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Residents Alerted to Obamas' Hawaiian Holiday Plans

BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN - KAILUA, OAHU - Residents living near the beachfront homes where President Barack Obama and First Family vacation with their friends every year since 2008 were alerted on Monday to some specifics of the Obamas' holiday vacation plans.

The report delivered to residents living along the ocean and canal that surrounds the multi-million dollar homes at Kailuana Place where the President stays, informed  them of restrictions that will be implemented for 20 days beginning December 17 and running through January 6.

In a matter of weeks, Kailua residents will see the familiar street barricades fronted by U.S. Secret Service agents and Navy Seals and the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in canal and ocean waters.

The President, who spent some of his childhood years in Hawaii, brings his wife, two daughters, Sasha and Malia, with dog Bo in tow, each holiday season. They settle into the small town community known for its spectacular sparkling beaches, warm turquoise ocean, rolling surf, country shops and restaurants and friendly people.

The homes where they stay are just a two-minute drive from Kaneohe Bay and the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where the Obamas and friends can access private white sand beaches and military workout facilities.

Kailua Beach

While many residents welcome the First Family, others are disheartened by the restrictions put on air, water and road travel while the President and family are in town, especially because it is the holiday season and many families on vacation want to use their boats or surf and paddle in the welcoming ocean waves fronting the Kailua homes. In addition, the President's caravan of at least 22 vehicles including an ambulance can easily overwhelm the community that typically has single lane streets.

Adding to the controversy surrounding the President's visit is the cost of the trip.

With the staff, special forces, local police presence and equipment, the President's visit adds up annually to at least a $4 million vacation courtesy of the Hawaii and federal taxpayers.

While the President and his friends pay for their own rental homes, taxpayers pick up the cost of security and waterfront housing for the Secret Service, Navy Seals and Coast Guard as well as staff accommodations at a plush beachfront Waikiki hotel.

TRAVEL: $3,629,622

The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One.

A Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012 said the plane typically used by the President, a Boeing 747, costs $179,750 per hour to operate. The U.S. Air Force has listed the cost of travel as high as $181,757 per flight hour.

Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or as high as $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.

The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii has never been disclosed in the years the President has traveled to Hawaii. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flightThat is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew's per diem and hotel.

Moana Surfrider Resort

The rentals are fronted by the ocean and backed by a canal. So, the taxpayers must cover the costs for housing U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Seals in beach front and canal front homes around where the President stays.

Last year, that added up to about $200 per bedroom per day, or $21,600 per average home for a nearly three week period, with special forces renting at least 7 homes. Security arrives ahead of the President costing taxpayers about $176,400 for the length of the visit.

The President’s staff and White House Press Corps typically stay at one of Hawaii’s oldest and most elegant hotels, the Moana Surfrider. Besides its stunningly beautiful view of Waikiki, and its traditional Hawaiian architecture and decor, it is one of the most pricey hotels in the state and government rates are not available during the holiday season. Rooms  start at around $270 but can cost as much as $370 a night for an ocean view before Christmas, and climb much higher around the new year.

A conservative estimate with rooms at $270 (excluding a 9.25 percent Transient Accommodation Tax and a 4.712 percent General Excise Tax on each bill, meals, internet charges and other charges) means the taxpayers are covering more than $129,600 in hotel bills for some two dozen staff.


Local police are paid over time for the President’s visit, which has historically cost Oahu taxpayers $250,000.

The city ambulance the accompanies the President 24 hours a day through his entire visit is about $10,000 to city taxpayers.


There are several costs the White House annually refuses to release, citing security.

    • For example, the President’s security usually rents an entire floor of an office building in Kailua on the canal during the president’s stay.
    • There are security upgrades and additional phone lines to several private homes where Obama and friends are staying. That includes bullet proof glass installed, home security systems disabled, new security measures put into place and additional phone lines added.
    • There is the cost for car rentals and fuel for White House staff staying at a Waikiki Hotel.
    • And there are additional travel costs Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President.

The total cost (based on what is known) for a 20-day round trip vacation to Hawaii for the President and his family and staff and security is more than $4 million.

Hawaii Reporter annually has requested details on the cost of the President’s trip, but the White House will not release any figures, citing security concerns. A spokesperson has maintained the costs are "in line" with other presidential vacations.

Hawaii Reporter has sought to determine the cost of vacations for the current president and last two presidents but the Government Accountability Office referred Hawaii Reporter back to the White House spokesperson.

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806 Comments for “Residents Alerted to Obamas' Hawaiian Holiday Plans”

  1. The article says first-dog Bo will accompany the royal family. Really? What about doggie quarantine? Is the royal family required to obey Hawaii law? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • i had the EXACT same thought. his royal highness has really pulled the wool over the eyes of his admirers.

    • How come you didn't get quarantined when you came here?

      • Bu la 'ia for governor!

      • Hey sh*t bag - I had to keep my animals in quarantine for 4 friggen months when I was stationed at K'bay - obozo needs to do same - or is he 1) Above the law or 2) Has no concept about leadership by example. WAIT - maybe he's going to eat the dog on the way over.

      • The answer: All of the above! The Obama's spend MORE on vacations than ALL the European "Royal Families" combined!!! I don't see why he couldn't vacation in Chicago, or buy a ranch like W and Reagan did and vacation there? Even the Kennedy's, that were viewed by most Americans as our royal family vacationed at Hyannis; the Roosevelt's favored Warm Springs, GA or their home in NY....but, of course, they were not really "royal" like the Obamas.

      • "they were not really "royal" like the Obamas."

        "Royal" Flush comes to mind about the O'Bamas.

        "Royal" Pains in the butt as well.

      • He does not spend the millions on real estate the other first families did. The Obamas' vacation homes are places where the owners allow them to vacation as guests, at least in the U.S. It's easy when you're as rich as the Kennedys to go to your vacation estate in Palm Beach or up to your home in Hyannisport, or down to the ranch in Crawford or up to Kennebunkport, Maine, all lush estates. President Kennedy used to come down to Palm Beach frequently to visit their multi-million compound. I know b/c I lived there then. It is not unreasonable for the President to want to visit his home in Hawaii as well. He has friends and family there, and does not even own a home there, as far as I know, making the Obamas much less like "royalty" than some of whom you mentioned above who own huge, multi-million dollar estates, and often more than one. He didn't even get a full vacation this time, and had to cut it short today.

    • If bo's shots are current, then he's ok....but you have to confirm that w/his veternarian.....a top secret matter?
      Maybe Dr. Kaya @ Midweek knows?

      • My daughter took two cats over when she was stationed at Shafter. To avoid quarrantine, she even had to have the shot manufacturer listed and the batch numbers. It was a horrible hassle and she had records that were an inch thick for both but she managed to go right through the airport. I think Bo should be traveling with all his records also and be checked but i bet he isn't.

    • They don't seem to be required to obey US law so what makes you expect them to obey HI law?

    • Will Bo fly in a cage on top of the airplane?

    • Muslim are not allowed to travel with animals. That's why we taxpayers have to pop for a separate plane for First Dog.

    • I was wondering the same as I must follow very stringent rules regarding Hawaii's direct release program.

    • Seems your tripping over mouse turds Ken. Who gives a crap about Bo being quarantined? It's the 4 million BUCKS of my and your taxpayer dollars this sucka and his brood is spending!!!! Gimme a breaK!!!!

    • Maybe the dog is going to be the"Guest of honor" at (or should I say for Christmas dinner?

    • Of coarse not ! He doesn't obey the U S Constitution, why should he obey state laws?

    • Disgusted Taxpayer

      Moreover, I understand the first-dog Bo usually WILL NOT be flown ON AIR-FORCE ONE because it's against The First Idiot's religjous 'Muslum cleanliness' beliefs (maybe he'll be transported on the C-17?). This whole vacation and its costs (amongst many other outrageous personal 1st Family 'expense' issues) are all humongous assinine wastes of taxpayer money by the Obumma Clan and entourage(s).

    • I'm wondering if the other dog, Moochelle Obama, has her shots current. Why isn't she in quarantine?

    • he was carried here on a private jet, and guaranteed rabies free when he left DC and had no access to anything that could cause rabies, and yes, he was brought over under federal terms so he doesn't have to conform to Hawaii's state laws.

      • and also, yes it's costing, but it's also benefiting our economy here, he has to pay 250k + in overtime police service? shoots, we get 250k + dollars towards our police, plus food, and local transportation, and local hospitality companies get money (hotels, restaurants, charters) so what if he gets a little added security and we can't use one stretch of the canal, or one stretch of the beach... IT'S AN ISLAND! go somewhere else!!

  2. I heard the dog has his own plane, as well his own $110,000 a year dog schlepper.

  3. i cannot imagine how a single aircraft cost $179,750 per HOUR to operate. does no one in a position of influence EVER ask how such an expense can be tolerated?

    and the outrageous other expenses! this imperial president has redefined the term 'entourage'. shame on him for being so recklessly wasteful while others are suffering through his wreck of an economy.

    • Mike the cost is variable which includes maintenance, fuel, salary of all personnel onboard ...It does not mean to say that the government pays $179K outright for money that's already been allocated anyway, it's just a breakdown of everything that's associated with that plane flying so $179K is really a safe and generous estimate. For example salaries no matter what is already allocated anyway and they will get paid if they fly or not. Maintenance cost are future maintenance cost that may be incurred due to normal wear and tear. If I ask you how much does it cost to operate your car, you wouldn't only include the fuel cost right. If you add oil change and other lube change or parts that you "may" have to replace then it's more. A Hawaiian Air National Guard F-22 cost around $6K an hour to operate and we have four or more flying in a day. How much does it cost for a single car registration to get processed at DMV?

      • joe, my degree in accounting, and 35 years of running my own companies allows me to understand your costing analysis. i am well aware of the many hidden costs of ownership of a vehicle of any nature. i am saying that the costs are excessive by every common standard.

        YES, it does say that it costs $179k. that is what a full absorption costing analysis is. an air guard F-22 at $6k is not so preposterous...and more necessary i suspect

      • Then quit being stupid if you're intelligent. Remember that presidents have gone on holidays with friends and family for years, it's not like this president invented it. You're entourage comment shows that you want to hate Obama because you refuse to accept that this has been the status quo for a long time. It's not like Obama is upgrading the hotel rooms and perks from a previous standard.

      • Hey guest, the nation is suffering it's worst economic decline since the great depression. Presidents are supposed to lead by example. And before you say it, president Bush went to his own home for vacation. No resorts necessary. Obama just loves to stick it to the taxpayers, since just about the only ones left are the successful...

      • This President does not do what he says. He is spending my families money with total disregard. Shame on America for voting this guy back in. At what point do we start demanding better from our politicians? They are destroying our country and the blame sits on both sides of the isle but nobody holds there own party responsible for anything and it's destroying our country. This guy got voted back in on popularity not on results. Why are we in debt? If I ran my business this far in the hole I wouldn't be in business and why we keep putting the same failing people back in is sickening. Bush needed to go, Obama needs to go. I could not be more disappointed in the media and all the followers in this country that don't have a clue.

      • The Guest above loves to work hard all day so King Obama can spend his money. Yes, I remember bush didn't want to have some Over the top tax payer spending vacation so he goes camping or stays home. But idiots like Guest hated him for everything he stand. Brain washed Obama supporter. They hate bush for going to Iraq but love Obama for going to Afghanistan. They hate bush for gas at 2$ a gallon but love Obama for gas at 3.5$ a gallon. No matter what Obama does, these zombies who think they are intelligent, will "Love" their king until the day their dead.

      • President Obama didn't "go" to afghanistan- it was just another of dumbya's messes that he was handed to clean up.

      • Why are we still there? Osama is dead? He likes killing folks with drones!

      • This guy was voted back in by CHEATING, nothing more.

      • Especially for voting in AGAIN a person who is not even legally eligible to be president. He was born in Kenya, raised in Indonesia, and lived with his grandmother in Hawaii for part of his school years.
        He is NOT an American.

      • Bush didn't fly their on his magic broom.


      • Obama is your lord and savior is why you can't see hipocracy. Hey, idiot, we are $16 trillion in debt plus. And you see nothing wrong with spwnding millions more when that money could be saved.

      • Oh please! you first have to deserve it. If he want to go on vacation let him pay for it out of his election campaign. Obama went to Vegas when the people had their homes and lives destroyed. You would love bummer even if he torched your home. Radical is what you are in your constant support of someone who has done nothing but put us in debt. I guess you go on a $4 million dollar vacation, I'm sure it is not so. You probably never get off the couch or the free Phone you got to vote for him.

      • Mike it's important to Joe that he demonstrates his superiority to everyone else through condescending explanation. If he can't do that he has no reason to live.

      • kalamawashington

        "and more necessary i suspect " When I hear those things going overhead: "The sound of freedom". Not so much with Air Force One in this case.

      • actually knowing people who worked on AF1, the costs are PER USE.

    • Airforce One, with the exception of the space shuttle, is the most energy consumptive mode of transportation ever devised. It the antithesis of "green".

    • What ever gave you the idea that he cares about no one but himself

    • Air Force 1 is always accompanied by two fighter pilots. It's the President of the United States of America. Learn things.

    • They actually have to fly two 747s. One is a back up for Obama in case the primary goes down for maintenance issues.

    • This is a disgrace. Children are going hungry. Children are homeless. What kind of a country is this. Shame on you all.

      • "Shame on you all." Shame on YOU all? Aren't you part of this country" Maybe it should be "Shame on US all". Perhaps shame on all of "you" who reelected him into office.

    • Why can't this family stay in Washington D.C.? The people voted in a wastrel and I for one am truly sick of the vacationing family

      • Why doesn't Obuma vacation at his home in Chicago?

        When does the DNC start paying back the many hours the great one used to fly all over the Country? We could round it off at $100,00/00 per hour. Did he ever pay for his wife's trip to Spain and Africa were she listed her daughter as a member of her staff so she rode for free.

        Fair and balanced?

      • Do you ever get tired of making things up?

    • I am wondering How the people in CHARGE if his security feel about being dragged out of the continual 48 states for the holidays and not be able to be with their own family after there 8 hour shift is over ??? Does he care about anyone but his self ?????? He is just rubbing our nose in his crap.... Thank you for listening Elaine

    • Hey! Leave Obama alone, he works very hard spending our money. Now he needs a little down time to recover by spending more of our money. He earned it. He has taken more vacation in the past four years than I have in my 25+ working years of my life. Why to look good in the eyes of the middle man. That's just me, just another idiot who's been duped, I am so embarrassed. Good thing stupidity is not painful.

    • wwhat you have to remember is that you have the cost of fuel which is bourne by one tax payer. The cost of the flight crew's pay. THe cost of the staff on the plane, the cost of the maintainence. AS opposed to a commercial flight which gets maintainence periodically, Airforce one is overhauled/worked on eachtime its used. the real cost is the fact that alot of times obama and his family will travel separately incurring double costs....

    • Do you seriously think he cares what is going on in this country? NOT!!! Are they including Michelle's Mother as part of the "friends" she goes everywhere on our dime as well. Bottom line who cares what they do just get past this next 4 years as quickly as possible.

    • It's "tolerated" because the number is MADE UP by Fox News. It's fiction.

    • If you have to have it explained to you, you would never understand it anyway. It's all about depreciation and pro-rated costs. Does that help?

    • you must not remember the squadron of F-16's, refueling and other tactical aircraft that support airforce 1...

    • $179,750 per HOUR. Take the total cost of operating Air Force One, crews, aircraft, maintenance, etc, and divide this cost by the number of hours flown and you get the cost per hour to operate. If the president flew less the cost per hour would go up. The cost per year would be a more understandable figure. The actual operating cost is $12,000 per hour per the article.

    • The figure for the cost of AF-1 includes the cost of fuel, the biggest cost, the salaries of the crews, food & beverages, upkeep, maintainence, takeoff and landing fees in Hawaii, Security personel aboard and security measures assoiated with the flight. Operating a big aircraft like a Boeing 747 is not a cheap affair.

  4. Too good to stay on MCB Kaneohe?? Security would be a lot easier. Why can't the security guys stay in the barracks, at least? I'm sure there's room for them.

    • that is smart thinking!

    • Don't pollute our blessed, sacred Marine Corps Base by a POS that can't even pronounce "Corps" correctly!!

    • "I'm sure there's room for them"- Not true at all. There isn't enough housing even for the Marines and Sailors assigned to the base. In fact, they always have to have a battalion deployed because there are not enough rooms to house them all in garrison. As for the single family houses, they are also full. There is a wait list to rent a house on base.

    • That was my first thought. What kind of leadership would it show if he ate in the Officers mess, and with the grunts in the mess hall? Like some one said he has NO leadership ability other than that od all dicytators. I recommend he read General's Patton and McArthur to see what leadership is .

  5. the federal reserve will more than make up for all expenses that our drone happy fraud will incur.they have the printing press.glad i live in china-town !!

  6. [...] to the Hawaii Reporter, residents who live in the area of Oahu where Obama and his family vacation have been told that the [...]

  7. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

  8. the collapse will come someday

  9. Forget the cost to Hawaii, it makes it up in tourism trying to see the Pres. The real cost is to the "rich" in our country who make our country thrive. When are voters going to realize that 5 major new taxes begin on Jan. 2013 and then the Pres. also wants to "tax the rich" to save us from the fiscal cliff that HE CREATED! The Rep. need to stop this madness NOW. They need to stand for what they are conservatives! Cut spending FIRST on ALL of the entitlements and the fraud that goes along with them and then consider a BUDGET for the rest. The debt is so huge it will be a long long time before we get it into an area of some control if ever. This is ridiculous and depressing.

    • Will someone please tell me who in our government approves these expenditures - and please do not tell me (as Obama is doing) that these trips he makes for millions of our dollars are in line with other presidents. Bush went to Camp David and to his home in Crawford, Texas. Even Clinton didn't vacation lavishly - others went home. How in God's green earth can anyone spend this kind of money on the backs of people who are barely making it; doing without; many being let go from their jobs; the huge unemployment is beyond my comprehension. I thought Congress approved all moneys spent?

    • Tell that to the cell phone recipients!!

    • The so-called "fiscal cliff" is the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. The Bush taxes cuts were CREATED with an expiration date. Obama didn't cause that, you moron.

    • THANKS KWL, I already quoted your comment to congress via AARP's @ http://action.aarp.org/site/PageNavigator/Post_El...
      There's a comment section @ the bottom.

    • I agree I just called Boehners office again today.....I let him know that we all know that Fast and Furious was buried, obamacare crammed down our throats, the cover up on the 2nd 9/11 attack with another 4 Americans dead, using the words entitlement program when talking about our military and elderly (neither of which are entitlement programs) Our military and elderly have more than earned what they are getting. And Boehner needs to let us fall off the fiscal cliff, if not, we will never get out of this mess were in..........I hope others will call his office...He is also the one to start Impeachment processes on some of these people.....His Ohio number is 513-779-5400....God Bless Our Military and God Bless the Great United States of America........

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