Former Secret Service and intelligence officials have found that, unlike at the White House, guests at Mar-a-Lago can get in without any sort of background check and, to quote Politico, "afford an unprecedented opportunity for eavesdropping and building dossiers on the president's routines and habits, as well as those of the inner circle around him." A photo ID and an invite from a club member are all anyone needs to "prove" that they're legit.
A former CIA director said that "hostile intelligence services would love to plant bugs in a place like this," and National Security Council members have bemoaned that spying at Mar-a-Lago would be as easy as tipping off a waiter. Secret Servicemen have said that Mar-a-Lago has security challenges that they aren't equipped to deal with, such as guests posting pictures of the president being briefed on North Korea to Facebook.
And according to Mike, Trump's club buddies still aren't sure how they feel about this whole presidency thing. Mike runs an auto detailing shop near West Palm Beach, and has at least four customers he knows are Mar-a-Lago members. "I don't ask [customers if they're going to Mar-a-Lago], they'll tell me," he laughed. "They're literally going to say 'I need this ready for tomorrow. The president's coming in!' And then they expect me to ask something in return, like 'Where are you going?' but I've only said 'No problem, It'll be ready in time.' So they'll pretend I said something else and say 'It's at Mar-a-Lago.' Like, good for you, but I really don't care."
These sad little country clubbers are like teenagers meeting Justin Bieber for the first time, only to find out how much that actually sucks. Mar-a-Lago has installed metal detectors, bomb dogs, armed guards, and other measures that have club members singing a different tune to Mike about how annoying it is to go to there now. Mike didn't seem too sympathetic.
Traffic Has Gone From Bad To Worse (By Land AND Air)
Some cities, such as Washington, New York, and even Los Angeles, are generally used to presidential traffic delays. It bites, but they're built to handle it. West Palm Beach, on the other hand, was not. Jim is a hotel bartender, and he's seen the impact firsthand. "Lately I've been serving more and more tourists needing to stay longer because their flight was delayed," he said. "If Trump is in town, the bars are going to have more people because many streets are blocked and flights are delayed. I had a lady in February have her flight delayed three times, twice because of Trump. Trump decided to stay longer or had his plane be on the ground longer, so the delays shot up. She had to keep calling her babysitter that she was going to be later getting into Atlanta over and over again, and she kept blaming Trump for the delays every time."
Security is also on high alert. In February, military fighters had to intercept a plane that strayed near Mar-a-Lago (they're not supposed to be within a mile of the president), causing sonic booms that woke up residents and flight delays left and right. Air-related businesses in the area are losing money when planes aren't flying -- up to $30,000 a day.
Road travel isn't any better. Take a quick gander at the lay of the land here: