May 2023 Newsletter

“Welcome to My Office”

Behind the scenes with Mike Hacker

by Dale Dauten

When we first interviewed Mike Hacker back in 2020, he had just been named Maintenance Manager for the parks and he told us his goal for both The Resort and Silveridge: “We want to take care of the residents and we want the property to look so good that everybody wants to stay here.” The property has never looked better and, given the waiting lists, it looks like, yes indeed, everybody wants to stay there. 

We thought it was time to check back in with Mike. We caught up with him in late April, and he gave us a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on over the off-season months.

As he cleared away some paperwork so we could join him in his pickup, Mike said, “Welcome to my office.” He then drove us through both parks, first The Resort and then Silveridge, and along the route just about every resident we encountered recognized Mike and waved or called out to him and he happily stopped to banter. “I don’t know anyone in here that isn’t really nice,” he said.


And they show it. The day we were there, a resident had dropped off a platter of cupcakes and another offered energy drinks. And, at The Resort, two couples, the Boumas and the Duncans, host the crew for a monthly lunch, with desserts from Betty Starn.


In addition to Mike, the maintenance team for the offseason includes three staff members at each park, and during the season that rises to eight per park. We ran into a couple of them along our route. That’s Jeff Yoder with Mike in the photo below. He’s the “new guy” even though he’s been with the team for months – he’s “new” because the rest have been with Mike for at least three years. And the second photo, at Silveridge, is with Larry Sherry, who lives in the park and deserves and article of his own (coming soon).

Our visit took us to the main equipment shop, the large garage at The Resort…

… and later to the equipment rooms at Silveridge. As you’ll see below, there’s a room devoted almost exclusively to pipes and parts.

Mike smiled sadly at all those parts, then explained that one of the continuing tasks for the crew at Silveridge was dealing with water leaks: “The pipes at Silveridge are PVC, and in the winter, when things contract and expand, that’s when problems show up.”


We asked Mike what keeps the crew busy during the offseason and he gave us a lengthy list of routine tasks, like cleaning and checking the pools every day at 5AM and the “mowing and blowing,” but Mike also described some of what goes on specifically in the offseason: “We’ll be painting the light poles and the parking stripes. We’ll get 20 to 30 tons of granite to add to the desert landscaping, and switching out the flowers. We’ll clean up the lots. And then there are the special projects.” Every summer the head of the parks’ management team, George Igualt, creates a list of improvements. (More on that when the list becomes official.)


One special project that happens annually is working on the baseball field at The Resort: “This summer we’ll add 25 tons of dirt for the infield. And this year I want to till it first, and add some sand so won’t be so compacted. Then in September we’ll plant the new grass.” The crew has also acquired a verticutter which they’ll use for the ball field and also on the grand green at Silveridge with its lawn bowling. (Mike told us that the lawn bowling grass gets cut four times, in four directions, to achieve its uniform surface.)



Because many of the people who read these articles know Mike, we should offer a brief update on his personal life. When we wrote about him in 2020, he had a second job, an office cleaning business that he ran at night. No longer. As Mike told us, “I was working 14 hour days, seven days a week – it was just too much.”


Perhaps another factor in that decision was the rekindled romance with his old high school sweetheart as she recently moved from Chicago to Mesa. It was Mike’s old flame who back in 2020 had sent Mike a classic photo, from their prom, and we gladly print it again here…

Mike also had another change in his life — his mother moved from Southern California to The Resort.


Let’s end with a response from Mike that sums up his personality. When we asked Mike if there was one day that stood out as the best one of the just-completed season, he smiled and said, “Every day is a good day.”

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If you’d like to volunteer to be the subject of an article, or have someone you’d like to learn more about, please let me know.


Or, if you have photos you’ll like to share in upcoming newsletters, please send them.


Dale Dauten, Editor


Text: 480-297-6244


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