Wouldn't the Belleview Biltmore Make a Great Winter White House?
By Renee Burrell
Photo courtesy of the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa
BELLEAIR - It's already white. . . A few presidents have already slept at the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa in the past and last September it seemed like old times when President Elect Barack Obama hunkered down there with his entourage and secret service agents while campaigning and to prepare for the Mississippi debate.
"Maybe those days will be back," said Martin Smith the Resort's Manager. "We hope to host many more presidents, vice presidents and presidential nominees in the future."
A spokesperson for the campaign told Smith that they chose the resort as a retreat for Obama's debate preparation because they liked the seclusion the 111-year-old Victorian hotel offered.
"One of the best things about our quiet resort is that it sits on 22 acres, so groups who want their people in attendance to not be distracted or leave the site find the Belleview Biltmore very appealing. It allows attendees to think about the subject at hand and not focus on the hustle and bustle that surrounds other hotels. We host many religious groups because of our tranquil setting and peaceful atmosphere."
Smith said Obama took in the grounds under the watchful eye of Secret Service. There was one minor instance where Obama's privacy was interrupted. Said Smith, "One morning he tried to work out in the exercise room, but people invaded his space, so the Belleair Country Club kindly let him use their facility."
Smith said when the President Elect had to shorten his stay after being called to the White House due to the Wall Street crisis; he stated that he'd enjoy coming back. "He commented on how beautiful the hotel is, calling it nice and relaxing and said he intends to come back…but that remains to be seen because of all that's happening in Washington."
The Obama campaign took over a wing and all four floors of the hotel while there. Obama's visit "Was great publicity for the hotel, Belleair, Clearwater, Pinellas County and Florida."
Obama left the hotel Thursday September 25 after broadcasting his address by satellite to the Clinton Global Initiative from the resort's Heritage Room.
According to Smith, if Obama does return, the chefs will have to stock up on broccoli.
"He's a big broccoli eater. He ordered it with every meal."
Barack-olli Obama? (No, that nickname wouldn't be prudent)
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