Trump Hotel Rates Climb For July 4 Weekend As He Plans Bash On National Mall

Mary Papenfuss

Nightly rates for President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel are up for the Fourth of July weekend, during which Trump has claimed he’ll again host an Independence Day bash in the National Mall.

Trump sparked controversy last year when he turned the national celebration into an event featuring himself at tremendous cost. Last month he said he plans to do it all over again.

“Despite the public health concerns raised by hosting a huge public gathering in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has made it clear that he plans to charge ahead” with his party, said watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Trump announced his plans at a coronavirus task force briefing on April 22. “On July 4, we’ll be doing what we had at the Mall. We’re going to be doing it,” he said. “Last year was a tremendous success, and I would imagine we’ll do it — hopefully I can use the term — ‘forever.’ That was a great success as you remember.”

He said attendance might be cut to 25% and said, “Most likely we’ll be standing 6 feet apart” in a “very, very interesting way.” 

Meanwhile, a 4-night stay at Trump International beginning July 3 ranged from $562 (without taxes and fees) to $2,257. Rates for available rooms the last weekend in May started at just $395.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has repeatedly been accused of using his position to enrich himself and his business. In 2018, he made more than $40 million from his hotel in Washington, D.C.

The National Park Service confirmed to DCist in April that officials were still expecting to hold an Independence Day event on the Mall this year.

“As President Trump mentioned, the Department of the Interior and NPS are continuing to plan for a Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall,” NPS spokesperson Mike Litterst wrote in an emailed statement.

The website for the Mall said that there are “site closures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak,” following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The annual July Fourth parade in Washington was called off earlier this month

The CEO of Garden State Fireworks, which put on Trump’s show last year at the Mall, told The Washington Post he’s not sure what’s happening in a few weeks. 

“We don’t know what’s going on,” said August Santore. “Everything is up in the air right now. . . . We’ve been talking and negotiating. Nothing cut in stone — just be on standby. I can say if they do have it . . . we will be the company doing it.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.