President Obama will be inaugurated for his second term on Jan. 21 but unlike 2009, DC-area hotels still boast plenty of room. Some 1.8 million people were at the National Mall for Obama's first inauguration; this time, city officials expect there will be more than a million fewer visitors, the AP reports. Hotels sold out months in advance in 2009 at a daily of $600-plus, but for 2013 some places still have half their rooms available, and DC residents aren't too likely to be able to rent out their homes for hundreds of dollars a night.
"Very few hotels are actually sold out at this point, so there's a lot of availability," says the CEO of tourism bureau Destination DC. He expects demand to pick up after Christmas, though second inaugurations tend to attract a lot fewer spectators than first ones. Pricy inauguration packages are still being offered by the city's finest hotels, but the inauguration itself will be a lot more low-key than the last one, with only three inaugural balls instead of the 10 held in 2009.