Thursday, January 15, 2009

No inauguration hotel crunch

Last Friday, the Post finally walked back from its hyping of an inauguration rental housing crunch ("Inaugural Rentals Begging For Takers" is the headline, which sounds about right). The Post had helped build the idea that people were successfully renting out their apartments for thousands of dollars, and didn't back down from it despite evidence to the contrary.

Today's paper has another interesting tidbit on the inauguration housing situation, this one on page B2:

"Actually, Hotel Space Remains Available" is the headline. The online version gives more detail than the print version. Here it is:
The District's official tourism office, Destination DC, reports that there are 15,000 rooms available in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District.

A total of 800 rooms remain available within the District limits, said Victoria Isley, Destination's senior vice president for marketing.

For weeks, Isley said, word has spread across the country that the region was booked up in anticipation of Obama's historic swearing in. But she said that impression was incorrectly conveyed because hotels, faced with the anticipated demand, withdrew their rooms from on-line travel services such as Travelocity in order to exert tighter control over their bookings.

Destination came up with its own numbers by surveying the hotel owners.

This is fascinating news, and I'm glad the Post is reporting it. I just wish it got more prominence, and that the Post had figured this out a lot earlier.


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