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Washington Businesses, Hotels Prepare for Trump Inauguration

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Construction continues on the Inaugural platform in preparation for the Inauguration and swearing-in ceremonies for President-elect Donald Trump on the Capitol steps in Washington. Trump will be sworn in a president on Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Construction continues on the Inaugural platform in preparation for the Inauguration and swearing-in ceremonies for President-elect Donald Trump on the Capitol steps in Washington. Trump will be sworn in a president on Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On January 20, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C to attend the inauguration on the steps of the Capitol Building.

Eight years ago, Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, took the oath of office.

Obama inauguration: 'Are you prepared to take the oath, senator?'

Many Hollywood personalities attended both of President Obama’s inaugurations.They are not planning to attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. Most of the guests for the Trump inauguration will come from the states that supported him. There will also be some diplomats and other international visitors.

And people will attend other events as well, including the inaugural parade and big costly parties called balls.

As the visitors make final plans for the trip to Washington, many D.C.-area businesses are getting ready for the crowds.

Although some hotels still have rooms available, most are full. Among them is one of the city’s costliest and highest-rated places to stay, the Four Seasons Hotel. It is charging much higher prices for inauguration weekend. A night in its presidential suite costs $16,000. And with the hotel requiring a four-night stay during inauguration week, the cost is easily $64,000.

David Bernand is general manager at Four Seasons Hotel.

'We have people from political parties, you know, people from the business side of things here. And we also have people from banks, people all over really, every single trade.'

With the high price for rooms come extra services.

'We've got hand warmers available for them, right, hats and things like that. Just things to make it more convenient for them.'

The hotel will give a gift to visitors each day of their four-day stay. The final gift will be a leather box, marked in real gold with the symbol of the presidential seal.

While Four Seasons visitors are receiving costly gifts, others in town for the inauguration will treat themselves to less costly souvenirs.

One business, the Washington Welcome Center, is ready with souvenirs linked to the presidency. Store manager Dexter Morse expects Trump-related objects will be a big seller during inauguration week.

Morse says the hottest items are Trump hats. 'The 'Make America Great Again' hat. Basically, the baseball caps are selling. We can't keep them on the shelves.'

Visitors at the store do not just shop. They also talk about politics. Henry Jones is a Trump supporter. He is a college student visiting from Georgia.

'I think he's got some good qualities and I know he has his bad qualities, too, and has a lot of differences that people don't agree with. But I think he'll bring a lot to this country in his economic status, and in his way as a businessman, I think he can do a lot for the economy.'

Store manager Dexter Morse says, since the election, both Republicans and Democrats who visit the store are expressing their views.

'The Republicans, they will come in and they basically speak on money issues, whereas the Democrats will come in and they'll seek out the problems and will talk about what's on the news, like if they cut Obamacare.'

For some, the long lines, crowds and strong security in the city during the inauguration are not appealing.

Business owner Divo Le says he hopes Donald Trump will make America great again. But, he will not be fighting the crowds in D.C. Le says he plans to watch the change of U.S. leadership on television.

I’m Marsha James.

Deborah Block reported this story for VOANews.com. Marsha James adapted her report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

oathn. a formal and serious promise to tell the truth or to do something

inauguration - n. the official swearing-in ceremony

suiten. a group of rooms for a single person or family in a hotel

affordv. to be able to pay for

souvenirn. something that helps you remember an event

item n. a thing, object or piece of something

convenient adj. allowing you to do something easily or without trouble

leather n. animal skin that is chemically treated to preserve it and is used in making clothes, shoes, furniture

shelves - v. to put something on a shelf

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