I am not sure how much easier it is for someone with a disability to walk a block or two or even across a sky bridge or two to get to the convention rather than a few feet from the parking garage to the convention, or get dropped off directly out front.
So the disability reason for wanting to stay downtown does not hold water for me. There seems to be ample areas to rest if needed, although some large groups do seem to take up a lot of hall space that should be used for individuals or smaller groups.
The vendors could also just wheel their inventory out of their car as easy as they could from the hotel room. Actually, I run games and bringing my gear from car has proved easier than bringing it from my hotel to be honest. So the vendors get their rooms reserved first is a silly idea.
As for giving long term convention goers first access, that does not seem to me to be a way to encourage growth or the next generation on convention attendees. It is also not "fair" by most definitions of the word.
The only solutions I see are to have a random lottery for access as they currently do, move the convention somewhere that might be able to better handle it (not sure where), or to let free market supply and demand determine the price. If you really want that downtown room, then be ready to pay $400 to $500 or more for it. I will not. My friend does. So it is to each his own.
Great discussion everyone, and thank you for not turning nasty like the other housing threads.
The fact is, there is NO solution for Gen Con because in all honesty, it is probably working the best it can with the resources it has. It is also in the best city for Gen Con for the greater majority of attendees. Is it perfect? No. What is?
The main issues for the very much small number of attendees who are complaining about it all center around housing. (I mean very small because overall, you really don't see a great number of people actually vocalizing a "problem"). Would moving Gen Con fix the housing issues? If you move it to a coast, you will increase the number of people flying in. Those flying spend less as they have much more limited storage for their goods on the flight back than those who drive in. If you move it elsewhere in the middle of the US, you run into even more of a housing "problem" as there will be fewer "connected" hotel rooms. Everybody wants a connected hotel. No matter where you go, someone will be left out, and you may still end up with the same number of dissatisfied people.
Who actually "NEEDS" a connected hotel? Well, nobody does. Handicapped/ADA people? Their homes are probably not connected by a skywalk to the grocery store, school, mall where they live and the are able to get around fine. Vendors? I agree with a previous poster who thought it was easier to just drive in, unload at the door, and then park rather than dragging everything to/from the hotel. Employees? Again I will use the same argument as I used with the handicapped/ADA people. The fact is nobody NEEDS a connected hotel, but we all WANT one. Should there be rewards for attending year after year? Possibly. I join the hotel rewards program and try to stay in the same places when I travel building up to a free night or two. It would be nice if I were to be able to either use my hotel rewards for a free night or more during Gen Con, or use the points to lower my hotel bill. Either way, I get rewards I can use for another trip elsewhere later on.
This will not be popular, but hear goes...
I'm not sure if we are deliberately ignoring this for the sake of discussing other alternatives, but what if Gen Con made the 'housing lottery' a true lottery? At the time of badge purchase, the customer has the option to purchase (non-refundable surcharge) entries in to the housing lottery - already have housing, don't bother and save some money. Want an entry, pay the surcharge. Have money to burn, buy several entries. This would serve to eliminate 'gaming the system', and 'some people don't even want/need it' arguments. It also addresses the 'let the market decide' argument somewhat, without people getting in to an actual bidding war. Everyone's chance is commensurate with the the investment they put in - no more, no less. This would allow Gen Con to continue revenue growth, while capping the number of badges. As Indianapolis facilities grow and expand, the badge cap can be raised.
Of course, there may be legal troubles with the whole 'games of chance' thing in Indiana, I have no idea what the laws are.
I know this won't be popular, and I have no intention of adding to or supporting the ideas presented. As a matter of fact I really just want to step back from the whole housing discussion right now. I simply wanted to get the idea 'on the record'.
I don't know how do-able that is, but it wouldn't run afoul of gaming laws, and you'd know when you bought your badge what type of location you'd be eligible for.
Isn't that what VIG badges are already? Proving that people will, in fact, scramble all over each other to pay not $400, but $500 and up for a guaranteed downtown hotel room.
At around $800-1000 it would stop making any sense, as your in block room + badge would cost the same as out of block.
The easiest solution is to move Gen Con. If people think back to the Milwaukee GC's there were many of the same issues. Many people didn't want it to leave but it did and flourished. I am guessing, we're faced with a similar situation now. Tough choices for a lot of people but gamers will adapt. That's not to say Indy hasn't been a good host it has...but it's time for a change. I am guessing they'll wait until after 2018 to make a decision and see what happens after the 50th but all signs point to change.
Plus DFW Airport is easily accessible by almost any airport in the US directly to save travel time, expense, and hassle. It is in the center of the country geographically and not really that expensive when compared to LA, Chicago, or New York, etc.
I like Indianapolis, but Dallas would be the next best choice if you ask me.
It took 36 posts before this thread morphed into "Gen Con needs to move...". Let's see if we can get to page three next time!
Besides, the convention is in Indianapolis until at least 2020. After that it is up to Gen Con to decide where it wants to go.