-By Warner Todd Huston
Officials in the District of Columbia estimated that 1.8 million folks attended President Obama’s first inauguration. But for his second inauguration, numbers appear to be down. Officials are only expecting up to 600,000 to 800,000.
One clue to attendance expectations is hotel room bookings. Four years ago hotels were sold out quite early across the city. This year, however, rooms are still plentiful.
“Very few hotels are actually sold out at this point, so there’s a lot of availability,” said Elliott Ferguson, CEO of the tourism bureau Destination DC, who added that he expected demand to pick up after Christmas.
In 2009, hotel bookings were at 98 percent capacity and due to supply and demand, prices remained high. For inauguration number two, however, most hotels are only half sold, so prices are dropping and staying times are increasing to entice guests.
Of course, posh spots like the Willard Hotel still have pricey packages to offer inauguration goers, but many deals abound throughout the city due to lower demand.
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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