Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Protests to take over DC for Trump's inauguration

Published:Tuesday | January 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to clog the nation's capital for Donald Trump's inauguration and a major demonstration the day after. How many will actually arrive to party or protest is an open question.

Officials estimate that 800,000 to 900,000 people will be present Friday for the inauguration, a celebration that takes over the city, closing roads, taxing the city's Metro transit system and making getting around difficult. Trump himself has promised "massive crowds," but just what that will mean is unclear.

Hundreds of thousands of others are expected on Saturday for the Women's March on Washington.

Trump showed that he could draw crowds during the campaign, but his supporters weren't so quick to make plans to be in Washington for his inauguration.




Elliott Ferguson, president of Destination DC, the city's convention and tourism bureau, said that before election day, hotels had more events tentatively planned for a Hillary Clinton victory than a Donald Trump one. And when Trump won, the "level of enthusiasm" and demand for hotel rooms did not immediately reach that of past recent inaugurations, he said.

"No one's phones were ringing" on the day after the election, he said.

Things started to pick up after New Year's, but some hotels have cut back minimum-night stays from four nights to two. Some hotels are only 50 per cent full, though higher-end hotels apparently have more bookings, he said.

"It's been much, much slower than anyone would have anticipated for a first-term president," he said.