Few people love throwing a party as much as Courtney Fox. In fact, the southern belle enjoys entertaining so very much, that she took up a job planning parties and fun activities for the guests at Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, an upscale RV resort for Class A motor homes in Foley, Alabama, where she is the Activities and Operations Manager.
Courtney has been with Bella Terra since August 2007, from the ground breaking ceremony to the current 88 RV lots of Phase I available to RVers for ownership or rentals (Phase II will add another 88 lots). She has previously worked in property management and has been an aerobics instructor, no doubt fueling her energy to be an Activities Manager.
As Operations Manager, Courtney wears multiple hats and her typical day could run a gamut of tasks. She could be manning the reservations desk in the morning, accepting payments in the afternoon and even picking up trash in the evenings! All this in addition to her primary role of creating and hosting the resort's activities. She happily declares, "party-planning is the MOST fun for me."
A seemingly simple event like a gumbo cook-off requires months of planning on the part of Courtney and her team of two, Tara and Julie. They start with a monthly budget and schedule activities up to two months in advance. So they hit the ground running at the beginning of each month and go about executing their plan. "We grocery shop, we send invitations, we build a buzz within our community, we decorate, and then, we party!"
Courtney and her team living it up at the Mardi Gras Parade
Courtney lines up a slew of activities for guests to choose from. A weekly arts and crafts class; Movie Day Tuesdays complete with soda and popcorn; breakfast, lunch or cocktails on Fridays; sporting events aired on the ten foot projector screen on Saturdays. Of course the big festivals like 4th of July, Christmas, New Years Eve, and any other occasion to rejoice is celebrated with due fanfare.
For their long-term RV residents, Courtney ensures that she mixes up the activities to keep it fresh and exciting. So they organize everything from pool parties and barbeques to outdoor grills and dances. Croquet tournaments, apple pie competitions, and games for kids. A Southern style celebration would be incomplete without gumbo cook offs and shrimp and crawfish boils. "Our most popular events are always the cocktail parties. I think complimentary 'spirits' always put a smile on our guests' faces" she says.
Sometimes Courtney's ambitious ideas don't go exactly as planned. One of the most memorable occurred last year when she decided to add ambience to the Halloween party by installing fog machines at the clubhouse entrance. Unfortunately, that set off the fire alarm and she promptly had two fire engines and an ambulance arrive at her door!
The best part about her job, Courtney says, is seeing their guests and team have fun together. "People stay with us while they're on vacation or exploring the States on an adventure. It makes me feel good knowing we've added to those memories. And because our guests are from different areas of the country or world, it's fun to learn about some of their traditions. I recently learned how to make Cincinnati Chili and that folks in Wisconsin like to have a beer-chaser with their Bloody Mary! Go figure!"
So if you travel in a Class A motor home, be sure to pay a special visit to Bella Terra and experience the southern belle's creativity and hospitality first hand! No doubt Courtney and her team will keep you coming back for more.
Bella Terra of Gulf Shores is a luxury Class A Motorhome resort that offers top-notch amenities to its RVing guests, including a grand clubhouse, infinity pool, private movie theater and a fitness center.
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