Inauguration preps underway

Posted at: 01/10/2013 3:28 PM
Updated at: 01/10/2013 6:17 PM
By: Danielle Leigh, NBCNC

The presidential inauguration is just over a week away and Washington D.C. is busy getting ready for the crowds expected to visit the city to watch President Obama take the oath of office for his second term.

Employees at the Ritz Carlton aren't leaving any room for a wrinkle in their inauguration plans.

Guests will receive a monogramed pillowcase with the inaugural seal, along with a spread of other goodies.

Pastry chefs are even whipping up tins of Michelle's Obama famous cookies.

"It's America's greatest party. So we are here setting up for it," says Ritz Carlton manager David Child.

Child expects to be sold out by the inauguration.

Four years ago hotels in the district were at 98 percent capacity on average.

President Obama's last inauguration drew a record crowd, about 1.8 million people.

This year officials expect to see up to 800,000, a record attendance for a second inauguration which tends to be smaller.

In 2005 former President George W. Bush attracted about 400,000 people.

Crews are finalizing the Capitol platform where the president will take the oath of office and assembling stands along the parade route.

Several inaugural balls and parties are already sold out, and at souvenir stores memorabilia is already flying off the shelves.

It's only the second time an inauguration has coincided with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and that too could contribute to the crowds.