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President Obama won re-election in November bringing a crazy election year to a close but it appears that the inauguration appeal has faded. On Jan. 21, Obama will be sworn in as commander in chief, which will be witnessed by around 800,000 people, a big dip from the 1.8 million who traveled to the nation’s capital in 2009.

“Very few hotels are actually sold out at this point, so there’s a lot of availability,” Elliott Ferguson, CEO of the the tourism bureau Destination DC told TheGrio.

Hotels in the area are still hiking rates ahead of the ceremony. The Mandarin Oriental hotel for example has raised the price of its least expensive room from $295 to $1,195 a night. Rooms are still available in a variety of swanky hotels, including the Willard hotel whose vacant units start at more than $1,100 a night. “The second time, it’s always not that big,” noted Tommy Jacomo who runs the Palm restaurant, and has yet to fill all the reservations for the night before the inauguration.

In accordance with the law, President Obama will take a private oath one day before the inauguration, in a closed-door ceremony in front of Chief Justice John Roberts on Sunday (Jan. 20). Due to the weekend, additional events— like the Obama being sworn in, his inaugural address and ball— will all take place a day later.


Photo: Denver Post