Auburn (WSYR-TV) - The YMCA wasn’t the stop everyone in Auburn was expecting Friday morning when they heard the President had come to Auburn.
Most people in Central New York assumed President Obama would visit historic locales such as the William Seward House or the Harriet Tubman Home.
But after staying in an Auburn hotel, he skipped both spots, leaving for his next scheduled stop in Binghamton.
Crowds gathered early Friday morning near the Auburn Holiday Inn, assuming he would make the short trip up the road to the Seward House, but it never happened. The motorcade with Ground Force One and the President on board traveled up to Route 20, turned left, and headed toward Skaneateles.
"There was never a firm commitment that he was going to make either stop, it was just hoped that he would,” said Auburn Mayor Mike Quill.
Although he had been anxious to see the President, Fred Prentice said he understood.
"You have to consider the pressure of time and everything else. It’s not disappointment. He wasn't here for touring, he was here to talk about education,” Prentice said.
Tia Gilliam said she also understood that he had other commitments.
"I am disappointed, I also understand he is the President of the United States, we know he has a big agenda,” she said.
But not all of those who waited were sympathetic, especially those who gathered outside the Harriet Tubman home.
"I'm mad, I'm disappointed. How could you, especially with the Harriet Tubman National Park in progress right now. He was five minutes away,” said Amy Ankrum.
"I'm just devastated, I'm just so disappointed, I'm flabbergasted that he didn't stop here, I can't believe it,” said Harriet Tubman booster Laurel Ullyette.
Even though the President didn't actually make it here to the Harriet Tubman Home, just the suspicion he might prompted a lot more visitors than would probably normally be here on a Friday morning.
“No one should feel slighted, no one should feel ignored. This is an opportunity for us to galvanize as a community here in Auburn, Cayuga County, Finger Lakes, Central NY, to insist on the establishment of the National Historical Park," said Harriet Tubman Home President and CEO Karen Hill.
Hill says they hope the President and his wife will return for a full visit once the home has been officially designated as a National Historical Park.