Tightened security in Palm Beach affecting residents and businesses

World Today

The world will be watching when President Xi travels to the U.S. to meet with President Donald Trump. It’s the first face-to-face meeting between the two world leaders.

Palm Beach, where the summit will take place, is simultaneously rolling out the welcome mat, for President Xi Jinping, and working hard to ensure the Chinese leader’s safety. It’s to be expected when the presidents overseeing the two largest economies on earth get together.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports.

Tightened security in Palm Beach affecting residents and businesses

The world will be watching when President Xi travels to the U-S to meet with President Donald Trump. It’s the first face-to-face meeting between the two world leaders. Palm Beach, where the summit will take place, is simultaneously rolling out the welcome mat, for President Xi Jinping, and working hard to ensure the Chinese leader’s safety. It’s to be expected when the presidents overseeing the two largest economies on earth get together. CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports.

The heightened security means: barricades, road closures, and other restrictions.

“They call it the winter white house —but there is a white house in Washington,D.C. so meetings like this could be done there,” Hadi Ghumrawi of Holy Lands Foods said.

Ghumrawi said Trump’s frequent visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort mean headaches for locals. So why would Donald Trump want to the meet there?

“It is one of the most beautiful places in the world to come and see — we have the nicest beaches,” Iftach Shimonovitc, of Southern Helicopter Tours said.

Shimonovitc has been using his half-million dollar helicopter to give area tours for since 2011. But when Trump is at Mar-a-Lago, all air traffic is halted at his home base of Lantana Airport.

The U.S. Secret Service imposes a 16-kilometer TFR around the resort—a temporary Flight Restriction.

It’s devastating Shimonovitc’s business.

“It’s very frustrating especially when we are talking about the weekends it is our busiest time,” Shimonovitc said.

He’s had to refund about $20,000 to tourists, since Trump took office -and made Mar-a-Lago his “go-to” getaway.

Jonathan Miller leases the airport from the county. He likes the attention Trump is bringing to the community, but has run into some complications.

“It’s like you pointed out, we are a seasonal business —the busy time, is the same time he wants to be here,” Miller said.

Miller has 100,000 square feet of hangar space 100 percent leased. And he recently lost a $400,000 dollar contract – when the client got fed up and left.

Miller is hopeful an agreement can be worked out, to allow pilots to fly while Trump is in town.

The U.S. Secret Service has the final word. And when it comes to safety for Presidents Xi and Donald Trump, there is little or no room for compromise.