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Camp David Being Used Less And Less By Presidents

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- President Donald Trump seems to have passed over Camp David, the presidential retreat near Thurmont in Frederick County, for the glitter of Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

They couldn't be more different: President Trump's resort, Mar-a-Lago, and the historic presidential retreat, Camp David.

Three weekends in a row, Air Force One rolled into Florida to visit what Trump calls his "winter White House."

Just before he was inaugurated, Trump told a European journalist, "Camp David is very rustic. It's nice, you'd like it. You know how long you'd like it? For about 30 minutes."

Reaction from the town of Thurmont, which is just down the mountain from Camp David and whose residents voted overwhelmingly for Trump, is more of a shrug than disappointment.

"He's got a lot of fans out here," said one resident. "But I can't say I'd miss him."

"We won't hear all the helicopters when they're coming in, so it will be more quiet the next four years I suppose."

President Eisenhower named Camp David after his father and grandson. Kennedy came, but not that often. Nixon's family used it, and so did the Ford's, briefly.

The U.S. Navy runs Camp David, with the annual cost to taxpayers being $8 million.

History has been made here, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has already seen it, but it's been years since a president regularly visited Thurmont.

"The last known president that I can remember using it was Clinton," said Josh Bollinger, with Bollinger's Restaurant. "Because he would go to the golf course here in Thurmont."

If Camp David is to sit empty, there is one idea that might catch on.

"I think they should close it and turn it into more of a tourist attraction, because that would do a lot for the town," said Bollinger.

After all, can you really see the Trumps settling down for a quiet game of Scrabble in the woods?

It's expected the Secret Service will spend vastly more to protect the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago and other locations.

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