Visitors coming to the nation’s capital for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration can’t stay in the one place President Ronald Reagan’s family once called an eight-star hotel. That spot is the White House, and it’s booked for the next four years.
Still, inauguration-goers have a range of lodging options – from crashing on a friend’s couch to reasonably priced rooms to ones that cost thousands of dollars a night.
With second inaugurations tending to draw fewer spectators, finding a place to stay in Washington won’t be nearly as difficult as in 2009.
City officials are expecting 600,000 to 800,000 visitors for the Jan. 21 inauguration, far less than the 1.8 million people who flooded the National Mall four years ago to witness the inauguration of America’s first black president. Back then, some hotels sold out months in advance and city residents rented out their homes for hundreds of dollars a night. This time, hotels say they’re filling up more slowly, with rooms still available and prices at or slightly below where they were four years ago.
“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.