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Good luck finding a D.C. hotel for the inauguration

Nearly all 800 rooms at the J.W. Marriott hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue are sold out, with the exception of suites in two package deals. The hotel offers a 12th floor terrace view of the parade route. (WTOP/Thomas Warren)

Thomas Warren, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Anyone looking to get a hotel room in Washington, D.C. for inauguration weekend should get used to hearing two words: sold out.

Many hotels in the immediate D.C. area have already run out of rooms for the weekend of Jan. 18 to 21.

The swearing-in ceremony and parade for President Obama’s 2013 inaugural falls on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“It’s D.C.’s Super Bowl, or Oscars, all rolled into one,” says Rand Goodman, director of sales and marketing for the J.W. Marriott hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest D.C.

Nearly all of the 800 rooms at that Marriott location are sold out, with the exception of suites in two package deals.

Their largest package comes with a price tag of $2.7 million.

“That comes with four suites. Comes with almost a million dollars worth of food and beverage, and 300 guest rooms over four nights,” Goodman says.

Goodman touts the 12th floor terrace view of the Capitol building parade route as a perk of the deal.

If that deal’s pricetag eats too much into the retirement fund, there’s a, relatively, less expensive option.

“We also have a terrace on our seventh floor which we’ll construct a building on, and that will be going for $800,000,” says Goodman.

The steep climb in price comes from a steep climb in demand for that particular weekend, Goodman says.

The Marriott Crystal City, Reagan National Airport and Key Bridge hotels have rooms available that weekend, but only if customers book a three-night stay, according to Marriott officials.

Many hotels around Capitol Hill are booked to capacity. The Liaison Hotel on New Jersey Avenue NW is one of the few with multi-day rooms available. Their prices are also much higher than normal.

A four-night stay from Jan. 17 to 21 will cost an average of $724 a night. However, the devil is in the details. The first night is $227.86. The subsequent three nights each cost $1,029.36 a night.

The popular Willard Hotel on 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW still has rooms available, ranging from $1,149 to $3,800 a night.

The “Oval Suites” overlook Pennsylvania Avenue along the parade route coming from the Capitol, says Jane Davis, director of sales and marketing for the Willard Hotel.

Davis says this year they’re focused on an American theme.

“All of our amenities will try to be made in America,” Davis says.

Wherever you’re looking to stay, you might want to clear your credit cards.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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