Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 8028 - January 2017 Woodall’s Campground Management tryWestRVResort,heknewinaninstant thatthat’swherehewouldwanttospend his winters. The reason? The 1,100-site park has a G-gauge outdoor railroad complete with themed villages that represent distinct periods of time in AmericanhistoryfromtheOldWestdays to theVictorian era to the 1950s. Built around a 50- by 100-foot garden area next to the park’s main office, the CAMPGROUNDPROFILE When Craig Dolbeer decided to become a snowbird, he knew he wanted to spend the winters at an RV resort in Tucson, Ariz. The challenge, he said, was deciding which resort would be the right fit for him. After all, many of them have swim- ming pools, spas, exercise rooms and other nice amenities. ButwhenhearrivedatRinconCoun- Constant Improvement — and Some Missteps — Have Helped George O’Leary Succeed With Rincon Country RV Resorts train set features curved wood trestle bridges, tunnels and streams. The train setismaintainedbythe60-memberGar- den Railroad Club, which organizes its own fundraising barbecues and other events to generate funds for new build- ings, trains and other supplies. “When I saw the railroad, that was it,” saidDolbeer,a62-year-oldnativeofOn- tario, who has spent the past six winters atRinconCountryWest,whereheenjoys model railroading in the Arizona sun. Dolbeer is one of a growing number of snowbirds who have made Rincon Country West and its sister resort, RinconCountryEast,theirwinterhome. Snowbirds flock to the two Rincon Countryresortsnotonlybecauseoftheir amenities — which include swimming pools,spas,exerciseroomsandbanquet facilities—butbecauseoftheiractivities, which take place every day of the week. At the two Rincon Country RV Resorts, snowbirds can choose from more than 50 different types of classes, clubs and activities, from bocce ball, hiking and swimming pool exercises to line-dancing, square dancing, golf and pickleball. There also are classes in creative writing,digitalphotographyandvideog- raphy as well as jewelry arts, stained- glass-windowmakingandwoodcarving. There are also several different sewing groups that specialize in a variety of needlecrafts, ranging from Brazilian embroidery to Norwegian Hardanger and Swedish weaving to traditional Americanquilts.TheWestparkevenhas two drama groups and two choir groups who perform for park guests. These activities, which are organized and managed by volunteers, complement a half-dozen professional entertainers who Rincon Country brings to the resorts for each winter. The perform- ances often sell out a year in advance. Rincon Country also offers a shuttle service to take snowbirds back and forth so that they can participate in different activities at the two resorts, which are 20 miles apart. The resorts also offer plannedexcursionstoStewardObserva- tory,culturalfestivalsandotherpointsof interest in Tucson and surrounding areas. “We have a fantastic activity program for the winter months,” said Rincon Country founder George O’Leary, 85, who operates the two resorts with his wife, Sandra, their sons, Danny and Matt, and several staff members who have been working alongside the O’Leary family for decades. Despite his advancing age, O’Leary remains deeply involved in park man- agement and doesn’t hesitate to hop on his backhoe when there’s work to be done. He often arrives at his parks as early as 6 a.m. to inspect the grounds, monitor progress on various improve- ment projects and provide guidance to park staff, and doesn’t return home until after dark. He also converses with his snowbird guests so that he can monitor their satisfaction and evolving amenity and activity needs. O’Leary said today’s snowbirds are vastlydifferentfromthesedentarysnow- birdshemet30or40yearsagoduringhis early days in the RV resort business. “In the 1970s and ’80s,” he recalled, “if we hadapotluckdinnerthatwasabigdeal. It’s different today. Activities are key.” At the 460-site Rincon Country East RV Resort, snowbirds in the wood shop club work to help their fellow snowbirds make everything from dollhouses to rocking chairs, hand-carved bowls and Andean flutes. “We have a lot of guys who are very talented,” said Willie McCuistion, 79, of Corvallis,Ore.,whohasspentthepast20 wintersatRinconCountryEast.“Webuy our own lumber and our own supplies, butthewoodclubprovidesthetoolsand the work area,” he said. O’Learysaidhegottheideatoprovide his East park guests with a wood shop from other parks. But he strived to make it stand out from the rest by equipping it with a better selection of table saws, band saws, grinders, sanders and other powertoolsthanparkstypicallyprovide. Members of the 58-member Wood- carvers Club even do woodworking projects for widows at the park — but don’t assume it’s just men who have an interest in woodworking. Starting this month (January 2017), Rincon County plans to have regular ladies nights at the wood shop. Asonemightexpect,friendshipsoften develop between members of the vari- ous clubs. Park activities provide the Crafty snowbirds enjoy the woodshop at Rincon Country East. Trains helped settle the west, and this one welcomes settlers to Rincon Country West. The Arizona night sky opens up the stars for the telescope at Rincon Country East.