Letter from the Editor

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting the pointe at our King's Pointe

It has only been a few months, but I wonder if Storm Lake isn't already taking King's Pointe a bit for granted.

Professional museum developer Gordon Linge, a Storm Laker now presiding over the French Quarter of New Orleans, predicts that it will be the best thing to happen to Storm Lake since the arrival of the railroad and the establishment of the college. Those are some pretty serious milestones to challege

A couple of NBC camera-crews on the trail of the former president Bill Clinton told me it was their favorite stay of anyplace they'd been in the country over the past year - the only thing that could possibly improve on the food in the Regatta Grille, they said, would be if the network approves their expense account for it.

I must admit that since it's practically my neighbor, I drive by two or more times every day, and it's become just a part of the scenery for me.

So it's good to see your hometown through others' eyes once in a while, especially if they don't think it sucks. It's nice to have something to notice besides meat plants for the outside world.

It took a lot of add King's Pointe to the lakefront - in terms of not just money but faith, risk and imagination as well. We shouldn't forget to appreciate it no matter how familiar and ingrained it becomes. A public-owned community tourism resort is very much an experiment in Iowa, and the rest of the state will be watching to see what we do with it.

It was chock full for New Year, and I know many families planning to book for reunions here when spring busts out.

Visitors are even kind enough not to make fun of Storm Lake's peculiar "E" fetish.

"E" as in King's Pointe, Sunrise Pointe Golf Course, Regatta Grille, Lake Pointe Villa and so on.

Maybe "E' gives you a little olde worlde classe, I'm not sure. Maybe we're hoping the "E" Network will sign on as a sponsor. Maybe we just bought a vowel from Vanna and want to put it to use. I just don't knowe...

The name King's Pointe, of course, comes straight out of Storm Lake history - old postcards show that the rough stretch of original shoreline at the area where the resort now sits was known as King's Point in the early days of the community - the extra "E" had not yet been invented.

One family thinks the area was named after a young settler woman, Sara King, their ancestor. I don't know if anyone knows for sure.

What I do know is that when I talk to people from different areas around the country, there seem to be a lot of King's Point(e)s.

For starters, the location of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York State is known as Kings Point, as is the tiny village in North Hempstead on the Great Neck Peninsula, which has the honor of the highest percentage of Iranians of any city in the U.S. Former tennis champ Vitas Geralitis calls Kings Point home. This KP is said to have been the model for the setting in The Great Gatsby.

There is an upscale Kings Point near Delray in South Florida too, hip with retirees and home to what is said to be a very nice golf course. And one in Sun City Center (say that five times fast) in Florida. Boating enthusiasts may know King's Pointe in Cornelius, N.C., home to a massive marina. There is a rugged and gorgeous King's Point on Green Bay, an isolated fishing town in Newfoundland. And a condo neighborhood by that name just up the road from Niagara Falls in Ontario. There's a King's Pointe Village in Tulsa, Okla. and a very impressive King's Pointe residential community development just getting underway in the Florida Keys.

There is apparently a King's Point neighborhood on Long Island, and one in Houston, Texas. There's a King's Point on Lopez Island, somewhere in Washington. There is a King's Point Ferry in Mississippi.

There is a King's Point College in New York, a King's Pointe log chalet inn at the Red River Gorge. A King's Pointe Lane in McMinnville, Tenn., and a King's Pointe Road in Grand Blanc, Mich. A King's Pointe Resort RV Park in Sunrise Beach, Missouri, on Lake of the Ozarks.

There is a King's Pointe Pickelball League in Floida - some sort of paddle sport, it seems. There's a well-known pottery company, fitness clubs, a bowling alley and who knows what else sharing the name.

If you have ever mistakenly typed in "Kings Pointe" in your computer browser, you've found that instead of our resort, you wind up at a cool-looking mall on the Arkansas River near Jenks, Texas. I have it on good authority that the Andales Tex Mex Cantina is worth a look.

It occurs to me that a person could have a ball trying to travel to all those King's Point(e)s in one lifetime...

On the other hand, with the price of gas, I think I'll just stop at the Storm Lake version, hit the speed slide, the air hockey table, dive into one of those awesome fruit salads, and soak up a sunset at the fire pit next spring.

Because there's nothing that says that our King's Pointe is just for those spoiled vacationer types, you know.

I might just take a vacation without ever leaving the street I live on.

Appreciate what you've got, Storm Lake - thats the only way to make it all it can be. And we all have a stake in this attraction's success. For everyone else to get the Pointe about Storm Lake, we need to talk it up.