It’s smooth sailing so far at Saddlebrook in Wesley Chapel. The resort, which is hosting RNC delegates from Louisiana and Texas, is under heightened security, but aside from a few raucous laughs as folks chatted, there was nothing to indicate any trouble on the horizon.
“Knock on wood, everything is going well,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
Between the weather and the change in the RNC schedule, Nocco said he thought many delegates would be sticking around the resort Monday.
Janice Gilley of Pensacola has worked with the Texas delegation as a volunteer since May, she said. She is spending the week at Saddlebrook, helping folks to negotiate their way around, she said.
“We’re having a great time,” she said.
Ralph Lair of Zephyrhills also is volunteering with the Texas delegation.
The volunteers and delegates feel secure and happy. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office “is doing a great job,” he said.
Weather aside, the delegates he’s spent time with have told him they’re enjoying it “quite well,” Lair said. “It makes our state look good.”
Secret Service agents are on site at Saddlebrook, and to get to the resort, you must pass a guarded gate and drive deep into the community, making it a less visible place for demonstrations and/or protests than many other RNC delegate host sites. Regardless, the security will remain tight all week and Saddlebrook, as well as at the Shops at Wiregrass.
“We’re going to remain vigilant and ensure that anyone visiting Pasco has a great time and feels safe,” Nocco said.
Two men were arrested over the weekend near the resort, according to the sheriff's office.