Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 9, September 2010, Posted On: 8/20/2010
First Family Visits Florida FEC, Plays Mini Golf
by Staff Reporter
Pirate's Island Adventure Golf, family entertainment center, FEC, FEC business, amusement business, Gulf Coast resort business, arcade, arcade games, video game, redemption game, coin-op news, coin-op business, miniature golf, President Obama, Mike Walsingham, Wonderworks
PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL -- In a trip combining recreation and domestic politics, President Obama and the first family played miniature golf at Pirate's Island Adventure Golfon Front Beach Rd. here on Aug. 14.
The highlight of the presidential trip to the region was a swim in Gulf waters by Obama and daughter Sasha, with photos flashed around the world dramatizing that the water is clean and the Gulf Coast tourist region is "open for business."
The mini golf venue featured a banner saying "Welcome Obama Family." Sasha hit a hole in one with her orange golf ball, prompting the first lady to say, according to reports: "Oh man. I'm going to be humiliated. I can't do that." The President managed a hole-in-one a few minutes later using a ball he described as "classic white."
The next day, Michelle and Sasha visited the Wonderworks family entertainment center away from press cameras. Co-owner Mike Walsingham said the presidential visit would boost business in the region, but, without photos, few would know the Obamas had patronized his fun center.
"It was great they came and visited," he added. "It's got to be positive, no matter what it is."