President lifts off
President Bush departed Park City aboard his helicopter Thursday morning at about 7:30 a.m., lifting off after an overnight stay for a fundraiser in Solamere.
The fleet of four helicopters arced away from the field outside Treasure Mountain International School as onlookers watched. The crowds along Kearns Boulevard were not as large as they were when he arrived at the same location on Wednesday.
Bush remained under heavy security as he boarded, with the Secret Service, the Park City Police Department and other agencies protecting him.
The departure caused a traffic jam along the S.R. 248 entryway.
Park City buzzed on Wednesday as the president was shuttled between stops in Deer Valley, with the crowds gathering at numerous places to cheer him or rally against him. The people stretched from Kearns Boulevard across from the landing site to spots in Deer Valley.
The motorcade did not stop along the routes, and Bush did not greet the people who lined the streets. He did not speak to reporters assigned to the motorcade.
The presidential helicopters landed under clear skies, and the Bush was quickly put into his car. The motorcade, with lawmen on motorcycles, the president’s vehicles, ambulances and police cars, quickly drove west on Kearns Boulevard, turned south onto Bonanza Drive before turning south onto Deer Valley Drive. It climbed Marsac Avenue and the Mine Road before reaching Silver Lake.
At about 6:30 p.m., the entourage left Silver Lake for the fund-raiser at Mitt Romney’s Solamere mansion. The president returned to Silver Lake at a little before 9 p.m.
Some people in the crowd held signs with vulgar language for Bush, but most of the people along the route appeared to be either Bush supporters or curious to see the motorcade. Some Barack Obama supporters held signs as well.
Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said a suspicious package was found off Deer Valley Drive in lower Deer Valley, which is along the route, but the authorities determined it was a poker-chip case.
Kirk said there were not other problems.
Traffic backed up at numerous places along the route as roads were temporarily shut down. Lawmen blocked intersections with their vehicles.
Deer Valley Resort hired Jamo O’Reilly as the director of lodging operations to oversee its more than 450 residences.