If you’ve been on Seabrook Island during the summer months, you probably know that Saturdays are called “changeover days.” That’s when many of our rental visitors and guests arrive to start their vacations. And those Saturdays often coincide with holidays, such as Memorial Day or July 4th, when friends and family also descend on our beautiful island. Have you ever wondered how many cars come through the guest line at the gatehouse? Or how SIPOA and the security officers manage these peaks? Or what you can do to help?
To give some perspective, during the non-summer months, there are about 350 guest passes issued each Saturday. But starting on Memorial Day, that number grows to about 650, most of which are generated between the hours of 2:00 – 8:00 pm.
If you were here for the July 4th weekend, you know the island was really “booming!” Unbelievably, there were almost 1200 passes generated on Saturday, July 1st, 300 of which came in a 3-hour period. When you think about the fact that there are approximately 2600 properties on the island, that’s an amazing statistic!
So how does SIPOA and the security staff manage to keep things moving? For starters, during the summer, staffing levels are doubled during peak times. And beginning last year, a second computer station was added outside the gate for officers to process passes. They can also create passes on their I-pads as they “walk the line,” so by the time the vehicle gets to the window, the pass is done. With some new software technology planned for later this year, there will be even more gate pass enhancements and benefits for both property owners and security officers.
How can you help? If you’re renting your property or expecting guests, use the online system to request gate passes in advance to ensure a smooth arrival. If you happen to rent your home through VRBO, please remember to arrange for passes prior to your guests’ arrival, and be sure to verify their names and arrival/departure dates.
But if you do happen to be momentarily caught in a line at the gatehouse during one of the unexpected guest arrival surges, please know that everybody appreciates your patience and good humor while we welcome our many visitors and friends to the island!
-Submitted by Julie McCulloch, SIPOA Board of Directors