Getting a Room
Posted by ericgerds

I logged in right when the message said and all the inventory is GONE? Even way out of town? I have never had trouble like this before.  It feels like something is wrong with the site.

Posted by eadbanga83

Same problem here and it's a mess. Second time attending and same problem as before. And since all of the hotels in the area know its Gencon they are hiking their rates accordingly with a ~$70 difference for the same hotel booked through the hotel instead of the Gencon block. 

Try Expedia or Trip Advisor to see if you can get better rates there (we were able to get a room between the block rate and the hiked rate via Trip Advisor).

Worst part is I don't know if I have a solution to recommend to the Gencon organizers: ~80k spike for four days once a year is hard to handle. How does PAX or any of the big cons handle it?

Posted by austicke

Unfortunately, it's accurate. Based on last year, this is the new normal.

Posted by jplee75

Yeah all rooms were gone for Wed-Sun for me as well when I logged in at 2:30 central - a bit upsetting.  There were a couple with Thurs-Sun left but I landed something else outside the block for now.

Posted by ericgerds

I have been luck in the past few years and have been able to get a room.  Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Posted by jimdigris

I wonder how many people are going to back out of going to Gencon this year because of this.

Posted by llenlleawg jimdigris

jimdigris wrote:
I wonder how many people are going to back out of going to Gencon this year because of this.

Some might, but the fact is that new rooms do get added, people back out for other reasons and so return their room to the pool, etc. Also, people will offer to share the rooms they did get to cut costs. So, don't despair. A lot happens, even with housing, in the months between now and August!

Posted by grognard262 jimdigris

jimdigris wrote:
I wonder how many people are going to back out of going to Gencon this year because of this.

Why would anyone back out over this?  There are still tons of reasonably priced hotel rooms in Indy, just not in the hotel block.  Housing is always a problem, but people muddle through.

Posted by chipboundary grognard262

grognard262 wrote:
jimdigris wrote:
I wonder how many people are going to back out of going to Gencon this year because of this.

Why would anyone back out over this?  There are still tons of reasonably priced hotel rooms in Indy, just not in the hotel block.  Housing is always a problem, but people muddle through.
 
I'm not sure what you are referring to, but anything remotely near the convention is sometimes over a $700 a night outside of the housing block, once the portal opens up. When we logged in for our time there was absolutely nothing available, so we checked on the hotel booking sites and Google, and there was absolutely nothing remotely reasonable.

Posted by kevinrg

Seems like Gencon is sticking with trying to do Downtown spaces and anything outside of downtown has been greatly reduced.  I remember in 2019 there were a number of hotels that were 'in the block' NW of downtown around 65/465 industrial park around 71st st.   I think the Clarion was only part of that this year and last year was the same.

Posted by grognard262 chipboundary

chipboundary wrote:
grognard262 wrote:
jimdigris wrote:
I wonder how many people are going to back out of going to Gencon this year because of this.

Why would anyone back out over this?  There are still tons of reasonably priced hotel rooms in Indy, just not in the hotel block.  Housing is always a problem, but people muddle through.
 
I'm not sure what you are referring to, but anything remotely near the convention is sometimes over a $700 a night outside of the housing block, once the portal opens up. When we logged in for our time there was absolutely nothing available, so we checked on the hotel booking sites and Google, and there was absolutely nothing remotely reasonable.

The problem is that there are far more attendees than downtown hotel rooms, and there is nothing Gen Con can do to fix that.  But that doesn't mean people can't get reasonably priced hotel rooms with a modest commute.  The first time I went was in 2019 (the most highly attended year) and I easily found a hotel room at the last minute near the airport.  It was a 20 minute Uber ride each way.  Not ideal, but it was fine.
 

Posted by austicke chipboundary

chipboundary wrote: I'm not sure what you are referring to, but anything remotely near the convention is sometimes over a $700 a night outside of the housing block, once the portal opens up. When we logged in for our time there was absolutely nothing available, so we checked on the hotel booking sites and Google, and there was absolutely nothing remotely reasonable.

If you don't consider a 15 minute Uber ride reasonable; then, yes, you're going to have trouble finding a hotel room.

Putting that aside, there are plenty of hotel rooms for everyone.

Posted by fabdul00

My slotted time was 1:30p and everything in downtown was gone. I was able to book a hotel by the airport. Im okay with that! My only issue is where to store the games I buy during the day. My arms were sore last year from carrying the games I purchased till I get back to my hotel. Plus it makes it difficult to participate in events. I wish GenCon will offer some type of storage or holding for the games during the day. I'll be willing to pay for this service!

Posted by mscaveney fabdul00

fabdul00 wrote:
My slotted time was 1:30p and everything in downtown was gone. I was able to book a hotel by the airport. Im okay with that! My only issue is where to store the games I buy during the day. My arms were sore last year from carrying the games I purchased till I get back to my hotel. Plus it makes it difficult to participate in events. I wish GenCon will offer some type of storage or holding for the games during the day. I'll be willing to pay for this service!

Given how often this is cited as a primary reason for getting connected hotels, I'm extremely surprised that there isn't some kind of on-site solution geared towards this outside of storage for VIGs.

Posted by chipboundary austicke

austicke wrote:
chipboundary wrote: I'm not sure what you are referring to, but anything remotely near the convention is sometimes over a $700 a night outside of the housing block, once the portal opens up. When we logged in for our time there was absolutely nothing available, so we checked on the hotel booking sites and Google, and there was absolutely nothing remotely reasonable.

If you don't consider a 15 minute Uber ride reasonable; then, yes, you're going to have trouble finding a hotel room.Putting that aside, there are plenty of hotel rooms for everyone.

I mean no snark here whatsoever, but I think you're confusing what we're discussing as reasonable. We are talking about reasonable prices, not reasonable distances. Even if you go further out, and uber in, that adds cost to the room. Doing two rides (minimum) each day at the distance you mention, and with the recent surge in Uber/Lyft prices, you're spending $70+ a day just on those trips, you need to add that to the cost of the room, so your $180 a night becomes $250 a night, which is more expensive than the housing block. This makes the prices even less reasonable than they seem.

I am WELL below the poverty line and there are still hotels I wouldn't be caught dead staying in. So, health and safety are a concern, especially a city the size of Indy. All that said, yes, there are options and ways to make things work, but the housing portal absolutely needs to change. It needs a major overhaul. The fact that you can't set alerts for rooms opening up, directly in the housing portal, is a massive oversight, one of many. There's roughly 60k+ attendees, ignoring the past few years due to pandemic, and 33k rooms in the entire Indianapolis metro area. That includes places that are like 30 mins+ away. This also includes outlying cities, etc. Only roughly 7,800 of them are in the downtown area. You subtract from that the exhibitors and vendors taking up rooms, Gen Con employees and volunteers, rooms taken up by people not attending Gen Con at all, and you're looking at probably 20k rooms max in the entire metro area. So that's 3 people per room minimum. Then you take into account that there's rooms that can't accommodate/don't allow that many people. Then you subtract those that are insanely far away. Then you subtract those that aren't safe. There's hardly "plenty of hotel rooms for everyone". If there was, they wouldn't be constantly building more.

Housing is a huge problem with Gen Con. A massive, glaring problem. I've actually met and talked with people that bought a badge, flight, and then couldn't get a room in the entire gap between housing opening and the refund windows, and it's happened to them multiple years in a row sometimes. That's a problem. I have no idea what the solutions are to all of this, so I make zero recommendations or ideas, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see it's a huge problem. I would love to see Gen Con open up to their community about feedback on it, ideas, suggestions, and considerations on a much, much deeper level.

Posted by wells

Okay, slightly long post. I bought a badge, I played the lottery, nothing at all available by my time, same as last year. I have a gaming buddy that I go to conventions with. We try to get to Gencon every year, but only succeed about every other year.

I am old (retired at this point), I have somewhat bad knees. So a connected or near (2-3 blocks away) hotel is critical. This is my vacation, not being able to go back to the hotel to drop off my purchases or rest for an hour makes the day miserable.

When we succeed, it's one of 3 things, either we find a hotel 11 months out with points (avoiding the extorted prices), we win the housing lottery, or we trip over something after the lottery. And the sum of those three is about 50% success. This year, missed the points window, failed on the lottery, and now am down to hoping to find something that gets released before all the other piranhas trying to do the same thing.

What is likely to happen is that we go to Origins this year, I haven't been there in 10+ years. Smaller, less games, no auction. But housing is much easier, points rewards don't require you to hit some 2 hour window on a specific day before all the rooms are gone.

So, I respectfully disagree that there is no housing problem. And I only see it getting worse.

Edit: I do enter the VIG lottery every year also, so far nothing.

Posted by urielblue

Our crew is 8 folks attending (A win, as 4 of them have been "I'm gonna go SOME DAY" friends who finally can get the time off/afford the trip. 2 of them are from Seattle, and get free flights (One works for an airline) and the rest of us all work in Nightclubs/bars, so we have a pretty flexible schedule.
 The couple who are from Seattle somehow booked an Omni Severin room at the Block rate (249/night) out-of-block prior to yesterday, and 2 more of the 5 of us who actually got up to fight for a room succeeded in getting one (Hilton, and Westin). All 3 rooms are a King bed... :/
None of us mind doubling-up in a bed, as we've been doing it since we were broke teenagers/jobless 20-somethings at whatever Con, but 8 in 3 rooms, with all King beds is going to be a bit rough.
One thing that these hotels could do is switch the Kings out for 2 Queen/Double beds, which would fit 4 folks reasonably. I'm hopeful that we can get 1 more room as things get released, and if not, a couple folks are fine with sleeping on the floor (They pay less, obviously). One guy even brings his sleeping bag every year, as he backpacks a lot, and likes sleeping on the ground...We joke that he has a couple of Ranger Levels.

Posted by tdb

I'd like to point out that there isn't demand for 60,000 rooms.  Not even close. 

Firstly, a lot of attendees live locally.  I don't know the stats, but I wouldn't be too surprised if 20% of the attendees are local, and don't get hotel rooms.  In particular the people attending the family events on Sunday and the one-day badge folks mostly aren't looking for a hotel.

Secondly, some folks are already planning to room together.  Couples and families, obviously, but also groups of friends.  Everyone enters the lottery, but not all of them need an individual room.

The real shortage isn't so much hotel rooms in general, but ones that are conveniently close.

What's even more lacking is some transportation service that would make outlying hotels more convenient, and thus more desirable.

But with that said, the hotel process appears to be super frustrating (I'm one of the lucky locals, so I am spared).

online
Posted by lore seeker tdb

tdb wrote:

What's even more lacking is some transportation service that would make outlying hotels more convenient, and thus more desirable.


Totally agree.

Didn't they once have a shuttle service?

Posted by llenlleawg lore seeker

father bloodlust wrote:
tdb wrote:What's even more lacking is some transportation service that would make outlying hotels more convenient, and thus more desirable.

Totally agree.Didn't they once have a shuttle service?

They did, but as I recall it was a bit of a mess. While that isn’t itself a reason not to consider whether such an option could be both efficient and not too costly, it is not as though it was merely abandoned for no good reason.

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