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People line the streets of downtown Salt Lake for President Joe Biden

Posted at 9:45 PM, Aug 09, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — President Joe Biden is back in Utah for the first time in eight years, making his first visit to the Beehive State as president.

Air Force One landed at Wright Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City, just before 4:30 p.m. His motorcade would make its way downtown, arriving at the Hotel Monaco around 4:50 p.m.

Christopher Van Duijn and 23 of his family members from the Netherlands have spent the past three weeks in Utah, during their first-ever trip to the United States.

"This morning we heard that the president was arriving," said Van Duijn. "We were in town all day and then we heard he was probably, we could make it to stay here to see the president."

An opportunity Van Duijn and his family couldn't pass up.

"It's quite interesting because our president just rides with his bicycle just through town and through his work, so to see all the security here and how they clear all the streets already from this morning, it's quite impressive," said Van Duijn.

Security was tight outside the Hotel Monaco on Wednesday, before and even as President Biden and his motorcade arrived. The U.S. Secret Service was keeping their eye to the sky and local law enforcement blocked off streets and directed traffic.

"I can't believe how they can go from town to town and have this kind of entourage," said Scott Waltman, a Salt Lake City resident.

Waltman says he was out for his daily walk and stopped to see what was going on.

He told FOX 13 News on Wednesday this wasn't the first time he had seen a sitting president make a stop in the Beehive State.

"George W., it was during the Olympics, my mother-in-law Olene Walker at the time, we were able to attend several of the events and we got to be in a room where he was, it was very, very cool," said Waltman.

While the curtain ultimately kept the president out of sight, the people who lined the sidewalk to try and get a glimpse of him pulling in say it was worth the experience.

"It's always cool to see the government at work regardless of what you think," said Waltman.

"A few of us already went to the airport but we could wait for 30 minutes and then we could see the president," Van Duijn added.

Law enforcement continued to keep roads blocked off near the Hotel Monaco Wednesday night.

President Biden is slated to make his first stop at the Salt Lake City VA Hospital Thursday morning.