I keep seeing people both applauding and hating the new housing block lottery, but most of the solutions offered are in the theme of "How much I deserve a hotel room downtown".
I personally like staying downtown and have been lucky to do so every year I've gone, but this is mostly because I have a friend who calls housing and lives on the website until we're all booked up. I've griped about housing too when it didn't go my way but I'd like to see some solutions that seem fair for everyone.
Solution #1 - Housing block opens to people with disabilities (requiring medical proof upon registration) on day 1, then volunteers for GenCon, then vendors, then lottery for everyone else.
Solution #2 - You are assigned a time based on how long you've been attending consecutively. Rewarding people who've been with their brand for years seems like a great loyalty program.
Solution #3 - Ebay the rooms. Really want to stay downtown? It'll cost you. Let's see what the market will take.
As none of these benefit me, I still feel like these are the "fairest" way to give those premium spots to people who need or want them. Would love to hear other ideas as well.
There is no real "solution" to the housing problem unless more hotels are built. The number of people seeking downtown rooms are rising every year but the number of rooms available stay the same. GenCon it's self has no control over this. Building hotels cost millions of dollars and large areas of space. This convention is once a year, unless the demand for more rooms during the rest of the year becomes a problem the hotel chains wont build any more.
But to reply to your suggestions.
#1. it is against the law (ADA act) to ask or demand proof of a disability. It violates a persons privacy to ask about a medical condition. So that won't work. And as stated, the ADA compliant rooms are separate from the block already. Volunteers and vendors are blocked separately also in most cases. But this was a good idea in general!
#2. I would love this! This is my 22nd year as it is for the people going with me. The problem I can see is that no new growth for the convention. As long as old timers like me are around no noobs get get rooms. This is bad for the convention as eventually guys like me stop attending and the noobs stop trying to get rooms after a few years of futility. Maybe give a person a few more "lotto balls" for the years they have been going?
#3. The hotels would not allow this. Most They are not going to give Ebay or anyone else a share of that room fee. The hotels tend to like housing blocks as it guarantees the rooms will be booked. This has not been a problem as of yet with this convention, but look at last year when Indiana passed the law that caused all the commotion with the Gay wedding cake thing. People were talking about boycotting GenCon and Indiana. The hotels (i am sure) have an agreement with all the conventions that the rooms in the convention block WILL be rented and a penalty (fee) if they are not. The convention likes them because it holds those rooms no matter what else happens.
Also this convention is expensive enough for most attendees. No need to make it more so. Remember the more money spent on hotels, the less spent AT the con!
My suggestion is to partner with Uber or one of the other ride share companies. The Buses seem to be unreliable at best, and the cabs are too few or busy elsewhere. Maybe someone like Uber can arrange their drivers to have a regular stop point at the con. Uber drivers would have steady passengers and the con could have more options for the guests. just a thought.