Business owners in the West Tisbury area of Martha’s Vineyard are worried the first family’s stay will negatively impact sales, since road closures will detour drivers around their stores during one of the busiest weeks of the year, the Vineyard Gazette reported.
President Obama arrived for a nine-day visit on Saturday and will be staying at a private home off South Road in Chilmark. South Road is closed between Meeting House Road and Wootton Bassett Road until August 18, the Gazette said.
But a handful of West Tisbury businesses located between the detour signs and the road closure say the change will keep people away from the village center during the week of the Agricultural Fair that began Thursday, the Gazette reported.
“We are very impacted by this,” said Andrea Rogers, manager for the Vineyard Artisans Festivals. “August is our make it or break it month, so this is the worst possible time of the year to block access. It impacts a lot of people.”
“I know they have to do what they have to do,” she added. “I understand the way the world works. I just feel it could have been done a bit differently. … We’re really in a bad position at a critical time of year … we’re trying to survive the winter.”