President Trump has announced plans to spend 18 days vacationing at his “summer White House” in Bedminster, New Jersey, in August, and while some residents look forward to the commander in chief’s stay, others see days of protests and added inconveniences, including a miles-wide flight restriction on the area.
Starting August 3, Trump will stay at his private golf-course residence for the nearly three-week duration.
Many locals, like pizzeria owner Enzo Grande, are anticipating his arrival with excitement.
“The president is in town – it’s a good feeling,” Grande said, adding that Trump’s upcoming visit feels like an extra topping on his business.
Grande said when Trump comes to town his business gains a lot of publicity and that “secret service guys are always here eating.”
But not all locals feel the same joy as Grande. Many are protesting – some even with graffiti, according to Bedminster resident Clarissa Arbeia – calling the president’s visit an added nuisance in the small suburban town.
“There’s going to be a lot more traffic, and there’s going to be a lot more protesters,” Arbeia said.
In addition, Trump’s stay means temporary flight restrictions within a 30-mile radius for local airports. Planes are also prohibited from flying within 10 miles of the town, so locals may need to look to other airports during the president’s stay.
Somerset Airport in Bedminster is looking to other airports to support dual training classes for flight school, according to its website.
“It’s annoying, but it’s okay because he’s our president. We do what’s necessary to support him and our country,” Robert Vicci, a private pilot at the airport, said.
Small businesses like Skydive New Jersey in Pittstown will also take a significant hit to their bottom line, according to owner Chuck Owen.
The tandem skydiving company’s 25 employees are forced to be grounded during Trump’s entire visit, Owen said. August happens to be their busiest month of the season.
Owen says he has asked the Secret Service several times to work out some kind of compromise for lost business, but he has yet to hear back.