Saturday, October 21, 2017 11 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Putting the Life in Lifestyle in Cross Creek Ranch
On any given day, Claire Rhode can be found in the Cross Creek Ranch Welcome Center with a warm smile on her lips and a head full upcoming events and activities.
Claire is the Cross Creek Ranch Lifestyle Director, also known as the “Director of Fun,” and in a community full of world-class features, she is a valuable amenity. It’s her job to be the guiding hand behind the field trips and events that make living in Cross Creek Ranch so much fun.
“My job is awesome,” Rhode said. “I plan all of the fun activities for the community. From big events like our Stars and Stripes 4th of July celebration to smaller activities like our Lifestyle Merit program for kids.”
The New York native has always been interested in event planning, earning a B.A. in Hospitality Administration from SUNY Buffalo State College. She then honed her skills working in various aspects of the industry.
Two-and-a-half years ago, she moved to the Houston area with her then fiancé, now husband, Matt Rhode and began looking for a job that would enable her to use her event management skills. A friend suggested she apply for the Lifestyle Director position at Cross Creek Ranch and the rest, as they say, is history.
Claire draws inspiration for the events she plans from fellow lifestyle directors and from the residents themselves. Surveys about the previous year’s activities and current interests help her prepare a year’s worth of happenings.
“Last year, 90 percent of our residents asked for a brewery tour,” she said. “It was at the top of the list. So we put one together for March. Residents got a commemorative glass as well as tours of two breweries and a whiskey distillery. It was great, and I’m hoping to do it again in the fall.”
Family events include the summer Movies on the Hill series that pairs family-friendly movies under the stars with free popcorn, pool parties and holiday events such as last year’s Halloween Trail of Treats.
But the most popular events by far are the community’s Casino Night — a swanky affair with professionals from I Host Poker dealing out a variety of casino games — and the upcoming Stars and Stripes Celebration, which draws thousands or residents every year.
“Cross Creek Ranch is a great place for families,” Rhode said. “There is always something going on and you never have to leave the community to have fun.”