Billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene said President Donald Trump’s recent visit and the accompanying traffic hurt his business at Tideline Resort & Spa. A portion of Palm Beach near Mar-a-Lago was effectively closed off by Secret Service while Trump was in town last weekend. And in West Palm Beach, Trump protesters jammed Flagler Drive.
Greene, who owns a home at 1200 South Ocean Drive according to public documents, said he lost a number of reservations at Tideline, his 2842 South Ocean Drive resort, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. “A big group went to the Seagate Hotel in Delray Beach because they didn’t want to deal,” he told the publication. Mar-a-Lago is at 1100 South Ocean Drive.
Some tourists were having a hard time getting back to their Palm Beach hotels with the security checkpoints and roadblocks, and were deterred from shopping on Worth Avenue, Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce executive director Laurel Baker told the Palm Beach Daily News. “People don’t want to be inconvenienced. They’ll shop elsewhere,” she said.
The Palm Beach Boat show in March is another concern. Though the show lasts just a weekend, yachts cruise the waterways in large numbers past Mar-a-Lago the week before and week after, something that would be forbidden if the president were in town.
With Mar-a-Lago booked for 25 events this season, Baker figured Trump was going to skip his winter visits this year, but said that would evidently not be the case. “He loves it here,” Greene told the Palm Beach Daily News, adding that Secret Service would need a better plan. “You can’t shut down a town for four to eight years.” [Palm Beach Daily News] – Gabrielle Paluch