She gets an idea for inauguration road trip, and 103 people tag along

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When the Frazier family embarks this morning on their "Road Trip to the White House," their inauguration experience will be in the hands of a young, South Side tour operator who targeted those whom she calls "Barack Obama's people."

Purely Destinations owner Ivory Coats, 25, initially knew only that she was going.

"The night he was elected, I said, 'I'm definitely going to the inauguration!' '' Coats said. "Then I said, 'Ivory, why just you? People are going to want to be a part of history.' "


Purely Destinations owner Ivory Coats

The Frazier family of Marquette Park is taking nine members to the inauguration.

Coats' South Chicago travel firm is taking 103 people -- some with inauguration tickets, most without -- on the three-day trip.

For under $400, the Fraziers got charter bus transportation, two nights at a Best Western, and an inauguration T-shirt.

"Because millions were going, I knew the flights were going to get pretty ridiculous, and I also knew that because this is such a historic occasion, there were going to be a lot of people doing trips, and price-gouging," Coats said. "I really looked to create a trip the average person could afford, because that's really what this is about -- the people, the average people Barack Obama talks about -- taking part in the legislative process."

She settled on two buses -- underestimating interest. "I put it out on a Tuesday. By Thursday, we were sold out."

She focused her hotel search on small towns away from D.C. "We knew Alexandria, Baltimore and all surrounding cities would be expensive," she said, finding rooms in Denton, Md., and Smyrna, Md.

During the 12-hour trip there and the return Wednesday, Coats will show movies like "Eyes on the Prize" and the Sun-Times' Election Night DVD. Tuesday, she'll deliver her group to the inauguration, where they'll be on their own.

"I think it is going to be fun," Coats said.


Purely Destinations owner Ivory Coats

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This page contains a single entry by Maudlyne Ihejirika published on February 3, 2009 3:11 PM.

Road Trip to the White House: Obama 'chosen by God,' 79-year-old says was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama inauguration: 103 people changed forever after 'Road trip to the White House' is the next entry in this blog.

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