There was nothing free about the first family’s lunch for one Hawaiian business.
Frank Hinshaw, owner of Skydive Hawaii on Oahu, was forced to close down Saturday for security reasons so the president could enjoy a barbecue lunch with childhood friend Bobby Titcomb, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser. (The story can be found here, but it’s subscription required.)
The weather was near perfect for skydiving, Hinshaw said, estimating he’d be servicing 100 paying customers had the royal visit not intervened.
“That’s about how many we canceled yesterday when we got news of the president’s trip out here,” he said.
According to the Star Advertiser, Hinshaw estimates he lost $20,000 to $25,000 in business to the first family’s friendly stopover.
But he considers himself lucky the Obamas don’t come any closer. The Obamas stay in Kailua, on the other side of Oahu, which means Hinshaw doesn’t have to close for the entire vacation.
The article doesn’t say whether Hinshaw could bill the government – meaning the taxpayers – to make up the for the loss. It also doesn’t say what happened to the 100 customers whose plans for their Hawaiian vacation got “canceled” because the Obamas decided to visit a choomgang chum to chow down on some unhealthy barbecue on a taxpayer-funded junket.
(This is the same choomgang chum whose prostitution solicitation arrest made national news back in 2011.)
But Hinshaw’s just a small business owner. Since he didn’t build it anyway, according to the president, who cares about his problems?
According to the Star Advertiser, he and his employees spent the down time doing spring cleaning.
At least he was moving. The first lady would be pleased.
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