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While the president-elect fabricates numbers regarding his Nov. 8 victory, home-sharing company Airbnb is bullish that thousands of people will flock to D.C. and stay in short-term rentals in the area for his inauguration.
In a new report released today, Airbnb anticipates that upwards of 10,000—or more than seven times the nearly 1,300 who relied on the platform for President Barack Obama‘s second inauguration—will reserve listings in the metro region for Donald Trump‘s impending installation as commander in chief. The company also reports that bookings on its platform jumped 80 percent the week after Election Day, as hotel reservations apparently trickled in. This will be the third presidential inauguration since Airbnb was founded in San Franscico in 2007.
“We project that Airbnb hosts in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and surrounding parts of Maryland will earn over $3.5 million in income from reservations that span Inauguration weekend, 10 times more than the 2013 Inauguration,” the company says. “At the current booking rate, [the 2017 inauguration] is expected to come close to the biggest night for D.C.-area guest arrivals in Airbnb’s history.” That record is held by the second night of the Washington Nationals’ playoff series against the Los Angeles Dodgers this year, with 8,100 Airbnb arrivals.
But the demographics of visitors who will use the platform to find housing for Trump’s inauguration remain unclear. Airbnb states “current bookings show New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago as the top cities of origin for guests”—not exactly the white working class and Republican bastions that turned out for the president-elect. It could be that a significant share of inauguration Airbnb users are in fact coming to the District to protest.
In any event, the company is keeping politically neutral. “The Airbnb community is excited to open our homes to thousands of visitors to the nation’s capital for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration,” the report concludes. And the top neighborhoods for bookings reflect what’s typical at other points in the year: Adams Morgan, the H Street NE corridor, Columbia Heights, and Shaw. (Notably, the report doesn’t mention Trump by name. It does for Obama.)
Uncertainties of the Trump presidency aside, one thing’s for sure: Airbnb hosts are looking to make bank during the president-elect’s assumption of power—some by as much as many people in the District pay in monthly rent.