by Sarah J.F. Braley | January 27, 2017
STR, the hotel industry research firm, reported today that properties in the Washington, D.C., central business district sold more rooms on inauguration day 2017 than for 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 for 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."
One interesting piece of data shows that the number of guest rooms available in the central business district has grown significantly; there are now 5.1 percent more room than were available for President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009. The sharing economy also played a role, as Airbnb reported more listings in the D.C. market than for any other night .
"The Women's March clearly had an impact on hotel performance this year, but it is impossible to tell how much," Haywood added. "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."