Some Sun City Center club presidents and publicity people have reported having a problem since Kings Point initiated its new front gate policy July 1. But as of July 13, neither leaders of the SCC Community Association nor of the Kings Point Federation have reported hearing complaints.
Talking among themselves and sending notes to The SCC Observer, some residents say they are uncertain what to do because the visiting procedures are still in flux and that Sun City Center residents having events in the Kings Point Clubhouse can get in only on the date of their event, and are unable to set up in advance.
The problem is further complicated because many of these events that include Sun City Center and Kings Point residents alike are usually held at Sun City Center’s Community Hall, which is currently being renovated.
“We have to submit the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all club members who are not residents [of Kings Point] to [security] in advance of our events,” said Frank Gatto, president of the New York Club that has about 450 members.
“One problem is that the pass is only good for the day of the event, and not for advance set-up,” he said. “I am trying to get more information so I can pass it on to our members, but so far I’m not sure what they intend for us to do.”
The New York Club’s membership is approximately 75 percent Kings Pointers and 25 percent from Sun City Center, he said.
A notice sent to members of the Oldies but Goodies Dance Club by John Armstrong and copied to The SCC Observer has a special note added that states: “OBG members must show their club badge to enter Kings Point. Non OBG Dance Club members must purchase advance tickets before the dance — none at the door. Nonmembers that are not Kings Point residents must have a ticket to show at the gate at Kings Point to enter the gate.”
Janet Doherty of the Singles Mingle Dance Club said that “Club members who are not Kings Point residents and have not submitted your name to be checked off at the gate must supply the name, address and telephone number [to the club organizer] prior to the event.”
Some SCC residents say they feel confused; others used the words “put out” and “unwelcome.”
Yet Matt Permuth, representative of Kings Point’s Management Company, Vesta Property Services, explained in a telephone interview that the new procedures were requested by residents for guaranteed security that no unauthorized person (like thieves) could just pick up a telephone and say they were a resident and expected a certain person on a certain date like they do now.
The way it has been for many years, any Kings Point resident could call in the date and name of an expected guest, and members of clubs meeting there were admitted through the visitors’ gate simply by saying they were attending a clubhouse event and driving to the clubhouse directly from the gate.
Kings Point Federation President Liz Argot had not returned calls for comment as of this writing, but the following quotes from the Kings Pointer newspaper (newsletter) indicate that residents have requested additional procedures and have concerns about access. It explains how guests of clubs and organizations have been treated in the past, but goes on to say that “a few folks have taken advantage of Kings Point hospitality and led to a new protocol for club guests.”
“We truly do not want to make life more complicated for your guests and friends and apologize in advance for any inconvenience and hope we have found a solution,” read the message in the Kings Pointer.
Vesta’s Permuth explained that a PIN number will eventually be given to each Kings Point resident that they can use when calling the gate from any location outside the area. This will assure the gate guards that it is truly the resident requesting entry for the guest or visitor.
“Rolling this out is a process,” Permuth said. “We expect it to be completed by the end of the season after the snowbirds return.”
Kings Point residents are receiving (and some have yet to receive) new resident badges that have a unique PIN number and a special chip inside. The chips were installed to allow the community members access to the new health and wellness facility that opens each day at 6:30 a.m.
Badges have already been handed out to about 4,800 residents and 3,000 to 3,500 more badges are expected to be handed out to snowbirds at a later date.
The newsletter article explains that nonresident club members will be getting a Kings Point Club pass so they will be able to enter each time the club has a published event but that these passes may be used only on the day and time of the event.
The New York Club’s Gatto and others ask how that will impact advance setups and other things that may come up for nonresident club members in the future.
Joe Ercegovich, front gate supervisor, was quoted in the newsletter as saying color-coding the club badges — which is planned — should make entry easier for all club members.
At this time, members of any club meeting in Kings Point who are not residents of Kings Point are asked to call their club president to supply the needed information for entry.