In­au­gu­ra­tion ex­pected to pour $1 bil­lion into Dis­trict’s econ­omy.

Resid­ual ef­fects to last af­ter city takes cen­ter of world stage

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY RYAN M. MCDER­MOTT

The Dis­trict stands to gain more than $1 bil­lion in rev­enue from ho­tels, restau­rants and re­tail stores, with over 1 mil­lion peo­ple set to de­scend on the city for the pres­i­den­tial in­au­gu­ra­tion of Don­ald Trump next month.

“This is our Su­per Bowl,” said Jim Dine­gar, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Greater Wash­ing­ton Board of Trade. “It’s a big part of our vis­i­bil­ity, and there’s a lot of ex­po­sure world­wide.”

The eco­nomic ben­e­fits of the in­au­gu­ra­tion on Jan. 20 will de­pend largely on the num­ber of peo­ple who show up that Fri­day and through the week­end, be they rev­el­ers or protesters.

Of­fi­cials ex­pect up to 400,000 peo­ple to at­tend the of­fi­cial in­au­gu­ra­tion events. An­other 500,000 to 1 mil­lion peo­ple are ex­pected to show up over the week­end for protests and re­lated events.

The in­au­gu­ra­tion’s to­tal eco­nomic im­pact could range from $1.04 bil­lion to $1.34 bil­lion, said Ge­orge Ma­son Univer­sity econ­o­mist Stephen Fuller. But that de­pends on a lot of fac­tors, in­clud­ing the weather, he said.

Mr. Fuller’s es­ti­mate took into ac­count spend­ing on ac­com­mo­da­tions, food, bev­er­ages, lo­cal trans­porta­tion, re­tail trade and recre­ation/en­ter­tain­ment. He did not in­clude spend­ing by lo­cal res­i­dents “as their money is al­ready here and would be a trans­fer from other op­tions for lo­cal spend­ing.” He also ex­cluded air, train and bus fares from out­side the re­gion.

The Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton, the largest planned protest, re­ceived per­mit ap­proval from the Na­tional Park Ser­vice in early De­cem­ber and is ex­pect­ing a few hundred thou­sand par­tic­i­pants.

A Face­book page for the event shows that 156,000 peo­ple are con­firmed to at­tend and an­other 240,000 are in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing. The protesters will gather at the in­ter­sec­tion of In­de­pen­dence Av­enue and Third Street South­west near the U.S. Capi­tol at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21, the day af­ter the in­au­gu­ra­tion.

Mr. Dine­gar said the eco­nomic bump for the re­gion ex­tends long af­ter ev­ery in­au­gu­ra­tion, es­pe­cially when TV view­ers be­come at­tracted to Wash­ing­ton.

“It’s a great spot­light on the Greater Wash­ing­ton re­gion and not just for that week,” he said. “It can last years. Peo­ple see it. They hear about it. And they want to be in that same space.”

Be­fore it can reap any ben­e­fits from in­au­gu­ra­tion spend­ing, the city must take on a mul­ti­a­gency, mul­ti­juris­dic­tional plan to en­sure that the event goes off smoothly. Though the in­au­gu­ra­tion is largely a fed­eral af­fair, the Dis­trict bears the brunt of the work to pre­pare for the cer­e­mony, pa­rade and protests.

“In­au­gu­ra­tion prepa­ra­tion re­quires ex­ten­sive co­or­di­na­tion, plan­ning, re­hearsal, se­cu­rity, lo­gis­tics and cleanup by Dis­trict govern­ment,” said Nicole Peck­umn, a spokes­woman for the D.C. Home­land Se­cu­rity and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency.

The city ex­pects to spend about $32 mil­lion, in­clud­ing for ac­tiv­i­ties lead­ing up to and as­so­ci­ated with the in­au­gu­ra­tion. The Dis­trict will not have to foot the en­tire bill, though. Con­gress has ap­pro­pri­ated $19.9 mil­lion for the in­au­gu­ra­tion in the fis­cal 2017 bud­get. An ad­di­tional fund­ing re­quest in next fis­cal year’s bud­get will make up part of the short­fall.

“The Dis­trict will cover the ad­di­tional cost through a com­bi­na­tion of fed­eral and lo­cal funds to en­sure for the over­all safety and se­cu­rity of in­au­gu­ral ac­tiv­i­ties,” Ms. Peck­umn said.

The city will need to co­or­di­nate fire and emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices and po­lice re­sponses, along with road clo­sures, al­ter­nate routes, cleanup and waste dis­posal.

Six other D.C. agen­cies play large roles in the in­au­gu­ra­tion:

● The De­part­ments of Public Works and Trans­porta­tion will san­i­tize the pa­rade route and de­velop snow re­moval and trans­porta­tion man­age­ment plans.

● D.C. Fire and Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices and the Health Depart­ment will pro­vide med­i­cal cov­er­age and plan­ning.

● The Depart­ment of Con­sumer and Reg­u­la­tory Af­fairs along with FEMS will co­or­di­nate venue in­spec­tions and vend­ing, li­cens­ing and per­mit­ting ac­tiv­i­ties.

● The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice Depart­ment, in co­or­di­na­tion with law en­force­ment per­son­nel from across the coun­try, will as­sist with se­cu­rity and cer­e­mo­nial de­tails.

“This is our Su­per Bowl. It’s a big part of our vis­i­bil­ity, and there’s a lot of ex­po­sure world­wide.” — Jim Dine­gar, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Greater Wash­ing­ton Board of Trade

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