Green Room

The impact of Obama’s visit to Maine

posted at 10:43 am on July 15, 2010 by

The details of the Obama visit to Maine are starting to take shape, and if you’re a family who has planned a visit to Acadia National Park this weekend, or a small business owner who has set up shop on Route 3 between Hulls Cove and Bar Harbor…good luck.

Bar Harbor Police Chief Nathan Young said Wednesday that vehicle traffic along the section of Route 3 that passes by the hotel is expected to be restricted during the Obamas’ visit. All through traffic between the village of Hulls Cove and downtown Bar Harbor will be directed onto the Paradise Hill section of the Acadia National Park road, which parallels Route 3, to either West Street Extension or to Route 233, he said. All heavy trucks coming onto MDI will have to use routes 102, 198 and 233 through Somesville to get to downtown Bar Harbor.

Anyone who lives or works near the Regency, or who is staying there or at a hotel nearby, will be allowed to drive on Route 3 past the Regency during the Obamas’ visit, Young said. The Regency will be open for business while the president and his family are there. A wedding planned for the Regency on Saturday is expected to go ahead as scheduled, the police chief said.

On Wednesday, in preparation for the Obamas’ visit, security and area public safety officials met at the Trenton airport to discuss logistics while officials set up special communications equipment outside an airport building.

According to Allison Navia, manager of the airport, access to the airport will be restricted during the Obamas’ visit. Commercial passenger flights will come and go as scheduled, she said Wednesday, but there will be no recreational, general aviation or sightseeing flights from the airport during those two days. Private flights will be allowed but with higher levels of security screenings. Vehicle access to Caruso Drive, which connects the airport facilities to Route 3, also will be restricted while the Obamas are visiting MDI, she said.

In addition, lobster fishermen who fish near the area will not be able to drop traps between midday Friday and midday Sunday. In the midst of a recession, it seems unwise to prevent people from doing their jobs and earning money. Many of those who may lose business as a result of the travel restrictions related to the Obama visit depend on the summer tourism season for the majority of their income. One weekend may not seem like a big deal, but tell that to the restaurant owners who could lose thousands of dollars or more because customers cannot get to their establishment.

In all, the Obama visit will cut about 3 miles of Route 3 off from public traffic, or make it extremely difficult to take the main route into the tourist town of Bar Harbor. To get an idea of how disruptive this will be, about 2 million tourists visit Acadia National Park each year, the vast majority of them in the summer. It doesn’t look as though the restrictions will impede entrance into the park, but many of the tourists who visit Acadia make a trip into Bar Harbor, or are staying at a hotel in town. Cutting off the main route will increase traffic in other parts of the island, since those cars have to go somewhere.

Those who have planned a summer visit know how much work is involved. Hotel reservations have to be made, transportation has to be planned and schedules have to be laid out so that limited vacation time is used most effectively. Families start planning these vacations months in advance and now many of those who decided to visit Maine this weekend are likely to have their plans disrupted by a president who doesn’t seem to have considered the impact of his visit or where he decided to stay. To highlight just one effect of his visit, if you had planned to visit the island and were looking forward to your sightseeing flight around the beautiful Maine coast, sorry. Hope you can get a refund.

I’m glad the president is coming to Maine. Acadia and Bar Harbor are beautiful this time of year. However, Obama should have planned his vacation in a way that minimized the impact on tourists and tourism in that area. Renting an existing vacation home on a quiet part of the island, or using the private home of a supporter would have been much less disruptive but would have still allowed the First Family to enjoy the beauty of a Maine summer. Presidents have a tough job and need their vacations, but should try to keep their visits from impinging on the vacation plans of the average American family. I hope the president enjoys his visit, but wish he’d made better choices.

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There are many, many suitable places for the Obama’s to rent for a week in that area. I would have thought they might prefer it. Maybe he’s just after publicity or showing the world that they can use ‘public’ accomodations like us. I wonder if select parts of Acadia NP will be shut down when he visits? That park is so crowded in the summer that we seldom go there until after Labor Day.

jeanie on July 15, 2010 at 11:23 AM

How will this bho and mo get all the lobsters they like to eat when those lobster fishermen are not allowed to make a living getting lobsters? This bho makes me sick, he does not care one flit about anyone but himself! The good thing, maybe he won’t have his face on the tube for a few days.
L

letget on July 15, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Yeah, they could’ve gone to the Gulf where tourists are scarce, hence fewer traffic jams and restrictions on the peasants and an airport that can accommodate AF1.

We were in Kennebunkport at the end of July last year. The weather was nippy and overcast, but it was still beautiful. And where else can you get lobster like that?!?

You don’t address this, but the elephant in the room is there and I’ll ask: Is this intentional or do they not think through the impact of their decisions?

conservative pilgrim on July 15, 2010 at 12:44 PM

The Rockefeller family has a major estate at Bar Harbor. Hard to believe they wouldn’t loan it to the Obamas for a weekend. I believe Martha Stewart has a pretty gi-normous home up there too.

rockmom on July 15, 2010 at 12:48 PM

How will this bho and mo get all the lobsters they like to eat when those lobster fishermen are not allowed to make a living getting lobsters? This bho makes me sick, he does not care one flit about anyone but himself! The good thing, maybe he won’t have his face on the tube for a few days.
L

letget on July 15, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Betcha they all voted for Obama.

rockmom on July 15, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Selfish, uncaring, egotistical…this guy has tin ear for politics…he has handlers who know what to do but now that he is President, man, he’s going to do what he likes when he likes and to hell with the little guy. He could have gone to the Gulf Coast and really done something but instead, he has to ruin the vacations of people who have probably saved up all year for this week or weekend. How do I know? I play music up there and people of all walks come to Bar Harbor…the last thing they want is to lose their access to parts of the island. I’ll bet Mr. Ego goes to the wedding because what wedding wouldn’t want to be blessed with the magical, almost holy, aura of Capt. Kickass? How many phot ops with Mainers who probably could not care less when they are losing business? We have a mannerless, no too bright Chauncey Gardener as President. This man thinks every one likes him because those around him have pretended that they like him for so long. Sorry, ranting and raving…glad I’m not down Maine this weekend.

allstonian on July 15, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Betcha they all voted for Obama.

rockmom on July 15, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I don’t know about that. You have the hippie element up there but this is Maine…they do not like intervention into their lives. I am not sure how many votes he got there.

allstonian on July 15, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Presidents have a tough job and need their vacations

Yes, but how many vacations do they need, and at what cost to the taxpayer?

bopbottle on July 15, 2010 at 3:24 PM

the poor bride & groom, they get to have their wedding in the midst of presidential hoopla
I really think these people do not think anything through.

Willie on July 15, 2010 at 3:29 PM

We were in Kennebunkport at the end of July last year. The weather was nippy and overcast, but it was still beautiful. And where else can you get lobster like that?!?

You don’t address this, but the elephant in the room is there and I’ll ask: Is this intentional or do they not think through the impact of their decisions?

conservative pilgrim on July 15, 2010 at 12:44 PM

If we were to move anywhere in the States, I’d want it to be Maine. Except for creepy forest regions, ala Steven King. :)

Intentionality: Um. They don’t care? Look at their past celebratory “decisions.” Oil spill golfing and Club White House rings a bell.
(Not snarking at you, CP. Just irks me.)

Bee on July 15, 2010 at 3:47 PM

How will this bho and mo get all the lobsters they like to eat when those lobster fishermen are not allowed to make a living getting lobsters? This bho makes me sick, he does not care one flit about anyone but himself! The good thing, maybe he won’t have his face on the tube for a few days.
L

letget on July 15, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Up here in northern New England right now, lobster is cheaper than a cheap cut of steak. $4.99 a pound in central New Hanpshire, even less on the Maine coast.

Del Dolemonte on July 15, 2010 at 9:57 PM

PS, hey Slublog, is O’bama going to float in Joe Perham on a lobster boat for the after-lobster bake stand up comedy?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Mf4xKRhIU

Del Dolemonte on July 15, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Intentionality: Um. They don’t care? Look at their past celebratory “decisions.” Oil spill golfing and Club White House rings a bell.
(Not snarking at you, CP. Just irks me.)
Bee on July 15, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Agree. I’m being kind and refraining from blasting them. There is a pattern to their choices and actions: they don’t care. I think Michelle Obama’s dress choice on her recent visit to the Gulf has to be the most tone deaf, in your face insult. I caught some Beck this am and he called it her most Marie Antoinette moment. So true.

Anyway, I wanted Slublog’s opinion on whether Obama’s vcation choice is innocent, inept, or intentional. He (or she?) was being diplomatic with the criticism.

conservative pilgrim on July 15, 2010 at 10:39 PM

I think Michelle Obama’s dress choice on her recent visit to the Gulf has to be the most tone deaf, in your face insult.
conservative pilgrim on July 15, 2010 at 10:39 PM

I completely missed that!

Bee on July 16, 2010 at 7:36 AM

“Presidents have a tough job and need their vacations”

The above comment is from an earlier poster. I would ask where that sentiment was when Bush took working vacations where he did not disrupt entire communities and citizen vacations.

My other question would be: how many vacations did Obama’s hero, FDR, get to take? We have two wars, a huge ecological disaster and an economy on the brink of world collapse…he should be in freaking Washington instead of enjoying himself. If he wanted to enjoy himself and relax, he should have remained a do nothing senator.

The man is useless, feckless and witless.

allstonian on July 16, 2010 at 11:35 AM