WASHINGTON - Huge crowds are expected next week – not just for the presidential inauguration – but also for the Women's March on Washington on the following day.
The big events mean hotels are filling up fast and prices are skyrocketing. But that is why one D.C. gym said they are opening its doors to the public for a sleepover.
City Fitness Gym in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of D.C. is letting anyone attending the Women’s March to spend the night of Jan. 20 for only $25.
This has grown from just an idea from the gym’s owner to a community event. People have donated pillows, sleeping bags and food to help with the sleepover.
“I came up with the idea when one of my clients came up to me a couple weeks ago and said, ‘Gosh, I have got six people staying at my one-bedroom apartment and if anyone else asks me, I don’t know what to tell them. I don't have any room,’” said Dega Schembri. “It kind of got me thinking, my wheels turning a little bit, and somebody on my staff said City Fitness should be the designated point of departure for the women going to the march.”
The gym plans to provide dinner Friday night along with coffee, bagels and snacks the following morning, Schembri said.
“I think it is wonderful that they have invited the people who are in this neighborhood, regardless of whether they are members of the gym, to come gather here in the morning so we all go to the march together,” said Elizabeth Fox, a City Fitness Gym member.
The gym said they want to invite everyone in the community to meet here and head out to the Women’s March on Washington together.
City Fitness Gym is not the only one planning to provide accommodations for the Women's March. D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh will be opening up her office at the Wilson Building during the march from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone who may need a place to get indoors and warm up or to use the restroom.