ridiculous housing restrictions
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Posted by greengirl22
#51

What I've been trying to explain is that the policy that you have, which you claim is in place to fill up Saturday rooms (which already have limited supply) is having other effects, which will prevent me from attending GenCon.

I've been trying to Buy low-demand rooms in your block, and I'm being treated like an idiot for expressing frustration at a policy that prevents me from doing that.

I'm not REFUSING to stay longer--I'm not ALLOWED to stay longer.  I'm not trying to avoid a Saturday Stay--there aren't rooms available.

The policy is one designed to INCREASE specific demand, when Demand is already far outstripping supply.  Thus, the policy is explained incorrectly, or it has another purpose. 

Whatever the case, if you aren't able to realize that this is an actual issue CAUSED by your policy, then that's a problem.  But clearly, that's either not being properly understood, or you simply don't care.  Either way, it is not satisfying as a customer.

Just about given up on any resolution, but perhaps that was too much to expect in the first place.

Posted by hoidy alanquatermain
#52

alanquatermain wrote:
hawkeye9723 wrote:
There were plenty of downtown rooms available in the general block. They just went really fast. Our group was able to get a room at the JW 45 minutes after housing opened.
I went in as soon as I was allowed, some 3 hours 25 minutes after it opened. The closest hotel is 12 miles away, and the only hotels in offered are the North block, no others. I thought these things were staggered to prevent this? If my random allocation meant that I randomly wound up unable to book my preferred hotel, then I'm kinda upset, I must admit. I could have booked it in December at the same price, had I not believed there was a plan in place to ensure everyone gets a shot at their own choices…

If you could have booked a downtown hotel in December for in block pricing than you should have jumped on it. I think Gencon has been pretty clear about downtown hotel space being limited and I'm not sure where you got the impression that the random allocation would mean you would get your preferred hotel guaranteed.

The random allocation was to ensure the servers didn't get overloaded. With the limited amount of downtown rooms and how popular Gencon is, I don't really understand how everyone thinks they'd be able to get a downtown room at a discounted rate.

When I go see a sporting event or concert, I have to make a decision on whether its worth paying more money to stay close to the event or if I'd rather drive and save money. I don't see how this is any different except that I am grateful that Gencon is able to get block pricing for hotels that I have a chance to get. I can guarantee that the NFL didn't provide a block rate for people going to the Superbowl when it was in Indy.

Posted by greengirl22 hoidy
#53

schwanjamesq wrote:
greengirl22 wrote:
vutpakdi wrote:
Given the number of people scrambling for alternate/contingency rooms, the hotel websites will have availability that goes up and down as people make and cancel reservations.  As of 7:20 PM CST on 24 January 2016, the JW Marriott has rooms for Wed and Thu night, at heartstopping rates, but not for Sat night.  By the time that you check the stituation may have changed.
The Le Meridien's rates are better for Wed-Thu availability but are still quite high.
Have hope: last year, I was at the Hilton Garden Inn by the airport.  In June or July, I was bouncing between the several hotels downtown as other people canceled and made rooms or days available.  I eventually ended up at the Westin.

I would have some degree of hope that I could get ALL of my days, IF I was allowed to book partially in, and get onto a Waiting list.  That's EXACTLY what I did in 2014 at the Westin.  I couldn't get Saturday at first, but it eventually opened up.Now GenCon is preventing me from even getting into that initial step.  That's horrible customer care.
I could wait to resolve it, but what GenCon apparently wants me to do is sit at a computer and refresh it constantly until I can MAYBE find an open Saturday, and then NOT have someone snag it while I'm entering my information (that already happened today).
Again--horrible customer care.

My guess is that the minimum stay requirements in downtown are part of Gencon's agreement with the hotels in order to get access to the number of rooms they provide at the discounted rate they provide. I'm not one to complain about housing issues since without it we'd all be paying much more for these rooms and there are cheap alternatives a short distance away and out of block downtown rooms for those who don't mind paying the market rate for them.I am completely opposed to forgoing the current housing restrictions just because there are currently wed and thurs nights available, at least until much later once it is clear that these rooms will not be booked. I remember looking at downtown rooms closer to the convention last year and not finding many thursdays downtown available so its possible that they will end up being added to current reservations.
My preference would be to expand the restriction to only allow wed-sun reservations first for downtown and then open it up at a later date for shorter reservations. I think it'd be a good idea for them to open up the housing restrictions at a later date to allow additional in block bookings, but I don't know if this is even a possibility with their agreement with the hotels.

Well, as I stated--I was HOPING to book for Wed-Sunday.  If Everyone was held to the SAME block of days, as a first cut, then I'd take my chances.  Instead, people have been able to peel away the  PRIME days, WHILE the system prevents me from settling for the Scraps.

Their system has allowed people to Cherry pick the Prime Days, and leave the less in-demand days sit.

The fact is--I could adapt my GenCon to a lesser stay--STILL buying a 4 Day pass, but now, I can't get ANY days, which will leave me no choice but to not attend at all.  How does that benefit anyone?  GenCon Loses my ticket sales AND hotel bookings to MAYBE get them later form someone who already had a chance to take them.

They've allowed people who grabbed the prime days to essentially block out those of us who were willing to take the remaining days.

Posted by ace marimaccadmin
#54

marimaccadmin wrote:
noland487 wrote:
I resent the fact that GenCon bought out all the rooms for their favorites to have the best rooms downtown and not let anyone else book rooms where they want. I guess their priority is their friends & the exhibitors. Not those attending. Maybe this is my last GenCon

You're not making any sense.  I get that you are frustrated.  There's simply way more demand then supply.  I don't know what you're talking about as favorites.  Gen Con does have a block downtown for GMs, and for volunteers, and for Exhibitors, who make the con possible.  If you're upset with that, I really can't help you.
 

Many businesses have a policy that the employees should park their cars far away from the establishment for the express purpose of allowing customers to have access to parking closer to the establishment. It is not a good business policy for a business to allow its employees to take up all the best parking and make the customer's travel farther to the establishment. No business would tell its customers that the closest partking is provided to the employees because "they make the business possible."

Yes, volunteers, exhibitors, and game masters do make the con possible. But like employees, these people are peforming these services for other reasons. Employees of a business make the business possible beacuse they get paid to do the work they do. The same goes for volunteers and exhibitors - they are already receiving benefits for their service.

Exhibitors are there to get paid. Exhibitors will receive the benefit of over 60,000+ attendees walking past their wares ($$$). I don't see why they should be given downtown hotel rooms on top of that.

Volunteers and game masters usually receive free passes to the gen con, and they may also receive free or discounted hotel rooms. But I don't see why the hotel rooms have to be downtown hotel rooms. I guess it depends on how much voluneering you do, and what your contribution is to the overall con. 

Perhaps volunteers and gamemasters don't make much of a dent in the downtown housing supply. But I would think that exhibitors probably do. Exhibitors should be provided housing outside of downtown, and if they want downtown hotels, they should have to enter lottery like the rest of the paying customers.

Posted by lanefan
#55

The one thing I'd like to see is some way of booking a longer stay using this system, for those who want to arrive before Wed or leave after Sun. 

Posted by austicke lanefan
#56

lanefan wrote:
The one thing I'd like to see is some way of booking a longer stay using this system, for those who want to arrive before Wed or leave after Sun. 

That's already a capability.

Posted by wjpennington
#57

rhe complexities of a system that ranked people by pre-selected dates..that are dependent on location for some....then sorting through an entry process, yeah, I'm glad they arent even trying that.

Posted by dontadow watchdog
#58

watchdog wrote:
dontadow wrote:
The system now is fairly unbalanced and rewards those who genuinely are making no effort as others have in the past.  Welcome to the american way of t-ball league, everyone gets a chance despite how much work they put in.  
With it being th esecond year, everyone's gaming the system this year gencon. People are buying multiple tickets individually to get more lottery balls so its impossible to get rooms unless you have a large gaming group.  
The "effort" you're talking about from previous years involved:1. Being at your computer when registration started.
2. Hitting the button when registration started.
The randomization process has changed, but since almost everyone trying to get on is doing those two steps now so they won't miss out if they get an early line spot, that hasn't really changed.
The people making "the effort", imo, are the ones checking for deals on a regular basis throughout the year so they don't have to cross their fingers on registration day.
Absolutely the effort I am talking about.  Being up an hour or two before registration and actually attending the registration process.

It is akin to being present at a raffle when they raffle off and arriving earlier for earlier entries.  

Posted by watchdog
#59

I think you're severely overestimating the number of people who amble into the site several minutes late on registration day.  And if that number isn't already near zero, it will be now that people know downtown rooms will be gone in under an hour.

Posted by hawkeye
#60

The problem is, that no matter how they tewak the system someone is going to be unhappy. the previous system where everyone went in at the same time made people mad because to them it was unfair to people who didn't have high end computers or internet connections. Also in past years they had no restrictions on the downtown rooms, so you could get in and find that all the hotels had every night but Friday available. Last year they fixed that by requiring a 3 night minimum and you must take Saturday. The issue people are having now, is that the protion of control that had (getting to the site early and waiting for noon) is gone; even though you really only had to be there 5 minutes before. The new system was designed to help reduce the stress on the servers by only letting a few people in at a time. While I agree this is not a perfect system, it certainly does help, and if you are lucky enough to get in early the process is quite smooth. In years past when everyone was trying to get in the servers would time out and you would lose your progress and have to start over, potentially losing your downtown room. Quite honestly, I don't see a way for them to make a system that will make 100% of the people happy, someone has to win, and someone has to lose. there are just too many people and not enough downtown rooms to give one to everyone who wants one.

Posted by roundtop
#61

I do not work for gencon in any capacity, but I have run many conventions and negotiated contracts with hotels and convention centers.

So there are a few things brought up here. 

The simplest one is about booking other dates through the portal after sat is booked out. This is something in the hotel contracts, stating that gencon guarantees a certain number of room nights and that it includes certain days. This is why they can get $200 rates downtown.  The downside is that partial bookings are not allowed through this system, as per the hotel contract. It is not up to gencon to just decide.

For exhibitors, they do not get free rooms, they pay for the floor space and the room spaces they take. Their people work often full shifts+ every day, and need to be close if anything happens. Given the number of dealers expanded a bit, yes, that takes some more rooms, but not as many as you would think.

Gen con rooms: what I said above is doubly so for gen con staff. They work like dogs all con with often extended wierd hours and need to be quick to site.

The problem is that the downtown core can only hold so many in hotel rooms. This is a major problem for any city, and very few can handle a con the size of gencon.

As an example, look at PAX. They sell out badges in minutes, and have no room block. The hotel rates are high and fully booked, and they have 1/4 the attendees of gencon.

Everyone who has gone multiple times has housing horror stories, and I remember the old system of praying the server wouldn't crash on each of the 5 page loads you needed, and that the hotel you initially selected wasn't gone by that time, starting you over again.

Posted by braewe
#62

I believe they started the 3 day block because people were taking allllll the friday to sunday stays leaving just the nights around it, which was awful. Oh the debates. I think at one point people were screaming for 4day badge purchasers to be given priority but it was pointed out that wouldn't work because it is cheaper to buy a 4 day than it is a friday and saturday.

Seems to me like the next thing will be to require a 4 night stay instead of a 3, but in my opinion, this won't change anything: people will just book fri sat sun mon and then check out early. Saturday is in demand not because gen con 'wants' saturday to sell out but because everyone and their brother actually wants saturday.

As to the argument for effort being 'rewarded' by a gencon system...uh. What effort? Buying a badge? Clicking a button? Effort is starting in August, and systematically searching the websites and such until an acceptable outside-the-block reservation is unearthed. And incidentally, that effort is also making it worse for the gen con housing to have enough rooms. The 'backup' room I snagged (which is now my primary) was one room that was not available to everyone else THROUGH THE BLOCK. Did I still try to get a better room? Yes, of course. However, my 3 hour plus time sure made me glad I didn't trust to luck. Multiply this though, by everyone ELSE who booked a backup room and I imagine it puts quite a dent in the available rooms. I have no hard data however.

This will be the fourth year in a row though that my 'backup' has become my actual room. Starting to see a trend here...

Posted by jobeth66
#63

My backup room would never have been available in the block, because it's a room type that the hotel doesn't offer in block.  So I have no qualms about booking it in advance, and cancelling it if I get something in block, and my doing so doesn't affect anyone else trying to get a room in the lottery.  But I didn't.  And next year, we're going to PAX Prime instead of GenCon, so I'm definitely not stressing 2017.  :)

online
Posted by ryric
#64

It seems like everyone is missing the point of greengirl22 actual argument: The housing portal requires a Saturday booking, but once Saturday is sold out at any given hotel, it doesn't relax that restriction. So once a hotel sells out of Saturday, if it still has other rooms, those rooms are in a "limbo" that is completely unavailable based on the rules of the housing portal.

That does seem like an issue. Greengirl22, feel free and correct me if I've misinterpreted your point.

Posted by jcirillo1971
#65

I dont think they will ease the restriction so early.  Its barely has been 24 hours since housing registration opened.  There is still the chance GenCon might be adding more rooms to conention block and want to keep that policy intact until that happens. 

Posted by kjelstad
#66

I expect there are a lot more rooms to be added to the block.  You have over half a year to find a room.  no need to panic right away.

Posted by mattnaik jcirillo1971
#67

jcirillo1971 wrote:
I dont think they will ease the restriction so early.  Its barely has been 24 hours since housing registration opened.  There is still the chance GenCon might be adding more rooms to conention block and want to keep that policy intact until that happens. 
 ^^This

If they relaxed that restriction, any more rooms that are added (or cancelled) that are available for Saturday would then no longer be subject to that restriction. I can see maybe lifting the restriction a few months after the initial housing date but to expect it to be lifted after the first instance of them being sold out is silly. It's a siutation that is very much in flux up until the transfer the rooms to the hotels in July.

Posted by jobeth66
#68

It seems like everyone is missing the point of greengirl22 actual argument: The housing portal requires a Saturday booking, but once Saturday is sold out at any given hotel, it doesn't relax that restriction. So once a hotel sells out of Saturday, if it still has other rooms, those rooms are in a "limbo" that is completely unavailable based on the rules of the housing portal.

That does seem like an issue. Greengirl22, feel free and correct me if I've misinterpreted your point.

That's /exactly/ her point - I remarked on that yesterday evening.

Posted by aurelt noland487
#69

noland487 wrote:
I resent the fact that GenCon bought out all the rooms for their favorites to have the best rooms downtown and not let anyone else book rooms where they want. I guess their priority is their friends & the exhibitors. Not those attending. Maybe this is my last GenCon
Who's to say that there isn't another gathering making the housing tighter? The last 3 times I've gone there was a motorcycle rally in front of the Hard Rock and one of those trips there were 3 other big events besides the motorcycles and Gencon going on downtown. There is more going on in the world than Gencon. People traveling on business, pleasure, etc also need rooms so as much as we like to think we're the only thing that matters in Indianapolis that week....life there, that has nothing to do with us, does still go on. Gencon does get probably 85-90% of the rooms, but we're not the center of the universe.

Posted by mrshiny
#70

Actually MotoGP was the weekend after Gen Con last year.  Personally, I do wonder how Gen Con negotiates because it seems some of the similar sized events in Indy have lower room rates. That is just anecdotal, but it sure seems that way. Perhaps we have greater demand for downtown than other similar events. 

Doesn't look like anything big this year, but I don't think the NFL schedule is out.  This looks interesting:

Saturday, August 6, 2016, 8:30 PM.
'Mind Tripping' Show at the Indianapolis Hilton Hotel.

A mind-bending, reality-twisting interactive show that will leave you wondering "How did they do THAT?" Fri/Sat at 8:30 PM (may be preempted by private bookings). $20-35. Ages 13+ only. Info: 317-691-2385.
Location: Indianapolis Hilton Hotel, 120 West Market Street, Indianapolis, Marion County.

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