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President’s visit to disrupt some Valley events

Air Force One will arrive late Saturday morning and stay through Monday. We don’t know his plans while here in the desert, but we do know the President’s visit will affect some Valley events.

However it’s an inconvenience some people don’t mind.

Before the President lands, the streets of Palm Springs will be filled with more than 7,000 riders of all ages.

“I’ve been on bicycle when the President has gone by and it was a thrill to see 20, 25 or more cars and security protecting our President,” said Tour de Palm Springs founder Tim Esser.

That may very well happen again. Tour de Palm Springs charity ride has several routes planned that will take cyclists all over the Coachella Valley, including right by the airport.

“The hard part is we don’t know when the President is actually going to be driving through the Valley,” said Esser.

Esser says no routes have been changed as of now, but riders could be stopped for the President’s motorcade.

“The cyclist has to obey the rules of the road as a car would, so what they are going to do, if the cars have to stop, the cyclist have to stop. Usually it’s for 15, 20 minutes then they let them go,” said Esser.

Some riders may even get the opportunity to see Air Force one coming into land.

“It’s not everyday you get to see the President land and take off or a motorcade drive by. It is a treat for our riders, as long as they don’t have to shut the roads or alter our routes too much,” said Esser.

Once President Obama leaves the airport, one source tells us he will be staying at Thunderbird Heights in Rancho Mirage, possibly affecting open houses this weekend.

Realtors told us during the President’s last visit access to the community was very limited. We discovered no open houses will be held in Thunderbird Heights this weekend, only private showings.

It’s a community the President is familiar with.

The first family spent a weekend in the gated community in June, and last February, the President visited the home of interior designer Michael Smith.

We visited that house today, and found it busy with utility trucks, but no signs of extra security.

Thunderbird Heights declined to comment about guests staying in their community but did provide us this statement:

“Thank you for your inquiry regarding President Obama’s upcoming visit. As I am sure you can appreciate, we respect the privacy of not only the owners within Thunderbird, but their visitors as well. While we understand the interest a news organization may have, we have a firm policy that is at the board of directors direction that we do not comment on any items regarding potential sales, potential visits etc. As you may know from the history of Thunderbird, we have been blessed to have a number of presidents and other high profile residents and thus have developed a policy that the association does not comment on these to outside organizations. Any information that the HOA does need to provide to the residents that may impact them, is communicated only to them.

Kerry Leavitt, Thunderbird Property Owners Assoc.”

KESQ News Team


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