So how did a native of North Carolina and self-professed “beach girl at heart” make Utah her home?
“I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors, and as most discover once you get to Utah, it’s a tough place to leave,” says Stephanie Potempa, who joined Red Ledges in 2013 as full-time Activities Director. “We have so many outdoor opportunities here: mountain biking, road biking, skiing, snowshoeing, camping, trail running, hiking… and the list goes on!”
Stephanie says she initially came to Utah to experience living in the mountains and picked the Park City area because the Winter Olympics were on tap for 2002, which meant great potential for jobs. “I saw that as a great potential for jobs with the Winter Olympics coming to Salt Lake in 2002. I first fell in love with the mountains, and then my husband, Brian, who I met at a local ski shop in Park City in the fall of 2000. After that, I never found my way back to North Carolina!”
Twenty years later, Stephanie can’t imagine a more perfect career than our Activities Director —more fondly known as Director of Fun. “I get to spend a lot of time with our members … whether on chairlifts, hikes, car rides to adventures, in fitness classes, at meals, and everything in between. I probably get to interact with our members more than any other employee. At the end of the day, it’s about members building lasting friendships and wanting to come out to spend time with their neighbors and community.”
As much as she loves biking and hiking on beautiful summer days, Stephanie is partial to winter. ”At Red Ledges, the snowshoe tours are the most popular because if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Even if they aren’t skiers, it allows members to get out and enjoy the mountains!” Winter can even be fun under the stars: Some of Stephanie’s adventures include snowshoeing to a cozy yurt in Wasatch Mountain State Park followed by dinner and an owling snowshoeing tour led by wildlife experts.
The Red Ledges Ski Club meets at Deer Valley and other nearby resorts such as Snowbasin, Solitude, and Alta. And don’t forget snowmobiling: “We have hundreds of miles of National Forest and open space to explore right out Red Ledges’ back door. We offer a group ride every winter.”
Many winter activities are indoors — Fit to Dance, Ski Conditioning, Yoga, Fit for Life, and Pilates remain popular. She’s adding Strength and Core this winter, along with adult swim lessons at the local aquatic center. And there’s lots for kids to enjoy. In addition to annual holiday events like a visit from Santa, tree trimming, and cookie decorating, Red Ledges will offer crafts, song writing, and drawing workshops.
Nothing gives Stephanie more pleasure than welcoming new members. “I know they are nervous to be the ‘new people,’ but I assure them not to worry since our existing members are terrific. I can honestly tell them that our members are kind, humble, adventurous people who love welcoming others into the fold. The new member quickly discovers this truth on their own. That’s what makes my job so great, and why Red Ledges is such an awesome place!”
For more on winter fun at Red Ledges, see this Nov. 19 blog from an article that originally appeared on ProvoHerald.com.