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The Onsite Challenges of Fourth of July Celebrations

By Les Shaver

While July 4th offers a great opportunity for resident events, the holiday can bring onsite challenges.

The Fourth of July is just two days away. And for many apartment communities, it provides an opportunity to offer the kind of parties and events that can excite residents and increase retention.

And for many companies, these celebrations give the onsite team a chance to show creativity. “We are allowing each property to decide on their own events,” says Steve Hallsey, Managing Director at Wood Partners.

But they can also provide plenty of headaches.

The list of events communities around the country are hosting is long. Fogelman’s communities are closed on July 4th. The weekend before, week of or week after, the company’s communities host luaus, patriotic scavenger hunts, American history competitions and Fourth of July bingo among other things.

A majority of Village Green communities will be hosting pool parties. Some will include DJs or show a movie by the pool during the evening hours. Others will have a traditional BBQ.

For urban high-rises, Independence Day offers an opportunity for viewing parties. “We have a lot of great rooftops, so we’ll have rooftop parties to view the fireworks,” says Noel D. Carson, Director of Marketing for Bozzuto. “Those are always well attended by residents.”

While those parties may provide great venues for residents to mingle and have fun, they also can present a management challenge.

“The biggest issue we have is at our high-rise and mid-rise properties that have sky decks or rooftop amenities,” says Steve Hallsey, Managing Director at Wood Partners. “They are very popular places to view citywide fireworks displays, so we have to limit the number of people who access these areas.”

Limiting the number of guests can add cost. “We have to hire extra security for those areas to make sure things don’t get out of hand and we don’t exceed the maximum number of people allowed by the fire department,” Hallsey says.

Yaz says the Fourth of July does not bring a lot of extra challenges at Village Green. “It is just ensuring we have service team up-staff to ensure pools, pool decks and other amenities stay clean as we see more use over the holiday weekend,” she says.

Apartment communities that stay open during the holiday may also get some extra visitors. “Traffic is hit or miss depending upon locations and demographics,” Yaz says. “Some people are on vacation or out of town, while other prospects may have a few days off and choose to search for their apartment home.”