Headwound said: "I just wish the core issue (the pain of commuting) would be addressed. All I see is record breaking attendance announcements and no fixes for what is making it not fun anymore"
That is true, but that is really something that Indianapolis and Indiana needs to address not GenCon. If the city and state refuse to support this business, they will lose it That would crush me, but its true. How much economic impact does GenCon provide to the city and state? They can't dedicate a slice of that money for a modern transportation system? Not even special 24 hours (or nearly so) busses for the term of the 'con?
What if Indianapolis and Indiana invested in light rail streetcars, Bus Rapid Transit and such? Could they attract other events the size of GenCon? I heard universal praise for the region during the Super Bowl Why not expand that? The train station is attached to the housing block and the skyways. There is a perfect footprint for a new expanded station right at the tunnel between the ICC and Lucas Oil Stadium.
If GenCon would use some of its pull for imrovements, that is where it should be. It isn't 1955 anymore.
I am a fantasy gamer, so when I see that Cincinnati (where I am from) and Indianapolis are 110 +/- miles apart (160km), if there were a real high speed rail line moving 220km, like exist in nearly every other country in the world, Cincy is 45 minutes away from the heart of the Convention. Thats commuter distance.
Until then, how about several daily conventional trains and some decent bussing?
Isn't it worth considering to keep GenCon?
A shuttle system is feasible. The hotels tend to be clustered so the routes would be limited. There are only 5 major transport windows (8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm, midnight) so these would be the targets. Also, deals with cab companies could be worked out. Hell, an uber like app for arranging transport with participating companies could probably be done in time.
But this would actually take time and personnel to plan and implement and would, initially, (here's the killer) appear to be a cost, not a benefit. It would take forward thinking to perceive the long term benefits, but there would be benefits. Make it pleasant and GenCon becomes addictive. More people will come. More people will convince friend to go; and when it finally moves to a larger venue people will follow.
If that functionality was added I might be on board but I have a feeling there are a number of other scenarios that would need to be handled as well which would quickly make the "wishlist editing" a pretty complex user experience.
Why on earth are people bringing up bandwidth issues from years past? There were no reports of any time outs this year. I guess if there's not enough that went wrong this year, people need to complain about past years.
It is astounding to me that a situation that has resolved is cited as a lack of concern.
Wow... this topic got off track. But regarding the bandwidth issue: was there one last year?
I remember a stutter during the Great Submitting, but I don't believe it actually crashed. Actually, I remember clicking once at first, getting slot 2, then clicking again and panicing as it stuttered. A moment later I was slot 6500, so I panicked at my new position at the end of the line. But what I came to find out was my slot 2 position had already processed before clicking again. Effectively, I got to be both slices of bread in the submittal sandwich without any crashing. So that sounds like it worked to me.
Getting back on topic: I do think some kind of shuttle system is necessary to stay in Indianapolis, especially from the airport. If there was an effective public/event transportation system for outside of downtown proper, it would allow for more growth and lower costs for attendees. And then maybe people wouldn't be as upset about not getting a downtown hotel room.
Aww... who am I kidding. People would still be upset and demand we go to Vegas. It's tradition.
There is, as far as I know, no plan to move event registration to an official lottery, however, even with infinite bandwidth, it's still essentially random when thousands of people are all clicking in exactly the same milisecond.
I never envision a time when you will click your event wish list, along with thousands of your fellow attendees, at the same time, and get your answer to what events you got in 5 seconds. It's just not going to happen. There's a lot of queries involved there. If that's what you want, I'm sorry but it just cannot happen.
Nor is there a system that can be conceived where people get all their first picks for events. Whatever system it is will suck as long as you don't randomly get lucky and get everything that you wanted. There's too many people for things to work out that way, and the fact that the convention is in Indianapolis is not going to change that. Move it to another location and you'll be fighting for spots with people from that location, since those of us in the midwest won't be able to go anymore, but that's about it.
For the record. I lost the housing lottery and got 3 1/2 hours.
But, here's my take. You can stay at one of the non-downtown hotels and Uber/Bus/Taxi it downtown each day for less than the cost to stay downtown in block. You can definitely drive yourself for cheaper since downtown hotel parking is a rip off. In fact there's a "downtown" hotel about 2 1/2 miles away that can be snagged right now (King only) for $191. I stayed there 2 years ago and it had recently been built or remodeled so it's in great shape. It even had (and I bet still does) a free shuttle to the convention center. They even brought in a 2nd shuttle from one of their other hotels to accomodate all of the gamers.
So there are options...just not the best options. But for the record, it's never been like that. I can't think of how many times I tried to land the Hyatt in Milwaukee only to fail (I never got it)...as that was the only connected hotel.
My concern, having to stay non walking distance for the first time, is the availability us Uber/Bus/Taxi. I don't know exactly how many people are going to be out in the burbs, but it's going to be a LOT.
I'll bet cold hard cash Indianapolis does NOT have the capacity to handle that kind of volume. It's going to get ugly unless the Con organizers step up *EARLY* to make arrangements for that kind of volume.
There's going to 5 the equivelant of 2 major and 3 minor rush MINUTES (not Hours ) a day.
Some things I'd like to see are:
FYI, I think I got the Hyatt 2x in about 1-12 years in Milwaukee. It was GREAT. But the Con was much smaller then.
I seem to remember that they gave out maps, parking info and even cab/shuttle information during the prereg period (but I admit I could be wrong there).
As someone who has never stayed downtown, and has family that lives in Indianapolis out the suburbs, the City of Indianapolis has plenty of transportation. GenCon is not the largest annual event that the city hosts, nor have there been issues with people getting to the con from outside downtown in any years past. The company that ran the shuttles last year did a HORRIBLE job and it's not surprising that they have not been renewed.
In the end, there aren't enough rooms downtown for everyone to get one. There is no way to handle registration that changes that. This system provides managable, consistant randomness, and that's as good as it can get. If you don't want to participate in the randomness, you can reserve a room at whatever rate you can get with the hotel, outside the block, first come first served, but, you may have missed that opportunity for this year. If that's a problem for you, you don't understand how many people want downtown rooms, and how much effort they will put forth to get those rooms. I'm sure there's someone out there with a room reservation for 2017, who isn't saying anything because they don't want anyone else to know how they got that reservation.
You may feel like the old approach, click as close to 12:00:00 as possible and hope to get a room, was great because you got lucky under that system, but, that was just you getting lucky. It wasn't a better system. If you think getting a 2 hour 45 minute wait time was frustrating, try entering all your information and having the web page crash on you and dump you back to the start of the process without holding your room, three times, with more page refreshes than you can count in between failed attempts. Been there. Done that.
In the end it comes down to 65,000 people wanting a limited number of downtown hotel rooms. Some 40,000 people aren't getting what they want.