Businesses Expect a Slow Day as Presidential Visit Closes Roadways

February 9, 2014

Shops along Rt. 29 will have to put their business on hold on Monday as President Obama and French President Francois Hollande make their way to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

Blue Ridge Mountain Sports is located right off Rt. 29 and the store manager says Mondays can be slow, but he still wants people to have the option to come to his store. With road closures, that makes it more difficult.

“With Rt. 29 being shut down, it's the major thoroughfare to get in and out of here, so I think it's going to be a tough afternoon,” says Greg Garbee. “It will be interesting; we'll have a great view of the motorcade driving by.”

Another store manager hopes customers can still use bike paths to make their way to his shop.

“We're a bike shop, so hopefully that means people are going to ride in here, but I guess it's just going to be kind of slow,” says Mike Hernandez of Performance Bike Shop. “I guess that's what you do when the resident comes into town; you just kind of shut everything down.”

Businesses won't be the only ones affected by the president's arrival. Schools in Albemarle County and Charlottesville are letting out early, leaving some students with mixed feelings.

“I might not be able to do ice skating after school, but I’ll have extra time to do things I want to do,” says Sarah Aten, student at Greenbrier Elementary.

“I think it will be kind of fun to get out early and it's cool that the president is coming,” smiled Lara Medders.

“We've been having a lot of snow days so missing another day of school will just be terrible, I guess,” says Camryn Jordan. Both Jordan and Medders attend Baker-Butler Elementary School in Albemarle County.

Edie Aten goes to school in Charlottesville and wanted to learn a little more about the French President.

“My French friends at school told me he's really grumpy, but I don't know if that's just gossip,” says Aten. “They're not letting anybody in so I guess I won't be able to see for myself.”

There was a mixture of excitement and disappointment for Monday's visit, but it seems like everyone will have to make a few changes for President Obama’s arrival.

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