Grand Pacific Resorts, a timeshare management company based in Carlsbad, California, is dedicated to creating a robust activities program for each of their nineteen resorts throughout California and Hawaii. Their success lies in their devoted team of associates who are passionate about the vacation experience.

“We believe our activity programs are essential to creating a memorable, exciting experience for our owners and guests,” says Nigel Lobo, Chief Operating Officer of Grand Pacific Resorts. “Activities are the essence of what we do and central to our core purpose of enriching lives by creating experiences worth sharing. We want our guests to fondly remember the fun experiences they had at our resorts and want to come back to do it all again.”

So, how does Grand Pacific Resorts find the right hospitality professionals to help curate such a positive, engaging activities experience for guests? According to Nigel, “Our activity teams have a passion for having fun with guests of all ages. Their positive energy is infectious. Whether they’re helping a child with arts and crafts or helping an adult make a Triple Berry Mojito, they always have a smile on their face—and not because it’s their job, but because they truly love what they do.”

Thanks to the management company’s dedication to finding the right associates to help provide such memorable vacation experiences, three of their activity directors and two resort activity programs described below were named as finalists at the 2019 American Resort Development Association Awards, with the winners announced at the April convention.

Grand Pacific Resorts believes that having so many finalist in the activities categories is a testament to their thriving activity programs and passionate teams.


Ryan Gaut


Dexter Carranza

Ryan Gaut, the spirited Activities Director at 252-unit, Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel in Carlsbad, California, makes an impression on everyone he meets, engaging with guests before, during and after each event, constantly letting them know about upcoming activities. Ryan has made hundreds of meaningful connections with guests for over seven years. “Guest interaction is definitely my favorite,” says Ryan when asked what he thought the best part of his job is. “I love the hospitality aspect. I love seeing people having fun and enjoying their vacation.” His programs generate vacation memories that last a lifetime, and are consistency reflected in resort reviews.

Dexter Carranza, Activities Director at Carlsbad Seapointe Resort, believes being able to connect guests with each other generates a more meaningful and memorable experience for everyone involved. “The goal for the activities department, I believe, is to be that human touch point,” explains Dexter. “My objective is to make sure they feel as welcome, comfortable, and happy as possible.”

At the 132-unit Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort, Claudia Anguiano is Activities Director as well as Culture Champion for her resort, serving as the liaison between Grand Pacific Resorts’ Home Office and front-line associates at Carlsbad Inn, helping spread the BE EPIC spirit and operational initiatives. As Activities Director, she is known for offering exceptional guest experiences that blend culture and the natural resort environment, creating an enjoyable atmosphere for families to bond, along with opportunities to make new friends while on vacation. Her annual Ping-Pong Tournament is the #1 resort activity with as many as 15 families participating and looking forward to the event year after year.


Claudia Anguiano

“We strive to infuse a high level of fun, laughter and camaraderie into our owners’ vacation by providing unforgettable experiences for all ages,” says Claudia. “We believe this kind of memory-building enriches the value of vacation ownership.” Their robust activities schedule changes seasonally to include special winter activities such as Carlsbad Village Walking Tours, Los Angeles excursions, casino night and wine tasting, while summertime reflects more family fun activities.

girl-playing-with-snakeMarBrisa, a Grand Pacific-managed resort in Carlsbad, was also named an ARDA finalist in the Activities Program category. The 312-unit resort has developed a unique and collaborative partnership with the Aqua Hedionda Lagoon & Discovery Center, a local nature center dedicated to environmental education and outreach. Thanks to this partnership, MarBrisa offers guests the opportunity to participate in a weekly two-mile guided Nature Hike through the canyon adjacent to the resort and also a Reptile Encounter introducing guests to indigenous creatures, including snakes, lizards, tarantulas, and tortoises at the resort’s Imagination Station.

From resort posters to activity guides given to guests at check-in, Grand Pacific Resorts Activity Directors share information about their programs at every touch point. They also encourage guests to post reviews of their fun experiences on TripAdvisor via TripAdvisor cards distributed at activities, and inspire guests to leave feedback on post-stay surveys. These efforts have resulted in higher customer service scores and greater recognition on social media.

“At Grand Pacific Resorts, we’ve implemented an activity program Best Practices,” says Nigel Lobo. “During quarterly activity meetings, Activities Directors share details of their most popular activities, and seek feedback from their peers for ways to better engage their guests. That’s our goal … to create a memorable vacation experience that lasts a lifetime. Our award-winning activity professionals help us make this happen.”


This article was originally published in the April 4, 2019 issue of Resort Trades.