Silver Chips Online

A way to the White House

By Julia Wynn, Online Connections and Food Editor
December 6, 2008
Apparently, the going price for witnessing history can reach thousands of dollars a night.

With the historic inauguration of the first black president only a few weeks away, hoards of people are attempting to find ways into D.C. for the momentous occasion. Hotels are taking advantage of the rise in demand for rooms, charging ridiculously high prices that they know someone will eventually bite the bullet for and pay. Assuming there is space available, the maximum price in a hotel the week of Jan. 18 is about $1,000 per night, according to the Washingtonian.
Elaine Lin


But why should consumers deal with this exploitation? A perfect way to avoid paying high prices for inauguration housing is to turn to fellow consumers. Craigslist and other venues are packed with advertisements for house rentals for the scores of people in need of housing for inauguration week. And because the people renting out their homes know how industries can take advantage of buyers, they will have a much more reasonable price range. While prices fluctuate widely, there are rooms available for several hundred dollars less than what hotels are charging. People all over the country could be at the inauguration without paying the outrageous price.

And both parties profit from house renting. The inhabitants of the D.C. area will meet new people and reap monetary benefits by allowing others to live in all or part of their home. Whatever the final price is, renters will still be gaining some amount of money that they did not get last year at this time.

If the whole inauguration scene seems just too intense, house switching may be an even better option. Some people living around D.C. feel like they have seen enough of the political action and want to get away during the inauguration. Others don't even remember they live close to the White House - this is me occasionally - and will give up their homes for others to attend the event. This leaves empty houses that are perfect spots for people who have worked on Obama's campaign or other fans around the country who are desperate to be in D.C. on Jan. 20. With a simple house exchange, the campaign workers get to watch their work pay off for a reasonable price while the D.C. inhabitants get a vacation. Everyone is happy and no one has to deal with a scary number of zeros on hotel bills.

Of course there are those who won't miss the opportunity to witness history when they are only a few miles away. Even for residents staying in town, renting out a room or more will allow them to share a priceless experience with others while still making a little extra cash.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/8761