February 2020 Newsletter

The latest in our series…


Steve, Terry & the Billiards Players

By Dale Dauten

If you want to know the spirit of the billiards players at The Resort, listen to how their End of Year Party works: It’s free, unless you sign up and don’t show, then it’s five dollars.

Steve Gilbertson, President of the Men’s Billiards, added, laughing, “You say you’re coming and don’t show, we’ll hunt you down and collect. That’s why everybody showed up last year.”

Yep, that’s the essence of The Resort’s billiards – it’s all about being there, about the camaraderie. And that spirit was very much on display when we visited during open play. It’s a lively room, with joking, laughing, encouraging and good-natured trash-talking. And even though the lighthearted approach has not led to any recent titles in league play, The Resort can boast one big victory this January:

The East Valley League, representing eight parks, put on a “Shootout” where each park sends their two top players and each of those individuals plays every other top player. The Resort sent Steve Gilbertson and Denis Nadeau, and those two walked away with First Place!

Steve lines up a shot during Open Play

As for the Billiards room at The Resort, it’s a busy place, but new players are always welcome. That’s especially true for female players. Terry Ring, President of Women’s Billiards, told us, “It’s traditionally been that pool halls were mostly places for men, but we have women here at The Resort who think, ‘I’m retired, I have the time, why not learn something new, why not come down and learn pool?” The best times to get started are Monday afternoons. Terry says, “If you come in about one o’clock, there are people to teach you how to hold a cue and how to find angles and so on.” Then, once you’re ready, the women are part of league that plays every Thursday afternoon. “We have a lot of laughs and do a lot of cheering.”

As for the men, they have league play on Wednesday, mornings and afternoons, and on Thursday mornings. Plus, there are tournaments throughout the season, including the Valentine’s Day Couples Tournament coming up, and the just completed Canada vs US Tournament. (George Arland provided photos from the latter, available here.)

Click Below for Tourney Photos

Even if you have no interest in picking up a pool cue, you can help those who do by participating in their aluminum can drive, with collection locations around the park (run by Dan “Dan the Can Man” Grunenwald). The proceeds from that program are what allows the clubs to operate with no membership or participation fees. (There’s that no-show fee for the End of Year Party, but that’s a non-participation fee.) The can-drive pays for the party and is also providing the residents’ share of materials for new lockers being constructed by those in the Woodworkers group. You can check those out in early February.


Women’s President, Terry Ring, spends summers in Penticton, British Columbia. She tells us that Penticton is wine country, and more recently, craft beer country. Sounds beautiful, but it makes sense that she and husband Vic head to The Resort for the winter — she noted, “I saw that it was -21 in Penticton last week.”

She and Vic first came to The Resort because they had friends staying in nearby Silveridge: Terry explained, “We were RV-ing up till we bought this year, and back then my friend told me, If you can’t get into Silveridge, there’s a sister park called The Resort. That’s where we ended up.” She added, “Once you get here and meet all these friendly people and get active, well, you don’t leave.”


Steve is from Wisconsin and spends his summers living in a campground at Balsam Lake. He and his wife Pat discovered The Resort shortly after Steve retired at age 55. (He began his career at a unionized leather company, became a union rep, then President of UFCW Local 1116 in Duluth, MN, and served on their International Advisory Board.)

The year he retired, he and his wife came with friends to visit Mesa. Steve told us, “I asked a friend who had a place here to find somewhere we could park our 5th-wheel for two weeks. He found The Resort. We extended the two weeks to one month. Then, the next year to three months and after five seasons, we decided to buy.” Steve added, “People say, ‘What do you do down there all winter?’ I tell them, ‘There’s something to do every day. You can only get bored if you want to be bored.’”