Hotel Reservations Being Auctioned Off for Inauguration

Coming up dry on house and apartment rentals during the inauguration? Try bidding on a hotel reservation.

By: Emily Leaman

We reported earlier that lots of Washingtonians are poised to rake in mounds of cash this January when out-of-towners pay hundreds—even thousands—of dollars to rent apartments and homes for the inauguration.

For the seriously desperate tourist, here’s a new tree to bark up: A few (good?) Samaritans are offering their hotel reservations. But it’ll cost you.

As of this writing, we found three listings for hotel reservations for auction on eBay. The cheapest ($202.50 for a four-night stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Arlington) currently has two bids, while the most expensive ($999 for three nights at the Best Western Dulles Airport Inn) has none. The midpriced option, at $305 for four nights in a Holiday Inn in Annapolis, has seven bids. All three auctions are open for several more days.

One person is using Craigslist to off-load a three-night reservation at the Courtyard Marriott on Connecticut Avenue near Dupont Circle. The seller is requiring that the buyer sign an authorization form or bill of sale and provide him or her with a photocopy of a credit card to guarantee the hotel room. “I am a legit travel agent,” he writes. “This is for saftey [sic] precautions only.”

In case you were wondering, the lucky auction and Craigslist winners walk away with only the reservation; the per-night cost of the room is extra. Buyer beware.

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