Money, Money, Money
In case you missed The Post's weekend coverage, we brought you three tales of the way in which money is altering the face of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.
Nikita Stewart wrote on Saturday about the competition between vendors for licenses to sell merchandise. Stewart writes:
The people who spend the year selling hot dogs, handbags, FBI hats and other items must enter a city-run lottery to get a prized spot Jan. 20, the day that record crowds are expected downtown.
And they are not happy.
The city is expecting 3,000 to 5,000 applications for about 500 temporary licenses to hawk souvenirs, food and other goods. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs said that, in light of the demand, the coveted spots on the streets around the Mall will be selected by lottery.
Local vendors complained that they are being treated the same as out-of-towners. And they don't want to give up their lucrative assigned sites in heavily traveled parts of downtown, said Brenda Sayles of D.C. Vendors United, a street vendors' group.
On Sunday, Avis Thomas-Lester showed how much people are willing to spend to be in Washington for the big day Jan. 20, when Obama takes the oath of office. Thomas-Lester writes about one man named Cody Matthews, who expects to spend $5,000 for two-days here:
He'll spend two nights at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza downtown at $1,200 a night. He has paid $550 to fly buddy Paige Bradford in from Salt Lake City and has put aside $1,000 for two inaugural ball tickets. Dinner at the Willard Room the night before President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in will run about $200, as will a celebration meal the next night at Al Tiramisu. And to make sure he looks every bit the Washington sophisticate when he steps out, Matthews is buying a new tux, an overcoat and other accouterments.
Also on Sunday, David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart spent time at the Park at 14th nightclub to see how the city's emergency law that will allow bars and clubs to stay open around-the-clock for four days from Jan. 17-21 will help club owners turn a profit:
D.C. nightlife impresario Marc Barnes was recently offered $20,000 for private use of the Park at 14th, his popular dance club in downtown Washington, during the week of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.
He scoffed. And, now that the city has passed an emergency law extending the hours bars and nightclubs can serve alcohol between Jan. 17 and 21, he's in for a lot more money. He estimates moving 1,500 people through the luxurious four-story Park at $100 a head and calculates raking in $150,000 a night -- not including food and alcohol.
But that's chump change compared with what he might make at Love, his mega-club in Northeast with a hot tub on the roof and a cellar that can hold $300,000 worth of liquor. Barnes expects that 3,500 people will circulate inside and another 3,500 through a tent in the parking lot, with revenue topping $700,000 a night.
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