You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

breaking news

Breaking: Sinkhole opens outside Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach

Presidential visit disrupts business for some


President Trump shines the spotlight on Palm Beach when he leaves the White House to travel south to his part-time home, Mar-a-Lago, as he did last weekend.

But for some Palm Beach residents, including billionaire investor Jeff Greene, last weekend’s visit also brought gridlock and a hit to businesses. With the president scheduled to return Friday, along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, more of the same can be expected.

Greene said he lost reservations at his Tideline Resort & Spa due to Trump’s visit. Tideline is at 2842 S. Ocean Blvd. on Palm Beach.

In fact, “a big group went to the Seagate Hotel in Delray Beach because they didn’t want to deal” with the traffic and the hassle of Palm Beach, Greene said.

The Secret Service effectively closed off a portion of Palm Beach near Mar-a-Lago during the weekend while Trump was in town. West Palm Beach wasn’t much better on Saturday: Trump protesters clogged the waterfront along Flagler Drive.

Other Palm Beach businesses, including some restaurants, lost reservations, too, said Greene, a Palm Beach resident who lives at 1200 S. Ocean Blvd., “two doors down” from Mar-a-Lago, which is at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd.

Laurel Baker, executive director of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, said she’s aware some tourists were having a hard time getting back to their Palm Beach hotels with the security checkpoints and roadblocks.

And shopping on Worth Avenue? Some tourists were afraid to try. “People don’t want to be inconvenienced. They’ll shop elsewhere,” she said.

It’s true, said Robin Miller, general manager of the Worth Avenue Association, which met last Thursday to discuss the impact of Trump’s visits and potential measures to alleviate the traffic and security issues that come with it.

“No one from the south could get to us on Saturday. And that’s a busy day during season,” Miller said.

She said tourists staying not only at the Tideline but also Eau Palm Beach were shut out from spending their dollars at Palm Beach’s luxury shopping destination.

Baker said she’s now wondering how life in the future will be affected by Trump’s visits to Palm Beach.

So are Worth Avenue store owners.

“Our retailers are kind of terrified it’s going to happen frequently,” Miller said. “They are really scared of what’s coming up. For many of these retailers, these three months (of season) make up their entire year. It’s critical.”

Baker said she figured with Mar-a-Lago booked for 25 events this season, Trump was going to skip his winter visits because of the tight security that surrounds him.

But that’s evidently not going to be the case, she said.

Greene noted that Trump likes spending all holidays, such as Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, at Mar-a-Lago, as well as his winter visits. “He loves it here,” Greene said.

So being president of the United States won’t change Trump’s routine.

Going forward, Greene said Palm Beach officials and the Secret Service need a better plan: “You can’t shut down a town for four to eight years,” he said.

Miller said she had a meeting with her association’s executive committee to formulate a plan. There is talk of perhaps petitioning the town of Palm Beach “to make them understand how difficult this is for us. We need our voices heard.”

Even into Monday morning, before Trump left for MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, getting around still was difficult.

Greene said it took him 45 minutes to cross the bridge Monday to take his son to school in West Palm Beach.

One bright spot to the weekend: Greene said he lives close enough to Mar-a-Lago to skip the traffic when he attended the International Red Cross ball Saturday night.

“I walked,” Greene said.

Laurel said she’s now wondering how other events will be affected by Trump’s presence in Palm Beach during high season.

For instance, there’s the Palm Beach International Boat Show, set for March 23-26.

Although the actual show only lasts a weekend, the set-up takes considerably more time. The week before and the week after, a number of yachts cruise into the Intracoastal and go right by Mar-a-Lago.

If Trump were to fly down to Palm Beach during this time period, boats would be forbidden from cruising on the eastern side of the Intracoastal Waterway that runs near Trump’s winter White House.

Under ordinary circumstances, yachts back up by the Southern Boulevard bridge next to Mar-a-Lago as they wait for the bridge to open, Miller said. But if Trump is in town at any time near the boat show, “I don’t know what they’re going to do,” Miller said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Ok, what’s with the orb? Trump photo has tongues wagging, social media laughing
Ok, what’s with the orb? Trump photo has tongues wagging, social media laughing

A photograph of President Donald Trump along with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Egyptian President Fatah al-Sisi is trending on social media, sparking some interesting comparisons with the likes of comic book antiheroes and even the Wicked Witch of the West. The three men were photographed Sunday with their hands on a glowing orb at the opening...
Hamburglar who stole Ronald McDonald statue arrested, police say
Hamburglar who stole Ronald McDonald statue arrested, police say

Police believe that they have found the hamburglar who swiped a Ronald McDonald statue from a New Jersey McDonald’s restaurant. Thomas Roman, 56, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office said Saturday, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported. "We're really excited," Philip...
NEW: Trump can now be the voice on your GPS
NEW: Trump can now be the voice on your GPS

New software is letting you bring the 45th president on the road with you. Karta GPS, a tech company based in Portugal, has added a  Donald Trump impersonator to its voice repertoire, according to the International Business Times.  In the teaser above one gets a taste of what navigation with Trump would be like.  Instead of...
Jury selection to begin in Bill Cosby sex assault trial
Jury selection to begin in Bill Cosby sex assault trial

Thirteen years after a Temple University basketball team manager went to famous alumni Bill Cosby's nearby home for career advice, her complaint that Cosby drugged and molested her that night will soon be a task for a Pennsylvania jury. Jury selection in the sexual assault case will begin Monday at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh, two...
Billy Bush opens up about Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape
Billy Bush opens up about Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape

It’s been almost seven months, and Billy Bush is ready to talk. Bush opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the infamous “locker room talk” tape involving President Donald Trump that resulted in Bush losing his job at NBC. In the column, he said that he’s seen the tape only three times, once just before it...
More Stories