerings that are geared towards groups of all sizes, including bachelorette parties, wedding parties and family reunions. My team and I live and breathe recreation and are proud to serve all of our guests.
A Day In the Life
When interviewing my staff I always state that no day is the same. The recreation department is one of the most flexible departments on property. We might think it will be a normal day of operations and at a drop of a hat there’s a company requesting a last minute team building activity. My team then needs to quickly switch gears and formulate an operations plan to accommodate guests. I tell all my clients and guests that the recreation team is here to make it happen. And we do.
Why I Love My Job
My favorite part of my job is facilitating team building activities. It is a very unique feeling to observe a team of individuals come together during an activity to achieve a common goal.
Breaking Stuff Is Fun
My favorite activity at Suncadia is Meeting Breaker, off our Group Recreation Menu. Each participant gets a crate of breakable items like glasses, cups, plates, really anything that can get smashed. They also get various tools for smashing, including a hammer, a bat or a bowling ball. After the participants smash their items, they then have an opportunity to create a mosaic stepping stone with the broken pieces. There’s something therapeutic about smashing stuff and then creating something. I highly recommend it!
My Favorite Escape
I am very lucky to be able to work in such a beautiful area. I can step right outside my office and feel an escape, but my favorite place on property is a sandbar on the Cle Elum River near the fish shed, which is just a few minute’s walk from the Lodge.