Historic Hotel With Sexy Past Reopens

DC's hotel market fairing better than most

Tuesday, Sep 1, 2009  |  Updated 1:08 AM EDT
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Renovated Jefferson Hotel Takes on Recession

Tom Sherwood, NBCWashington.com

The Jefferson Hotel, open again and discreet as always.

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Renovated Jefferson Hotel Takes on Recession

After 30 months, the Jefferson Hotel is ready to reopen, but in the middle of a recession.
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WASHINGTON -- After 30 months and a multi-million dollar makeover, the Jefferson Hotel -- historic for both its Roaring Twenties roots and its Clinton-era sex scandal -- has reopened in the throes of recession.

Hotel business hasn't fallen off as much in D.C. as it has in much of the rest of the country, but occupancy is down. The top 25 markets in the nation are down 21 percent. The national rate is down 18 percent overall. D.C. hotels are down only 7 percent.

The Jefferson, a 99-room luxury hotel, will bring back workers sidelined during the renovations.

Hotel managing director Frank Arnold said the recessionary climate is not holding back hiring plans.

Emily Durso, head of the City Hotel Association, said 26,000 people are employed by city hotels. The new presidential administration and national political issues are helping to boost occupancy rates and increase local hotel jobs.

The Jefferson should be a sexy destination thanks to its role in the prostitution scandal involving Dick Morris, the former chief political strategist for President Bill Clinton.

And as Arnold told The Washington Post earlier this month, "What happens in a guest room is not our business. We pride ourselves on maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of our guests."

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