President checks in at Ritz-Carlton in Manalapan

MANALAPAN, Fla. - The President of the United States checked in to Manalapan's only hotel on Thursday evening.

Some locals had the opportunity to see Obama and his motorcade as it arrived at the heavily-guarded Ritz-Carlton at about 9:30 p.m. 

Robert Serr is from England but now lives in Palm Beach. He joined hundreds of others on the side of South Ocean Boulevard to welcome the president.

"I live just down the road and it's all exciting to see the president, how often in your life can you see the motorcade go by?," he asked.

Marylee Moffat lives just down the street from the Ritz-Carlton. She brought an American flag to the hotel to try to catch a glimpse of the president. 

"I'm a Navy veteran so I'm hear to support the commander in chief," she said.  But just before the president's arrival, the crowds were told to move away, preventing most people from seeing the president pull in.

Throughout Thursday, security at the Ritz-Carlton was strengthened. The Secret Service was working closely with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and local police. Visitors to the inside of the hotel said metal detectors were put in place, armed guards were stationed at each entrance and a strict 'no photography' rule was being enforced.

The president was scheduled to leave Manalapan early Friday to go to campaign events in Fort Myers and Orlando before leaving the state. 

"He could have been anywhere else but he's here," said Boynton Beach resident Victoria Peters. "He's in our area here to check on the people," she said.

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