THE PLANK NOVEMBER 18, 2008
Washington is full of entrepreneurs trying to cash in on Obama’s victory. Walk the streets downtown, and you’ll see vendors selling special editions of Election Day newspapers and bootleg hats, hokey t-shirts and commemorative buttons. But the biggest racket is on Craigslist, where DC residents are offering up their homes as lodging for the 4 million people expected to swarm the Mall on Inauguration Day. Many are offering nightly rates that would likely cover their rent for the month. Here are some of the more colorful offers from the past few days:
In Warrenton, Virginia, about an hour from DC, Alls Real Estate is renting this "mansion"--featured with fisheye lens photos to make it look extra big--for $2,000 a night.
Many Craigslisters are marketing their services as both innkeepers and city guides. A two-bedroom townhouse near Meridian Hill Park is going for $3,000 a night with the offer of a liaison and airport escort services.
A rowhouse on 14th and P is going for $10,000 for five nights.
One "lucky couple" will be treated to a bed and breakfast in someone’s home in Springfield, Virginia, for $20,000.
A suburbanite is turning a home into an inaugural flophouse, with 13 floor spaces up for rent (air mattresses and sleeping bags not included.)
Someone with a sense of humor is renting his Capitol Hill one bedroom, complete with live-in butler and maid, for $50,000 a night. Pictures are a must-see.
A savvy Washingtonian has already snatched up the web domain http://www.inaugurationlodging.com/, but http://www.inaugurallodging.com/ is still available. We’ll keep an eye on the listings over the next couple of weeks and let you know if anything good comes up.--Marin Cogan