- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 11, 2009

One ton each of chocolate and cheese. About 1,500 cases of beer. Eight hundred pounds of bison.

Those are just a few of the items that the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington’s largest hotel, is stocking for the 49,000 meals it expects to serve Saturday through Inauguration Day. The hotel is among many businesses and government agencies trying to quantify whatever they can before President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in Jan. 20.

“It’s just amazing,” said Christopher Otway, the Wardman’s catering director. “The chef hands you the list and says these are the quantities they need, and you say, ‘Oh my God!’ ”

For inaugural planners, dealing with the numbers at first was daunting, said Peter Gage, parade director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The trick to keeping track? “You’ve got to break it down,” Mr. Gage said.

Here is a rundown of the numbers, including more than a few estimates:

• $40 million: the estimated cost of the inaugural parade, balls, opening ceremonies, giant television screens on the Mall and other expenses for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

• 432: total Presidential Inaugural Committee staff members.

• 0: how many of the free 240,000 tickets have been distributed thus far for the swearing-in ceremony. They go out this week.

• 58: law-enforcement and other agencies working on security.

• 8,000: D.C. police officers on duty and those hired from departments around the country.

• 1,000: U.S. Park Police officers on duty and those hired from outside departments.

• 550: Metro transit police on duty and those hired from outside departments.

• 10,000: National Guardsmen helping law enforcement agencies in and around the city.

• 120,000: passengers Metro trains can carry per hour on Inauguration Day.

• 2 million: inauguration subway maps Metro is printing.

• 10,000: charter buses expected to descend on the city.

• 600: hotel rooms left in Washington.

• 90,000: unique hits that Destination D.C., the city’s tourism bureau, has received on its inauguration Web site.

• 13,000: military and civilian participants in the inaugural parade, including marching bands.

• 112: light bulbs replaced in lampposts on Pennsylvania Avenue parade route.

• 10: large screens broadcasting the swearing-in on the Mall.

• 1,000: vendors so far who have received licensed spots to sell wares around parade route and city streets.

• 15,000 to 18,000: volunteers helping Presidential Inaugural Committee around the city.

• 4,100: minimum number of portable toilets available to the public.

• 10: official inaugural balls.

• 12,000: eggs that chefs at the Willard InterContinental Hotel will use for meals from Saturday through the inauguration.

• 10,000: square footage of the swearing-in stage.

• 6: number of bicycle rickshaws D.C. Pedicab plans to operate.

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