Martha’s Vineyard: ‘It’s the Weather That Hurts Businesses Here, Not the Economy’

Aug 18, 2011 11:46am

ABC News' Stephanie Smith reports:

There’ve been a lot of loud critics of President Obama’s vacation plans to Martha’s Vineyard — even from some of his avid supporters. But when he touches down on this posh island in about six hours, he won’t find many here, if you believe Jenna Ware, a long time resident and driver for Stage Coach taxi service, one of several cab companies located here.

“The general consensus is he’s always welcome here,” Ware says as she makes her way from the airport with a van full of vacationers. “I’ve heard a few not-so-nice things said about him, but this is a predominantly Democratic island and people support him.”

Critics have argued that given the dire economic situation in the country, the last place the president should be is on an island known for its million dollar beach front estates and celebrity visitors. And while the Vineyard does have higher unemployment than normal and more locals seeking aid, it has remained economically stable. In fact, while home prices on most of the mainland have dropped significantly, here home values have increased.

Ware, sporting a dark tan you’ll see on most residents here, says that when the recession hit, the Vineyard remained unscathed. The island is pretty much recession proof, she says. When a passenger noted in a 2009 visit – the first time Mr. Obama came  here as president – there was a lot of rain, Ware replied,  “it’s the weather that hurts businesses here, not the economy. People won’t come if we get a bad forecast.”

So while President Obama ensconces himself in a $20 million estate presumably relaxing but possibly working on his economic plans, he can also take some comfort that no one here will hold him accountable if the weather turns bad.

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