President Obama’s Hawaiian Christmas vacation may have been more of a bust than a boom to local businesses and now they are speaking up and asking for government cash.
The owners of nearly two dozen air tour companies have organized the “Oahu Aviation Initiative” and are asking the federal government to reimburse them for the revenue they lost during the Obama family Christmas vacation.
Representatives of nearly two dozen air tour companies and flight schools on the Hawaiian island of Oahu said they had collectively lost around $200,000 in business during the nearly two weeks the First Family spent on vacation where the president grew up.
In December ABC News spoke to local aviation businesses on Oahu and heard frustration over the security restrictions that they said significantly hampered their businesses.
Pat Magie, president of Island Seaplane Service Inc, told ABC News that he had to cancel all of his tours during the Obama family vacation and stood to lose at least $30,000 during what has been a tough economic time for the tourism industry.
‘We've been just barely existing for the past twelve months,” Magie said in December. “Been way, way down.”
Richard Schuman of Makani Kai Helicopters said that his tours had to fly a limited path due to air restrictions that covered half of the Oahu coast.
The Secret Service established a ten-mile no flight zone and a 30 mile restricted area around the president’s vacation rental home. (continues here at ABC News)