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Inauguration Weekend

Posted Dec 01 2008 12:00am

Right after November 4th, all anyone was talking about here in DC was Inauguration Weekend.  There were predictions of up to 4 million people and over 10,000 charter buses flooding into the city, which made so many people in the area start seeing dollar signs. I heard a report the other day saying that all of the hotel rooms in the DC area, other than the top dollar suites, have been sold out for weeks. Hotels in Baltimore, Richmond, Winchester and all the way down to Harrisonburg, VA have been raising prices for that weekend. To accommodate the demand, it seemed like a great idea for DC residents to start renting out there homes. I don’t know if it was actual demand, or just hype, but quickly 1 and 2 bedroom apartments were being listed for thousands of dollars. In many cases what people are charging for the weekend is well over the cost of rent for that month. But as far as I can tell, not very many people are having that much luck. For some obvious reasons, people are more attracted to hotels, even if they are located miles away, than they are someone’s home. Has anyone actually heard of people renting out their apartment for as much as they asked for?

I’ve thought a lot about renting out my room, but I think what I am most conflicted about is whether or not it is really the right thing to do. The question is whether or not charging people more than it should cost to crash in your house is what this historic event is all about. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with making a buck, but a lot of the people who will be coming into DC on inauguration weekend have given hours and hours of service to get the President Elect elected. If we decide to bring people in, isn’t it somewhat our moral obligation to help out those who helped us? The truth is I have had a few friends ask if they can crash at my place. While I have not committed yet, I’m pretty sure that is what I’m going to end up doing. But I have to admit, I certainly see the appeal for some extra dough.

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