Obama's Visit Draws Mixed Reactions from Businesses

Those in the designated security area will have to close their doors early, while the unaffected businesses welcome the presidential visit.

In two days, the President Barack Obama to Redwood City to host a rally and fundraiser at the for his re-election campaign. Secret Service is requiring the immediate surrounding businesses and to close early to allow for their specific security restrictions to take place.

Though many individual residents have expressed excitement about the national spotlight for Redwood City, some lament the that Secret Service is mandating.

Business owners, like Mary Albitz of , though not in the zoned area, anticipates an incredibly packed parking lot behind her business and is closing her doors early at 3 p.m. like the other affected businesses.

“From a business standpoint, it’s a negative thing,” Albitz said. “But personally, I think it’s great to have the President here in Redwood City.”

General Manager Chris Dariotis was “not very happy about [the mandatory closure,]” said a fellow employee. Dariotis could not be immediately reached for a direct quote.

Many employees at the Old Spaghetti Factory and the surrounding restaurants will have to leave early, meaning no pay, or reduced pay, for that day.

Employees from other restaurants that weren’t affected by the closure, like , viewed the visit as a positive event.

They won’t have any special menus that night, but will be serving any hungry customers, said General Manager Edmond Zencirci.

“This really puts Redwood City on the map,” he said. “And any publicity is good publicity.”


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Joseph Lucero May 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Joseph Lucero owner of Your Life's Personal Best Sports Massage, I feel this is a great for Redwood City as a whole and will bring more of Redwood City together and develop a sense of pride to our community. To have Lori work so hard and to bring a President of this great nation to our humble city, something that has never been done before. I feel we should welcome this opportunity with open arms and think of ways to market this great opportunity in the future to bring in bigger businesses to create a larger revenue streams at take this great city to the level that so many aspire it to be. I SAY GO REDWOOD CITY
Reality Check May 21, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Who's Lori? I agree, anytime a sitting president visits is great ... but that it's Obama is even better! Sure, I know, he's really here to raise money from supporters like me in a state that's his to lose ... but I'd still be excited for my city even if it was a Republican president whose policies and politics I didn't like as much.
Elaine D. May 21, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I am so elated to know that the entire nation will know that Obama chose Redwood City as a city to stop in and we should be proud to have our town highlighted! At least we won't be known as the town who hosted the awful Scott Peterson trial!!!
Reality Check May 21, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Ok, answered my own question. Quoting from <http://www.foxrwc.com/about>: "In the summer of 2010 the Fox Theatre Redwood City was purchased by local entrepreneurs Eric Lochtefeld and Lori Lochtefeld, along with Eric’s company Dream Careers Inc. Eric Lochtefeld had a dream of one day owning an entertainment venue like the Fox and Lori has a dream of helping downtown Redwood City reach its full potential on the real estate front. They are both extremely excited to bring the Fox Theatre back to life."
Zeke Mead May 21, 2012 at 07:38 PM
All PR costs something. And you can't buy this PR! All good in my book.
TGD May 21, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I wonder if he'll stop by the Hanky Panky on his way to the Fox.
Corinne Kason May 21, 2012 at 09:19 PM
I am thrilled that a President of the United States will be in Redwood City!! It doesn't matter what your politics are, this is great for our little town. More people will know and perhaps even visit (spending $$ if they stop in one of our many wonderful eateries) RWC one day. I'm sorry for the establishments that will be compromised this Wednesday but it may pay off in the future. I think RWC can tolerate one day of inconvenience for such a special occasion..
HARVEY MCDANIELS May 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Maggie Pearson May 24, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Having a sitting President visit is a huge honor regardless of your political views. Thank you to all who made this happen.


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