Hotels along Richmond Highway are preparing for a possible "trickle down effect" for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.
Many hotels already are completely booked in D.C., so customers are setting their sights on hotels in the greater Alexandria area for the Jan. 21 event.
Carmen Fierro, general manager of The Quality Inn-Mount Vernon, said calls about room availability started back in July.
"We started receiving calls, I would say around July of this year, with inquiries for the time frame," Fierro said. "Then I think they just sat back until the president-elect was in office and once that was done, that's when it really started."
Fierro said The Quality Inn doesn't usually see a full house in January unless the weather is bad, but Inauguration Day will be very lucrative. Most guests, she said, are searching the Internet to find the location themselves.
"Most inquiries are coming from the Internet, and guests are basically calling on their own about room availability and most of them are groups," Fierro said.
Michael Owenby, director of sales for Spring Hill Suites Alexandria said they have also been receiving phone calls about this particular time frame for months — even more so now that the election is over.
"We've been bombarded," Owenby said. "We already had group rooms on the books for a couple of months now for that time period. Then since the actual election, we've had probably five to ten phone calls a day."
Owenby said at this point, they have equally distributed group rooms at each property on Richmond Highway, including the Holiday Inn Express. They currently have a four-night minimum for someone wanting to book rooms something during that time.
In 2008, Spring Hill Suites Alexandria was completely booked for the inauguration, and Owenby said they expect they will be booked again in January.
"We're expecting to be filled out as we were four years ago. I would imagine the other hotels around us are in the same situation," Owenby said. "I'm getting phone calls for group requests and they're telling me that they're hearing consistently that all the hotels are requiring a 3- to 4-night minimum, so that seems to be consistent in our general area."
Once the Richmond Highway locations are booked, Owenby said they plan to refer guests to the other 12 properties they have in Northern Virginia. Fierro said The Quality Inn will create a list to assist guests in finding vacancies if they can't accomodate them.
Other local hotels along Route 1 — including the Holiday Inn Express & Suites at Fort Belvoir and the Days Inn — are receiving inquiries about booking rooms for this time frame.