No matter what the outcome of today's election, hundreds of thousands of Barack Obama supporters will be in Grant Park tonight. But when the victory or concession speeches are over, all those rally-goers will need somewhere to crash. If they haven't booked a hotel room by now though, they'll have to find one somewhere other than Grant Park.
Hotels along Michigan Avenue experienced a rush of Election Night reservations two weeks ago, when the presidential hopeful publicly announced his celebration plans.
The Hilton Chicago, for example, experienced a 500 percent increase in reservations, and less than three dozen of its 1500 rooms were available as of yesterday.
And he's not the only one who's thrilled about tonight.
"There's nothing like Election Night parties," said John Hale of Oak Park, whose wife and two children will join him in a king suite at the Essex. "They're great when you win, and even when you lose, there's a certain solace being with people that are equally disappointed."
Whatever happens tonight, everyone understands that history is in the making.
"Everyone wants to be close, and that's great for us," said Hilton Chicago general manager John Wells. "Everyone wants to be a part of history."