Report: Smaller Crowds for Obama’s Second Inauguration

Warner Todd Huston | January 1, 2013 

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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