County opens campground, estate for Inauguration visitors
With hotels rolls crammed, officials make other facilities available
Little Bennett Campground in Clarksburg and Rockwood Manor in Potomac will be open for those looking for a place to stay during the Inauguration Week festivities for President-elect Barack Obama (D) next month.
Most county hotels have been booked for several weeks, if not months, for the event.
"There are only a handful of campgrounds in the Washington, D.C., area and we thought we'd make ourselves available for anyone coming to the area for the event," said Rosemary Nichols, manager of Little Bennett Campground.
The county's Department of Parks is opening up 25 campsites with electricity hookups at Little Bennett, located at 23705 Frederick Road, to accommodate some of the millions expected to attend the inaugural events Jan. 16-22.
The campground has already received its first reservation, she said Monday morning.
The campground is normally closed from December to February and only open weekends in March and November, she said. The camping season runs April 1 to Oct. 31.
The campground, which is approximately 45 minutes away from downtown Washington, offers sites suited for self-contained camping units, such as RVs, for $31 per night, with a three-night minimum stay, the county Department of Parks reported.
Each campsite offers 30 amp electricity, water, a dumping station, parking for two vehicles, a picnic table, and a campfire ring. No bathhouses will be available and tent sites will not be open.
"I think it's an affordable alternative for families who camp and happen to have an RV," Nichols said.
To reserve a spot, call Little Bennett Campground at 301-972-9222.
For those seeking indoor accommodations, Rockwood Manor, located at 11001 MacArthur Boulevard, will also be open, park officials reported.
"I'm just as happy as a clam to offer our services to those coming from out of town for the Inauguration," said David Hedrick, facility manager for Rockwood Manor.
The former estate home of a Washington-area socialite, which is open year-round, offers seven hotel-style guest rooms available in its Carolyn Cottage and Skyview Lodge, sleeping two, three or four for $85, $95 or $105 plus tax per night Jan. 16-21. Each room has a private bathroom, radio and heating/air-conditioning.
The Oaks and Tall Timbers dorms are also available for $560 plus tax per dorm Jan. 18-21. Both dorms have two rooms each, with seven bunk beds in each room and communal restrooms in the lobbies. The dorms sleep 28 people each and have heating/air-conditioning.
The French House, which is the original property caretakers' home, is available Jan. 18-21. It sleeps eight people and features two small playrooms, two bedrooms with two sets of bunk beds each, a bathroom and a kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, sink and coffee maker, and heating/air-conditioning. The rate is $210 plus tax per night.
Hedrick said he had read and heard stories of people staying as far away as Philadelphia and traveling down for the inauguration.
"We just wanted to get the word out there that if you're looking for a relatively inexpensive place to stay in the area, we're here," he said.
All the rooms available at Rockwood Manor require a two-night minimum stay. To reserve a room, call 301-299-5026.
For more on Little Bennett Campground, visit www.LittleBennettCampground.com. For more in Rockwood Manor, visit www.WeHaveTheWhere.com.