Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Obama Keys visit rumored

Mum's the word from Ocean Reef Club and White House officials, but a rumored presidential visit could happen as soon as this week.

The Chicago Sun-Times' online blog, citing an anonymous source, reported Tuesday that President Barack Obama will be golfing this weekend at the private and gated north Key Largo club.

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay confirmed Tuesday that Obama administration officials had contacted his office about a possible visit by the president at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club sometime this month, but the exact date and location were not disclosed.

"They have been in contact with our office, but they don't release much information to us, and we don't ask for much in return as these things are all at their discretion," Ramsay said.

How much the sheriff's office would play a role in security is unknown, and Ramsay added he wouldn't be able to release that information even if he did know as of Tuesday.

Several employees of the Ocean Reef Club told the Citizen that Secret Service personnel were on the property late Monday.

David Ritz, president of the Ocean Reef Community Association, declined to comment.

"I can't talk about stuff like that," he said.

Ritz referred the Citizen to Richard Weinstein, vice president of Ocean Reef marketing, who did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Don Degraw, a Florida Keys Marathon Airport administrator, provided the Citizen with a document from the Federal Aviation Administration establishing a no-fly zone for a VIP visit March 7 to 9.

White House press officials declined to comment.

Staff writer Adam Linhardt contributed to this story.

jgore@keysnews.com

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