Our workamping gigs just keep getting better. We arrived at Riverbend Hot Springs resort in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico two weeks ago, to begin our new assignment that will carry us through mid-May. Like the other workamping arrangements we’ve taken on, we are here because we want to learn more about an industry that we think we want to get into someday.
We’ve always thought about running some kind of resort, something outdoorsy with low key accommodations, like yurts or fancy tents, so Riverbend is right up our alley. There’s only nine funky motel rooms, some RV spots, and a parking lot for dry camping. But you don’t come here for the accommodations, you come here for soaking. The place is lucky enough to be located on top of some riverside hot spring pools, so through the years, the owners have built some lovely outdoor hot spring pools with fantastic views of the surrounding desert.
Soaking with Subversives
Something about hot springs have always attracted hippies, new agers and counterculture hedonists. I guess I’m one, because I’ve always sought them out too.
Riverbend used to be a well-known youth hostel, where dreadlocked trustafarians came to hang out, meet world weary travelers, and soak their patchouli drenched selves. Today, the owner’s thirtysomething-year-old son is making lots of upgrades to appeal to new retirees and baby boomers. It’s working. The place is always busy.
Jim and I work the front desk, keep books, give tours, clean pools, keep grounds spiffy, and assist housekeeping staff (just call us Rosa and Jaime). We are getting a good feel for all of the hard work it takes to run even the smallest resort, to keep customers coming back.
Working for this Man Ain’t So Bad
The days are long but busy, and we are never bored. We work six and a half hours for three days, then get three days off. And so on. And no, we aren’t getting paid. The perks are free use of the springs, free RV accommodations, and most importantly, the reality check of how to run a resort, without having to buy one.
The only drawback is that the resort’s accounting and registration system is run entirely on paper and Post-Its. I’ve never kept books on paper before, so handling front desk transactions is like walking back in time. I’ve worn out a number of pencil erasers.