BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — With President Joe Biden coming to Belvidere, his Secret Service has come days before setting up security measures. This included going to various locations in the area to speak with store managers about the logistics of the President’s visit.
Jeff Robertson, Olivo’s Gaming and Bar manager, found out about the president’s visit when he arrived at his store’s parking lot covered in signs.
“I saw the signs up that you can’t park there. I’m like, What’s going on for Thursday? Why can’t I park out here? And I saw this. I never walked in where he’s talked about. I’m like, you know, like, why now? Like, yeah, if I’m going to be here,” Robertson said.
Secret service members stopped at the bar when Robertson wasn’t there, but his daughter was to greet the agents.
“My daughter was there when it happened, and she called me immediately. She’s like, there’s a bunch of guys in suits here. I think I’m afraid we’re going to get shut down,” Robertson joked. “Then when they explained what was going on, they told her they were the Secret Service and kind of explaining how the area was going to be and with the checkpoints and all that. So it was it was different.”
Robertson was born in Rockford and is now living in Belvidere. With the Stellantis deal and other big development projects, Robertson is happy with the direction is city is heading.
“it’s going to be good for just the area altogether. Having a president visit, having just the area in the news, you know, it’s going to be good for just, just the overall, you know, talking about Belvidere and talking about what’s going on,” He said.
Roberston is also a realtor having helped those laid off by Stellantis find new homes. He is glad that won’t be the case moving forward.
“It means a lot to be able to keep the people and the jobs here in the economy and in the area going instead of having to remove away and have a state. So it means a lot to be able to have the economy and the money stay.” He said.