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home : features : features April 15, 2014


5/1/2012 11:03:00 AM
Grand Canyon Rec Center bringing people together
Robby Kallina steps in as Xanterra's Rec Director, works to diversify community opportunities
Ryan  Williams/WGCN
Grand Canyon Recreation Center Director Robby Kallina is working to create a broader sense of community at the Rec.
Ryan Williams/WGCN
Grand Canyon Recreation Center Director Robby Kallina is working to create a broader sense of community at the Rec.

Clara Beard
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter


GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Robby Kallina has lived all over the United States, but there's nowhere he'd rather be than at the Grand Canyon, working as Xanterra's Recreation Center Director, a position he filled last November.

In 2009, he had the opportunity to take on a seasonal job working at Yellowstone National Park doing similar to what he is now doing at the GC Rec Center.

"I just loved it," he said. "I love to travel and see new things. I love natural history and nature."

Landing a five-month seasonal position at Yellowstone National Park was the catalyst behind Kallina's love for the outdoors. Since then, each summer he's worked in different places like Alaska and, last summer, at the North Rim.

When the director position at the South Rim popped up, he jumped at the opportunity to work at the Canyon full-time.

Kallina, whose expertise is in college recreation, said his goals for the Rec Center revolves around community. He wants to get locals, whether they are employees or dependents, to feel like the center is a place to come and find out more about others.

He considers the Rec Center as a kind of stepping-stone to better community involvement, leading to a greater enrichment of the Grand Canyon experience.

"The more people I can get to get out there to enjoy the wild the better," Kallina said. "Or maybe it's going into Prescott or Flagstaff for shopping, camping trips up to Zion. We want to bring people together, so they can feel like a greater part of the community."

To do that though, a range of diverse activities need to be on tap in order to include everyone, which is something Kallina's been working hard to accomplish.

"The people that are going to want to come up here and play bingo aren't necessarily the people who want to come up here and shoot baskets," Kallina said. "In that respect we try and offer something for everyone."

For more information about the Grand Canyon Rec Center, call (928) 638-3389.









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