GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - When Xanterra hosts their annual employee Olympics, nothing stops the fun - not even thunder, lighting and rain.
The July 18 event may have sent the troops inside the Recreation Center for competition (one relay event took place outside on the softball field), but smiles and yowls prevailed as the various departments competed against one another in mock bowling, ladder ball, puzzles and word scramble competitions.
This year the retail department took the gold (for the second year in a row), human resources won silver, engineering won the bronze and food and beverage took this year's Turkey Award.
A sizzling barbecue livened the air with ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs and luscious sides of fresh fruit, salads and a spread of indulgent desserts made in the El Tovar bakery. If tummies were not full enough, three kinds of ice cream specialties and sno-cones were served.
Children pranced around enjoying the food and employees chatted cheerfully.
"It's amazing how one day can change your attitude about a company," said John Jerabek, recreation aide at the employee Recreation Center. "I've worked for Xanterra for five months and have really enjoyed my time here, but this was over-the-top fun."
As in past years, each department exercised their creativity and designed their own tee shirts. This year's design winner was the support department with its super hero theme.
"This was my 18th employee Olympics and the first time rain has forced us to move the events inside the Recreation Center," said Xanterra General Manager, Jon Streit. "In spite of the challenging weather everyone had a great time. It is always great to see people out of their work environments and relaxing and having fun."