President Obama's second inauguration audience to lag behind 2009 numbers

Area hotels say a lot has changed for President Obama's second-term inauguration, a month away .

By this time four years ago, the hotels were booked. But not this year.

On both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, preparations are underway for the president's second inauguration..

But the audience will be a fraction of the crowd that witnessed the president's 2009 swearing in.

Back then Donna Hawkins hosted 15 visitors. This time, she says, is different.

"This time, they haven't mentioned it, they haven't said if they're coming, I haven't heard anything about it," Hawkins says.

Hotels that were booked well ahead of this date four years ago are only at 60 percent occupancy for the inauguration weekend.

"Historically, we actually would have been sold out at this time, and even had a waiting list," says Julie Peterson of the Ritz Carlton Hotels

During the last inauguration, 1.8 million people visited D.C.

At Destination DC, they say there are a couple of reasons we won't see those numbers.

"It was historic that he became president four years ago, but clearly a second term president, the numbers are not as great as if it were a first term inauguration," says Elliott Ferguson, CEO of Destination DC.

They project about a half million visitors next month, slightly above George W. Bush's second inauguration.

Some hotels are dropping their rate, trying to get their numbers up. They say, despite the lagging numbers now, they expect to be full on inauguration weekend.