WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Thousands of visitors are expected to give Wildwood an economic boost as President Donald Trump will hold a rally in the Jersey Shore town next Tuesday, but the crowds also create some challenges. It’s the calm before the storm at the Wildwoods Convention Center as tens of thousands of people are expected to mob Wildwood when Trump comes to town for a campaign rally on Jan. 28.
No parking signs are already popping up as police try to keep the area around the convention center clear. Several blocks will be shut down on the day of the event.
The road closure area will extend from the Boardwalk, west to Atlantic Avenue, then north to south from Baker Avenue down to Rio Grande.
That puts some businesses like the Days Inn across the street from the convention center in a difficult situation.
“Unfortunately, that side is kind of a nightmare. Luckily it looks like our guests will be able to use our parking lot when they come,” Days Inn Wildwood manager Christopher Falcone said. “Unfortunately for that window when the president is here, they won’t be able to move their car.”
School is canceled Tuesday in Wildwood and traffic lights will return from blinking to tourism season patterns.
Police are telling locals to expect delays and getting into town from Route 47 will have issues. Just this week, construction began on a portion of the popular Jersey Shore travel route.
It will force detours through more populated parts of Middle Township, possibly snarling traffic there, too.
Local officials asked the Department of Transportation to delay the project but the answer was no.
“The first issue I raised was the Trump visit. I said, ‘Is there any way you can push this back for a week or at least beyond next Tuesday?’ They were reluctant to do so, in fact, they didn’t want to do it. They said they said they were mobilizing and this would push it back another week, which would push it closer to the Fourth of July,” Middle Township Mayor Tim Donahue said.
Many of the security restrictions and logistics for Trump’s rally are still being worked out between Wildwood police and Secret Service. Officials say they will try to update the public in the days to come.