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Crowd gathering at Las Vegas convention center in anticipation of President Trump's rally

President and Vice President visit Las Vegas tour helicopter companies see severe flight restrictions for security reasons
President and Vice President visit Las Vegas tour helicopter companies see severe flight restrictions for security reasons
President and Vice President visit Las Vegas tour helicopter companies see severe flight restrictions for security reasons
President and Vice President visit Las Vegas tour helicopter companies see severe flight restrictions for security reasons
President and Vice President visit Las Vegas tour helicopter companies see severe flight restrictions for security reasons
President and Vice President visit Las Vegas tour helicopter companies see severe flight restrictions for security reasons
Posted at 11:29 PM, Feb 20, 2020

UPDATE 7:45 A.M. FEB. 21: Hundreds of people were waiting in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday morning in anticipation of the Keep America Great rally at noon with President Trump. Many people traveled from other states for the rally and are eager to support their president.

If you haven’t gotten in line yet, it may be too late to get inside.
Check out this line: pic.twitter.com/iNRhCKV596

— @SeanKTNV (@seanktnv) February 21, 2020


Nevada voters will be headed to various sites around the valley to participate in the Nevada Caucus on Saturday.

ORIGINAL STORY
The high-profile political visits to the valley by the president and vice president mean the eyes of the nation are on Las Vegas, but it also means traffic and business are impacted.

President Trump touched down at McCarran International Airport around 8 p.m. Thursday, ahead of his planned rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center set to take place at noon on Friday.

13 Action News saw about 100 supporters camped out at the convention center -- some arriving around 3 a.m. Thursday.

His rally is 18 hours from now. @KTNV @LVCVA @LVCVAImpact pic.twitter.com/BYw5fnxkXv

— Joe Bartels (@Joe_Bartels) February 21, 2020

"I want to see what the economy is going to be, I want to hear everything!" said Leah Barney, a Trump supporter who was one of the first in line.

"I just want to cheer him on, you know what, he's done a great job for us, and we're all here to support him," said Nancy Curtain, a Trump supporter who is camping out overnight.

However, the president's presence also brought some business to a complete stop.

McCarran Airport tweeted several announcements Thursday that operations were at a "standstill" while the president and vice president were arriving and moving around the airport.

The FAA placed a temporary flight restriction, or TFR, in place to help protect the president.

The restrictions limit the types of aircraft and the reasons they can fly when the president, vice president, or other essential dignitaries are in the area.

That includes KTNV's Chopper 13 and tour helicopters.

"Each [tour helicopter] produces around $10,000 of revenue per day," said Steve Egger, CEO of Serenity Helicopters.

"So two helicopters a day, a couple of days, or two or three days that's $40-$60,000 worth of revenue that we lose," said Egger.

Serenity Helicopters flies out of Boulder City airport with two helicopters and a staff of about 25 people.

The company takes visitors and tourists to Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, and even down the Las Vegas Strip.

But Air Force One puts a stop on those plans.

"A couple of days prior we [know of the restrictions] but a couple of weeks, it's tough, we know it's coming, and we don't wanna schedule and book people if we are going to have to cancel," said Egger.

Larger tour helicopters with 50 or more helicopters stand to lose thousands in lost revenue for a prolonged TFR while the president is nearby.

Egger says a few days is manageable, but beyond that, adjustments would have to be made.

"We get over there, we would have to adjust if it happened every month, but it happens typically every four years," said Egger.

The president is scheduled to depart from McCarran Airport at around 1:40 p.m. Friday.

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