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Downtown DC hotels see record inauguration demand

The hotel industry in the Washington, D.C., central business district (CBD) reported more rooms sold on Inauguration Day 2017 than on any other Inauguration Day on record.

“When looking at this year’s presidential inauguration, there are three factors that make an analysis of the true impact on hotels difficult—the presence of the Women’s March, more alternative accommodations available than any other inauguration and the day of the week,” said Jessica Haywood, STR’s senior research analyst. “But from the numbers alone, we can see that there were more rooms sold on Inauguration Day than any other we have on record (since 2001), and rate spikes were substantial the entire weekend.”

The number of hotel rooms available in the D.C. CBD is 5.1% higher than what was available for President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009. Airbnb also reported more listings than any other night in the D.C. market.

During the 2017 inauguration, 110 hotels in downtown D.C. reported occupancy at or above 95%, compared to 81 in 2009 and 32 in 2001.

“The Women’s March clearly had an impact on hotel performance this year, but it is impossible to tell how much,” Haywood said. “It is likely that some inauguration attendees stayed an extra day, while some marchers arrived a day early. Many hotels require a three-day minimum stay during the inauguration – which drives occupancy in the days around the event.”

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