Anyone planning to be in Washington from Jan. 17 until Jan. 21 had better already have hotel reservations or make them pronto - and be prepared to pay in advance for all four nights.
The presidential inaugural events over those four days is expected to bring in some 45,000 visitors, according to the Washington Convention and Visitors Association. While the $94 million they are expected to spend during their visit will help ease the city's financial distress, the influx will tax the city's approximately 90 hotels.Almost 75 percent of the city's 22,000 hotel rooms are already reserved and the others are filling up fast, according to Stephanie Coppula of the Washington Hotel Association. President Clinton's inauguration in 1993 resulted in an average occupancy rate of just under 99 percent during the events and similar occupancies are expected this time.
Many of the best rooms in choice hotels are already booked, but there are three telephone reservation lines specializing in last-minute cancellations and bookings: Washington D.C. Accommodations (800 554-2220), Hotel Reservations Network (800 964-6835) and Capitol akets must be pu452-1270).
If money is no object, the Grand Hyatt Washington has just the thing: three presidential suites at a tidy $53,000 each for a four-night package. Each package includes transportation to and from Washington.