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'Trump Effect' Hurting Local Businesses In Palm Beach

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WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) -- For three weeks in a row, President Trump has rolled into Palm Beach.

With Secret Service, staffers, and the news media all packed onto the tiny barrier island, he doesn't travel light. In front of his Mar-a-Lago resort, the roads are closed the entire time he's in town.

Local aviation businesses have been hit hard as planes remain grounded all weekend because of flight restrictions within a 10-mile radius of the resort.

"I do about 90% of my business Friday and Saturday and Sunday, so it is going to shut me down," said Jorge Gonzalez at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana, just south of Trump's winter White House.

While Trump visits, there are no take-off and landings, no parachute jumps or flying lessons, banner planes can't fly and neither can sight-seeing excursions.

In Palm Beach, some restaurants are feeling the "Trump effect," as well. Recently, 75 no-shows at the Costa Palm Beach cost the restaurant about $5,000 because of the traffic. Street closures make getting around tough.

"If you want to access our restaurant, you have to go to West Palm, cut over to the Okachobee Bridge, come back over here," said Sasha Benneman. "So that has been a challenge, in terms of logistics, and people do not like to be inconvenienced as such."

Benneman said business is picking up as locals get used to the Trump traffic. But others aren't as optimistic.

"It is a small airport, but there are lots of jobs at stake," said an official at the Lantana Airport.

Palm Beach residents better get used to it, however, as the president is expected to be in town every weekend through March.


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