I said Gencon should use its power to get a better deal. Just like they did with the LGBT release.
Gencon Housing stats...blah blah...sold out in 1.5 hrs downtown. blah blah..
(important caveat upcoming)
While we love Indy, Gencon has heard from its attendees about lack of...housing,shuttle,public transport, rate increases, etc. We thus are taking this opportunity to tell Indy that our attendees need....
If progress is not made, we need to look at options after 2020.
Simple press release that gets the ball rolling. If Gencon actually cares about its attendees problems, then it should use what leverage it has. I've never seen a PR rep from Gencon try it though...despite doing so last year for the LGBT scenario.
And that usage proves that it works !!! The law was changed due to the backlash.
Perhaps you are not aware of how conventions work . Gencon has control over the rooms in its block. Most hotels will not give a convention all its rooms -even if the convention is in the hotel . Ok maybe of the hotle has 20 rooms . The hotel retains control of the rooms and rates for those rooms (they have contracts they need to fufill ,etc...).
Gencon does not have the power to THREATEN the city of Indianapolis nor would it want to take the PR hit for doing so. Most cities are past the point of submitting to Threats such as that . Even sports teams are having a hard time making demands on cities and they bring a lot more to the city .
And the city does not have the power or inclination to bear down on the Hotels(who are a mix of worldwide and national chains )
So when the City says "ok BYE "- where does Gencon go ?
As to the LGBT -I believe that Gencon stated that it would factor into the contract after 2020. I might be wrong on that though as I was not privy to the discussions
I think a better comparison would be Gencons response to the high levels of the extra hidden costs of attendees ( taxes on hotels,food and rental cars,etc ) -which are in the top 5 worst in the United States . No Public statement and not likely any private one .
One is a discrimination issue and the other is a city business issue . 2 very different things
And Indy does NOT want to lose Gencon. I think if Gencon actually tried to do something publically, it would work. You never know unless you try.
As for elsewhere, Gencon could go many places, all with lower hotel prices and better public transportation. Gencon would not be "special" in vegas, but it would cost less for hotel and has great transportation options.
Simply put, GenCon is for gamers who want to play games, buy games, see friends, meet people, eat a variety of food in a variety of settings, stay downtown, not stay downtown, cosplay, not cosplay, and so on. Choose any or all of the above. It's YOUR con, and it's what you make of it.
It's for anyone and everyone who wants to join, and the experiences are as varied as the gamers.
We are early- and mid-40's, childless and this is our big family vacay for the year. I'm in workforce development and the hubs is a mailman. We make a good living. The two of us drive from West Michigan (4.5 hours) to enjoy this con. We go a bit nuts in the merch hall, and that's ok.
We all have ask ourselves the same question: is it worth it? For now, for us, the answer is yes.
To get back on track.
If Gencon provides an estimate, they must include downtown hotels. It should be presumed that when you go to any attraction you are within walking distance of that attraction. This way, you have limitations. Else again, we can be super cheap with gencon and stay an hour away at a 40 dollar a night hotel. (or do it very old school gencon and rent a van and sleep in it for 4 days) . Let's remain logical.
Gencon would have to provide an estimate on what they advertise. They advertise heavily True Dungeon as the premium attraction. Any event estimate should include that a family of 4 would want to do Gencon's premium attraction.
Also, someone brought up Disney World because it is viewed as the most traveled to "fun" vacation in the country. Of course we are all gamers with various hobbies and none of us value things the same. But from a "base" point of view disney world is seen by many in the world as the preimum thus kudos to whoever brought the exxample of a "luxury" family vacation.
If I were to provide an estimate I would have to say
200 a night x 4 hotel room downtown + taxes = 1,000
4 badges x 100
events at 25 for average events and 40 for premium events x 4 = 230
Food at 10 dollarsa meal x 4 = 120 .
These would be the basics, eate, sleep and play. Yes, you can do many free things at gencon. But i'd also argue that to travel to gencon just to do the free things would be interestingly moot as many of the free things, even the event hall would be more convinent elsewhere (attending a writer seminar at a local library or playing games with friends in the basement). In order to remain unbiased, it's best to stick to step outside of our personal biased and think of what an average person that Gencon is advertising too, thus the initial discussion.
If attendance were down significantly, there could be a case made for pressuring the hotels to reduce prices. Given that attendance is up every year and that current price increases are not enough to decrease demand, a reduction in hotel costs seems unlikely.
For reference, a vacation to Disney World during the same timeframe is:
Gen Con is facing the same issue Disneyland, SDCC, PAX, Burning Man, etc is facing: more people want to do the super-fun thing. Imagine how much more crazy the con would be if prices were any lower than they are now...
Gaming (or media or video games or counter culture) is no longer a niche activity. But Gen Con is still for the hard core (just look at the Event catalog!)--there are just a lot more of us than there used to be, and more of us can spend the money to go to big cons nowadays. :p
I don't believe anyone has ever posted the actual number or percentage of rooms that go to block. I've heard some people throwing around words like most and majority, but unless I missed it no one official has ever even hinted at this.
Probably because those numbers have never been released. Hotels do need to keep rooms aside for various reasons. In 2011, the room we were in had a leaking A/C unit and they had to move us. We were worried that they wouldn't have a spare room, but they did.
That's just one reason, Most hotels also have guaranteed availability for their top tier rewards members.
Was it NOT for the fact that without gencon (and origins/Marcon), i would NOT be gaming at all for around the past almost decade (my last 2 duty stations before i retired in 2012 had NO gamers local, or what few ones they had only did CCGs or the like), i would be gaming dry... SO i put up with it for now. However, it IS starting to get to that point, i am seriously considering NOT having to put up with all the hassle, just for a 4 day gaming 'holiday'..
If you stay at a remote hotel you'll be inconvenienced. If you don't go to Gen Con at all you'll be sad. If you don't have a place to live you're reduced to survival mode against the elements.
Take that for what it's worth.
See above article. Organizations DO attempt to tell hotels what prices to charge. Gencon should at least try to do so.
So now, the only rooms not in the block are a much smaller percentage. Rack rate rooms that they always had.LAst year was the first year I had to go into the system. Hated it, and I still don't like it. I never asked for, or wanted a 'fair' system, but I also relaize the realities that drive it, and I certainly don't blame the hotels for highly pricing the handful of roosm not in the block.
But back to the impact of GenCons policies. After getting all those rooms, they also went to the lottery..because people mistakenly thought they wanted a more fair system than crash the server.
.Sadly, those who pushed GenCon to the point it went and got almost all rooms in the downtown block in the GenCon system now realize that they wont always get a downtown room due to that 'fair' lottery.
But now if you lose the lottery, you have a much more limited availability of non block roms to go with. Very limited supply, high demand..prices go up, and nothign can be done about it. (Nor should there be)
This all goes to prove, be careful what you ask for fairness, when no one really wants fair.
I'd be happy if the Gencon housing went back to what it was in size, and kept more roosm outside the block, or went away completely. But this is the system we have to deal with.
No system is going to prevent prices from rising as demand rises. There is no such thing as a fair price. The right price is what consumers are willing to pay.
And given that those high price rooms are being booked....those prices are right enough for some.
Having doen that,it would be pretty arrogant of them to ask to control out of the block prices as well. In effect, you want GenCon to dictate hotel price rates for every single room, even if its not in the convention block.
Lets face it, other people come to Indianapolis too and need hotels.
The only way you'll get out of block room rates to go lower is to convince tens of thousands of peopel not to go to Gencon, and decrease attendance, or convince Gencon to not take so many rooms in the block.