Trick Or Treat: Invitation Only

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 12:36pm

Community famous for its Halloween festivities closes its gates to outsiders.

Trick-or-treaters won't only need their costumes and candy buckets for Halloween, they'll also need a pass to get through the gates at Florida's Indigo Lakes community in Collier County.

The kid-friendly community has become a Halloween hot spot, attracting thousands of trick-or-treaters every year.

"You have to stock up on candy big time because you're going to run out in an hour in this community," said Rachael Echols of the Indigo Lakes Homeowners Association.

"It's very popular in town so a lot of people from outside want to come in here to celebrate," said resident Maria Almeyda.

Neighbors say in the past, crowds have created a traffic nightmare with cars backing up at the front gate all the way down Collier Boulevard.

So the homeowners association put some regulations in place, making Halloween there an invitation only night.

Every resident needs a pass to get in to the neighborhood, and so do their guests.

"It cuts down on that traffic and pile up at the front gate and I think it makes the community an all around safer place for Halloween," Echols said.

Collier County deputies will be at the front gate turning down anyone without a pass.

"Non-resident vehicles without a guest pass will be denied entry immediately," Echols said.

Other communities across southwest Florida have also closed their gates to outsiders.

Stoneybrook in Lee County has a pass system set-up, limiting the amount of guests residents can invite.

Homeowners at Indigo Lakes say the pass plan is perfect for their families.

"Before they had initiated passes, we were overwhelmed with the amount of people that would come through. We would run out of candy very quickly and you didn't know anybody, the streets were crowded and cars were everywhere," said Naomi Leamon.

The residents say they feel for the costumed children who can't stock up on candy there, but say they think the rules were necessary to keep their own kids safe and satisfied.

"You have to think about the kids that live here and by allowing everyone in Collier County to just come in to the development you're depriving the kids that live here of their candy," Leamon said.

Indigo Lakes residents are only given one guest pass, but they can request more, so they are still expecting a pretty big crowd.

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