50th Anniversary Golden Nugget: The Main Gate

By Richard Burke

Today, the vast majority of Landings residents living in the Marshwood or Palmetto neighborhoods enter and exit the community via the Main Gate. But the 1983 announcement that this gate was to be built became a very contentious issue! There were 1,020 homes in Marshwood and only a handful in Palmetto. Was it fair to make Marshwood residents bear the brunt of the $25,000 in incremental cost required to operate one 24-hour and one 12-hour gate? At the 1983 TLA Annual Meeting, Branigar presented a rationale that not only carried the day, but amused a previously skeptical crowd.

Branigar started with an estimate of the number of homes in Marshwood that were closer to the new entrance being planned than to the old North Gate. Generally, that was true of any home located south of the Marshwood Clubhouse. In 1983, there were 515 homes that fell into that category, a number that would rise to 902 when Marshwood reached full build-out. 

Branigar’s next step was to select eight “sample locations” throughout Marshwood south of the club and accurately measure the mileage savings they would experience each time someone living there entered or exited The Landings using the new gate rather than the old gate. On average, Marshwood people living south of the clubhouse would save 1.7 miles of driving each time they left or entered the community by the new gate versus the old gate (for a total of 3.4 miles, round trip}.


Finally, Branigar went to a mailed research study that had recently been conducted among all Landings residents, which revealed that on average, each Landings family made 2.33 one-way trips per day (or 1.17 round trips per day).

Given those statistics, Branigar put together the following chart:

Main Gate Savings For Marshwood Residents

Impact Area:                                          South of Marshwood Club

Number of Homes Affected:                  515 Today; 902 at Build-Out

Average Mileage Savings:                    3.4 Miles Per Round Trip

Average Round Trips Per Day:             1.17 Per House

Average Auto Cost Per Mile:                20 Cents (Hey, that was back in 1983!)


Marshwood Resident Savings           Miles of Driving Saved           Auto Expense Saved

In 1983:                                                  745,000 / Year                          $149,553 / Year

At Buildout:                                            1,304,080 / Year                        $260,816 / Year

As the audience quickly saw, the new Main Entrance would immediately save them the tedium of driving three-quarters of a million miles per year and $149,553 in hard cash, versus the relatively minor $25,000 in incremental cost required to operate one 24-hour and one 12-hour gate. 

The new Main Entrance was built!