I don't intend to be offensive with the following question - Should I be required to show identification so you can get a lounge chair when you want it? I respect you and your view, but that feels excessive to me.
The problem does exist. I sense that it may be over-reported in too any cases. In too many cases, the reasons for suspicion have been because the suspects did not look like they belong. Too many of these cases were due to the suspected person's ethnicity or outward appearance. When I'm at Casa Ybel, I look a lot sloppier than I do when I'm back at work.
Is it serious? With all due respect, if this is a serious problem for our owners, then we are very fortunate people. Is it an inconvenience? Yes. But, we have never been guaranteed chairs at the pool. I remember many times when there were more legitimate owners and guests wanting chairs than there were chairs. This happens frequently during many weeks. If you were an owner during those times, you would still have this inconvenience (like I have) and it would not be non-residents causing the problem. We have so far not chosen to have enough chairs to have this level of capacity to ensure chair availability for all legitimate residents.
Let's consider potential solutions. Is it realistic to expect a teenager working with towels to have the people skills required to finese these almost always awkward confrontations? Is is realistic to expect servers from the bar to manage these confrontations when their tips depend on getting along with people at the pool? Do we want to pay for increased staffing so someone ese can frequently make the rounds and confront suspects? And what about those legitimate residents who get very angry when wrongy confronted - yes, it has happened?
I'm sorry, but I've not yet seen an effective solution that does not create unintended consequences that outweigh the value of the solution.
Of course it’s relative; virtually everything in life is relative. While some would triage security measures high (like me), others wouldn’t (you, apparently). You seem to take a libertarian view of life at Casa Ybel, whereas I, and others it appears, would like a bit more control.
I own weeks during Christmas and New Year (since 1980), and, in my view, the interloper issue is far greater than it was 10+ years ago. This position is unprovable, as is your position that things are no worse than they were over the 34 times you have visited Casa Ybel. I’m also surprised at your “red line” being physical attacks or damage. One participant in this discussion has mentioned an altercation that seemed to stop just short of that. How do you know that there have been no physical attacks or damage? These things are not advertised in the Sand Script. Besides, I think there are other reasons to try to control the trespassing issue than damage and physical attacks.
And as to your position that we will always have this problem, that is probably true. However, it doesn’t need to be as bad as it is. During our stay in 2009, increased security was launched for the week between Christmas and New Years, only. There was a noticeable and significant reduction (versus the previous week as well as the comparable week in previous years) in the number of people using Casa Ybel’s parking lot and accessing the beach and pool area. The problem was substantially, but not totally, solved. In our society, we have traffic laws as well as traffic cops, stop signs, traffic lights, etc., yet we still have speeders, people who run red lights, and those who ignore stop signs. But I’m sure no one doubts it would be worse without the security measures and laws. The belief that a 100% solution cannot be achieved is a poor reason not to pursue mitigating solutions. I think there are very few issues that have a total solution.
I believe a “card check” policy at the pool would be effective. If no ID is available, the staff can simply ask the unit number (and name, if needed) to compare to a master list.
However, I continue to believe that intercepting these interlopers at the gate or in the parking lot is the best solution, and it also addresses the beach issue, which is my main concern. And your statements that security is not effective are based on what? I’ve seen it work. These people are not hoodlums, for the most part, and there is a distribution of their intimidation levels. Some are deterred just by signage, and the sight of the security car (I’ve seen it happen many times and talked with the security personnel), while others need more coaxing.
If a board member is consistently violating the occupancy rule, he or she should be impeached.
I introduced the term “interlopers” when I was working on this issue nearly 5 years ago. I’m sorry you think it a pejorative term, but it is fitting. What euphemism would you prefer?
Thanks for your thoughtful response. I'm not sure I'm drawing a red line. And libertarian is not a word people use to describe me, but it is an interesting one. I just like to consider things in a larger context that's not heavily charged with emotion.
After 30+ years of addressing this issue at varying levels, a solution has not yet been found that is effective and that does not significantly raise costs or impose upon other owners/ residents.
Could you help me understand the beach issue? I'm not familiar with it.
Security should start in the parking lot. No car pass, no entry. The guard can have radio to the front desk for those who haven't checked in yet - but they must go straight to the office.
Put up signs that state - no car pass, your car will be towed! When the car arrives, and there is no pass - - - TOW IT!!! When guests register for the week, they should provide make, model, color and tag number. This way - if an owner forgets to put the pass - it can be easily verified before anyone tows.
DONE!! Once word gets out about cars being towed, and it costs the interlopers money to retrieve . . . they won't come anymore.
It's quite simple! It requires parking attendants.
This is nothing new to Casa Ybel or any other private or resort pool in the world; and surprisingly, it is easily solvable...
Put the slide up and then add one or two lifeguards. I don’t care what anyone says, the slide IS insurable.
The lifeguards will check everyone poolside from a master list created by the office. The lifeguards would simply walk around the pool casually checking people off the list. There is no need for a card or key. The list would be generated twice daily.
The lifeguard would ask: “I am checking in guests. What is your last name please or what under what name are you registered under or a guest of.” PERIOD – no further discussion required!
If they the party is not on the list, the lifeguard will politely inform them that they may be trespassing.
The guard, in front of the interloper, will call or walkie-talkie the office to insure the party is or is not a Casa Ybel guest nor a guest of a guest. This will take 30 seconds.
Next, the lifeguard will inform the party that they are neither on the guest list nor a guest of anyone on the list, and the office has been notified that they are in fact trespassing.
The lifeguard will then instruct them to leave immediately.
The office will then have the responsibility to remove them, by the police if necessary.
All this can be accomplished within two minutes. No need for the lifeguard to argue, discuss, or debate. Simply move on to the next guest.
If the interloper does not pack and leave within 5 or 10 minutes, the lifeguard will let the party know that the office has been alerted and again, politely asked them to pack and leave.
The lifeguard will call the office and inform them of the on-going situation.
If after another 10 minutes or so passes and the trespasser remains, the lifeguard will contact the office and the office will call the police.
The lifeguard will inform the party that the police are on the way.
I am tired of the idle threats and on-going debate over the interlopers. If it is a problem, let’s get serious and deal with it. As a nation and society, we are becoming increasingly soft and politically correct – afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. That is B.S. I have offered a legitimate solution. Granted, it may have some flaws, but it is better than anything else I have read.
We have just created two new jobs, made the kids and moms happy with the slide, and solved the interloper problem. This is the way it’s done all over Florida.
I like the suggestions mentioned in the 2 previous responses to your post. I think some level of implementation would be practical.
My family of 6 or 11 (depending on the year) mostly spend our time on the beach. We do use the pool, but do not use the lounges except as a place to put our towels and other items (usually only 1 or 2). We swim or leave, and do not lounge around the pool. Over the years, people have arrived at Casa Ybel from who knows where, parked in our lot (mostly near the tennis courts), unloaded their car(s), walked through our property, and set up camp on the beach, including coolers, which is a major giveaway. The beach, of course, is public property. During a slow period, there are few legitimate Casa Ybellers and few interlopers, and, except for the principle of the situation, tolerable. However, during a high volume week, such as week 52 and, I suspect, Easter and a very few other weeks, the beach has more legitimate and interloper density, and it gets crowded.
One of the selling points of Casa Ybel for us was the low ratio of condo units to beach frontage, likely the lowest on the island. This also makes it appealing to outsiders. I understand the beach is public, and I cannot just carve out my space and expect others to remain 100 yards away. But, even during a high volume week, if just legitimate guests use the beach, it is possible to set up a single line with each party having full, unimpeded view of the gulf and 40’ or more spacing. When you add even 5 or 6 more groups (not uncommon in front of buildings HIJK), then there are issues. Often, these folks don’t respect your space and plop down right in front of you. Sometimes there is annoying and loud music. Further, we see them using the pool.
As I’ve said many times, there are a number of ways to combat this problem. The existence of the Thistle Lodge certainly makes things dicier. But even saber rattling signage will have an effect. Some, maybe even many, people are intimidated by signs that declare cars will be towed if they don’t have a guest pass. A roving security guard also is effective. Totally eradicating the problem is probably impossible, and certainly not cost effective, but much can be done, I believe, within our budget (whatever that is).
There is another consideration here, I believe. Having used essentially the same MO since we first started coming to Casa Ybel, I can say with confidence that the interloper situation is far worse than 10+ years ago, and I do not recall any problems in our early years. No, I don’t have data. It is my contention that the word is out that Casa Ybel is not only a great place with a beautiful beach, but also a soft touch. It takes years for this reputation to be earned, and it will take years to change it.
As previous posts have mentioned, YES, the problem is worse than ten years ago! I have personally witnessed all the examples of interloping and you know what? The word is out. Casa is an easy get when it comes to trespassing = no consequences.
On our second week now and don't see what all the fuss is about. We have spent every day by the pool except for the recent rainy days. There have been kids who had to be told not to rough house in the pool and people have been asked to keep their drinks outside of the pool but I imagine that occurs at every pool. McT's restaurant is gone and there is a new breakfast restaurant called Bennett's Fresh Roast opening soon near the where the Lazy Flamingo is. The Sundial opened 3 new restaurants too and Doc Fords opened a second location at the entrance of South Seas. We eat out a lot on vacation.