Change to Housing Policy
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Posted by dgoodchild squirecam

squirecam wrote:
dgoodchild wrote:
squirecam wrote:
glory wrote:
armadilloal wrote:
There were still plenty of canceled rooms going back into the pool last year and the year before.  I know, because I reserved at least three of them by keeping a sharp eye on inventory.
I don't know the exact numbers, but I suspect the number of rooms announced on the forums or wherever was actually a minority of the total "cancellations" - the silent majority doesn't tend to go places like here.

Anecdotally, I'd agree with this. I booked lots of rooms for friends last year because I'm able to be on the Housing Portal more during the day. Then I'd transfer it over. As an aside, my room has been booked out of block since August, because I'm one of the people that *NEEDS* to be downtown. But, I was, happily, able to get all of my friends into their preferred hotel last year just by keeping an eye on the portal. 
If I ended up with a room I didn't need I posted here to get rid of it. Easy Peasy. 
No offense but I'm glad you can no longer do this. People who can't be on the site daily should have some chance of getting a room too.

Just as a point of fact, by Glory's description the rooms were going to people who couldn't be on the housing site daily.I expect the new system will favour people who *are* on daily as they will be more likely to see newly released rooms as they become available.
I would also point out that all one needs to do to circumvent the new policy is to wait until Q-Rooms transfers the reservations to the hotels and make your changes directly with the hotel. 
but you can no longer direct transfer and the cancel fee is $50 even if you could
We can no longer direct transfer through Q-Rooms. Once the reservations are transferred to the hotels, Q-Rooms's policy no longer applies and reservations are governed by the policies of the individual hotels.

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Posted by lordnlkon

Yup even more glad they made the changes. 

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Posted by squirecam dgoodchild

dgoodchild wrote:
squirecam wrote:
dgoodchild wrote:
squirecam wrote:
glory wrote:
armadilloal wrote:
There were still plenty of canceled rooms going back into the pool last year and the year before.  I know, because I reserved at least three of them by keeping a sharp eye on inventory.
I don't know the exact numbers, but I suspect the number of rooms announced on the forums or wherever was actually a minority of the total "cancellations" - the silent majority doesn't tend to go places like here.

Anecdotally, I'd agree with this. I booked lots of rooms for friends last year because I'm able to be on the Housing Portal more during the day. Then I'd transfer it over. As an aside, my room has been booked out of block since August, because I'm one of the people that *NEEDS* to be downtown. But, I was, happily, able to get all of my friends into their preferred hotel last year just by keeping an eye on the portal. 
If I ended up with a room I didn't need I posted here to get rid of it. Easy Peasy. 
No offense but I'm glad you can no longer do this. People who can't be on the site daily should have some chance of getting a room too.

Just as a point of fact, by Glory's description the rooms were going to people who couldn't be on the housing site daily.I expect the new system will favour people who *are* on daily as they will be more likely to see newly released rooms as they become available.
I would also point out that all one needs to do to circumvent the new policy is to wait until Q-Rooms transfers the reservations to the hotels and make your changes directly with the hotel. 
but you can no longer direct transfer and the cancel fee is $50 even if you could
We can no longer direct transfer through Q-Rooms. Once the reservations are transferred to the hotels, Q-Rooms's policy no longer applies and reservations are governed by the policies of the individual hotels.
IIRC, some hotels charged more for cancellations, up to one full nights lodging.

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Posted by glory dgoodchild

dgoodchild wrote:
squirecam wrote:
glory wrote:
armadilloal wrote:
There were still plenty of canceled rooms going back into the pool last year and the year before.  I know, because I reserved at least three of them by keeping a sharp eye on inventory.

I don't know the exact numbers, but I suspect the number of rooms announced on the forums or wherever was actually a minority of the total "cancellations" - the silent majority doesn't tend to go places like here.


Anecdotally, I'd agree with this. I booked lots of rooms for friends last year because I'm able to be on the Housing Portal more during the day. Then I'd transfer it over. As an aside, my room has been booked out of block since August, because I'm one of the people that *NEEDS* to be downtown. But, I was, happily, able to get all of my friends into their preferred hotel last year just by keeping an eye on the portal.
 
If I ended up with a room I didn't need I posted here to get rid of it. Easy Peasy. 
No offense but I'm glad you can no longer do this. People who can't be on the site daily should have some chance of getting a room too.

Just as a point of fact, by Glory's description the rooms were going to people who couldn't be on the housing site daily.

I expect the new system will favour people who *are* on daily as they will be more likely to see newly released rooms as they become available.

I would also point out that all one needs to do to circumvent the new policy is to wait until Q-Rooms transfers the reservations to the hotels and make your changes directly with the hotel. 


Exactly. 

Some of my friends don't have jobs in front of a computer. I do. So I helped them out where I could. This will be the year I can't really do that, so we'll see how many of us end up at our preferred hotel. 

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Posted by danmcneill mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
Hello everyone! Here are some insights that might help clear up a few issues:
Housing Eligibility: An attendees account is eligible for 1 room assignment per 2 badges purchased within their account.
Mike Boozer
Customer Service & Event Team Manager
Gen Con LLC
So if I'm reading this correctly, will a person who purchases four one day badges for himself receive 2 different lottery numbers, as opposed to the one he would receive if he simply bought a 4 day badge?  Is "room assignment" synonymous with "lottery number"?

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Posted by del_grande danmcneill

danmcneill wrote:So if I'm reading this correctly, will a person who purchases four one day badges for himself receive 2 different lottery numbers, as opposed to the one he would receive if he simply bought a 4 day badge?  Is "room assignment" synonymous with "lottery number"?

If I am reading the Housing Terms of Service right, yes - but remember, a one-day badge for each day put together costs $205 instead of $110.  Then again, that brings up a question: can someone buy a 4-day badge and two Sunday badges ($15 each) to get two draws in the housing lottery?  (Or, this: get three Sunday badges for $45, then, if you get a hotel room you like, you buy the 4-day badge later?)

As for "room assignment" and "lottery number," I think it's synonymous in one direction but not the other; a "lottery number" gives you the opportunity to get a room, so yes, if you have two "lottery numbers," it is possible to reserve two rooms.

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Posted by austicke danmcneill

danmcneill wrote:Is "room assignment" synonymous with "lottery number"?

No. Each badge purchaser gets one "lottery time" no matter how many rooms they can reserve.

_____________________________________
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group

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Posted by squirecam del_grande

del_grande wrote:
danmcneill wrote:So if I'm reading this correctly, will a person who purchases four one day badges for himself receive 2 different lottery numbers, as opposed to the one he would receive if he simply bought a 4 day badge?  Is "room assignment" synonymous with "lottery number"?

If I am reading the Housing Terms of Service right, yes - but remember, a one-day badge for each day put together costs $205 instead of $110.  Then again, that brings up a question: can someone buy a 4-day badge and two Sunday badges ($15 each) to get two draws in the housing lottery?  (Or, this: get three Sunday badges for $45, then, if you get a hotel room you like, you buy the 4-day badge later?)As for "room assignment" and "lottery number," I think it's synonymous in one direction but not the other; a "lottery number" gives you the opportunity to get a room, so yes, if you have two "lottery numbers," it is possible to reserve two rooms.
Anyone who does this should be barred from getting a downtown room. It requires a 3 day stay, which a Sunday badge does not guarantee. 

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Posted by stiehle squirecam

squirecam wrote:
del_grande wrote:
danmcneill wrote:So if I'm reading this correctly, will a person who purchases four one day badges for himself receive 2 different lottery numbers, as opposed to the one he would receive if he simply bought a 4 day badge?  Is "room assignment" synonymous with "lottery number"?

If I am reading the Housing Terms of Service right, yes - but remember, a one-day badge for each day put together costs $205 instead of $110.  Then again, that brings up a question: can someone buy a 4-day badge and two Sunday badges ($15 each) to get two draws in the housing lottery?  (Or, this: get three Sunday badges for $45, then, if you get a hotel room you like, you buy the 4-day badge later?)As for "room assignment" and "lottery number," I think it's synonymous in one direction but not the other; a "lottery number" gives you the opportunity to get a room, so yes, if you have two "lottery numbers," it is possible to reserve two rooms.
Anyone who does this should be barred from getting a downtown room. It requires a 3 day stay, which a Sunday badge does not guarantee. 
Exactly.  Some selfish folks are still going to find ways to 'game the system', to the detriment of others.  But doing so will just cause more changes to the housing system guidelines in the future that will make things even more difficult for others who legitimately need to make changes to their reservations, or cancel them at the last minute, or whatever.  Hopefully GenCon staff can identify these people and ban them from participation in the housing lottery.

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Posted by del_grande stiehle

stiehle wrote:
squirecam wrote:
del_grande wrote:
danmcneill wrote:So if I'm reading this correctly, will a person who purchases four one day badges for himself receive 2 different lottery numbers, as opposed to the one he would receive if he simply bought a 4 day badge?  Is "room assignment" synonymous with "lottery number"?

If I am reading the Housing Terms of Service right, yes - but remember, a one-day badge for each day put together costs $205 instead of $110.  Then again, that brings up a question: can someone buy a 4-day badge and two Sunday badges ($15 each) to get two draws in the housing lottery?  (Or, this: get three Sunday badges for $45, then, if you get a hotel room you like, you buy the 4-day badge later?)As for "room assignment" and "lottery number," I think it's synonymous in one direction but not the other; a "lottery number" gives you the opportunity to get a room, so yes, if you have two "lottery numbers," it is possible to reserve two rooms.
Anyone who does this should be barred from getting a downtown room. It requires a 3 day stay, which a Sunday badge does not guarantee. 
Exactly.  Some selfish folks are still going to find ways to 'game the system', to the detriment of others.  But doing so will just cause more changes to the housing system guidelines in the future that will make things even more difficult for others who legitimately need to make changes to their reservations, or cancel them at the last minute, or whatever.  Hopefully GenCon staff can identify these people and ban them from participation in the housing lottery.

Apparently, we all need to read the clarification in post 67 - buying 3 or more badges does NOT get you additional times in the lottery; all it does is, it lets you buy multiple rooms once you are allowed into the portal.

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Posted by stiehle del_grande

del_grande wrote:
stiehle wrote:
squirecam wrote:
del_grande wrote:
danmcneill wrote:So if I'm reading this correctly, will a person who purchases four one day badges for himself receive 2 different lottery numbers, as opposed to the one he would receive if he simply bought a 4 day badge?  Is "room assignment" synonymous with "lottery number"?

If I am reading the Housing Terms of Service right, yes - but remember, a one-day badge for each day put together costs $205 instead of $110.  Then again, that brings up a question: can someone buy a 4-day badge and two Sunday badges ($15 each) to get two draws in the housing lottery?  (Or, this: get three Sunday badges for $45, then, if you get a hotel room you like, you buy the 4-day badge later?)As for "room assignment" and "lottery number," I think it's synonymous in one direction but not the other; a "lottery number" gives you the opportunity to get a room, so yes, if you have two "lottery numbers," it is possible to reserve two rooms.
Anyone who does this should be barred from getting a downtown room. It requires a 3 day stay, which a Sunday badge does not guarantee. 
Exactly.  Some selfish folks are still going to find ways to 'game the system', to the detriment of others.  But doing so will just cause more changes to the housing system guidelines in the future that will make things even more difficult for others who legitimately need to make changes to their reservations, or cancel them at the last minute, or whatever.  Hopefully GenCon staff can identify these people and ban them from participation in the housing lottery.

Apparently, we all need to read the clarification in post 67 - buying 3 or more badges does NOT get you additional times in the lottery; all it does is, it lets you buy multiple rooms once you are allowed into the portal.
Oh that's interesting, I'd missed that clarification.  Apparently the folks at GenCon thought of that potential loophole...

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Posted by funny-shaped dice stiehle

stiehle wrote:
del_grande wrote:
stiehle wrote:
squirecam wrote:
del_grande wrote:
danmcneill wrote:So if I'm reading this correctly, will a person who purchases four one day badges for himself receive 2 different lottery numbers, as opposed to the one he would receive if he simply bought a 4 day badge?  Is "room assignment" synonymous with "lottery number"?

If I am reading the Housing Terms of Service right, yes - but remember, a one-day badge for each day put together costs $205 instead of $110.  Then again, that brings up a question: can someone buy a 4-day badge and two Sunday badges ($15 each) to get two draws in the housing lottery?  (Or, this: get three Sunday badges for $45, then, if you get a hotel room you like, you buy the 4-day badge later?)As for "room assignment" and "lottery number," I think it's synonymous in one direction but not the other; a "lottery number" gives you the opportunity to get a room, so yes, if you have two "lottery numbers," it is possible to reserve two rooms.
Anyone who does this should be barred from getting a downtown room. It requires a 3 day stay, which a Sunday badge does not guarantee. 
Exactly.  Some selfish folks are still going to find ways to 'game the system', to the detriment of others.  But doing so will just cause more changes to the housing system guidelines in the future that will make things even more difficult for others who legitimately need to make changes to their reservations, or cancel them at the last minute, or whatever.  Hopefully GenCon staff can identify these people and ban them from participation in the housing lottery.

Apparently, we all need to read the clarification in post 67 - buying 3 or more badges does NOT get you additional times in the lottery; all it does is, it lets you buy multiple rooms once you are allowed into the portal.
Oh that's interesting, I'd missed that clarification.  Apparently the folks at GenCon thought of that potential loophole...

Right.  However...and this is the "loophole" that is now more expensive for those who choose to attempt it...there is nothing stopping you from creating different Gen Con accounts and putting at least one badge on to each of those accounts. 

Each account with at least one badge on it gets one entry into the housing lottery.  THEN the number of badges on that account determines how many rooms you can reserve when you gain access to the housing portal.

Overall, I think these changes are good for the community.  They make it more fair and raise the costs for those who want to game the system.  There is nothing preventing large groups from securing multiple timeslots, reserving multiple rooms and then cancelling the rooms they don't want - they just need to factor those costs into whether or not it is worth it to them to do so.

In my case, I'm still recommending to my group that we all purchase our badges separately so we increase the likelihood of getting earlier access to the housing portal.  Whoever ends up with the earliest access time will likely book a room large enough for us all.  YMMV - if you need multiple rooms, you're back into that costs-to-game-the-system territory.

The reality is: demand for downtown hotels far outstrips supply.  I've gone the last 3 years and have not had a downtown hotel...and I still had a great time every year.  These changes make it more costly for those who want to game the system and, as a result, increase the chances that the limited supply of downtown hotels *might* stretch out beyond the first 2-3 hours that the housing portal is open - though my suspicion is that the rooms will go just as fast, they'll just be distributed across a wider range of groups as those who've gamed the system in the past have to reconsider their strategies and the costs involved.

You'll know pretty quickly based upon your access time whether or not the chances are good for a downtown hotel.  That hasn't changed in, what?, a decade?

If you don't get a downtown hotel, you can still have a great time at Gen Con.  Will the experience be different? Yep. Will it be bad? Not likely as a result of not having a downtown room.

Also take note of the ADA paragraphs - people were asking for those changes last year and Gen Con LLC is trying to accommodate...and it looks like a Wait List function has been added as well (though that's not flagged as new so maybe it was there last year as well?)

Anyway...good luck everyone.  Keep your cool and game on!

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Posted by irontk

I really like it.
If it cuts down on people getting hotels, they are not 100% sure they are going to use, it's a great thing for all con goers.

The only thing this hurts is people that have an emergency come up.

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Posted by ryric funny-shaped dice

funny-shaped dice wrote:
You'll know pretty quickly based upon your access time whether or not the chances are good for a downtown hotel.  That hasn't changed in, what?, a decade?
 The current lottery system isn't a decade old. Ten years ago if you wanted a downtown room you just logged in at noon and got one.

Was 2015 the first year of the lottery? I admit they begin to blur together after a while. I know 2013 was still easy mode.

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Posted by brooks ryric

ryric wrote:
funny-shaped dice wrote:
You'll know pretty quickly based upon your access time whether or not the chances are good for a downtown hotel.  That hasn't changed in, what?, a decade?
 The current lottery system isn't a decade old. Ten years ago if you wanted a downtown room you just logged in at noon and got one.Was 2015 the first year of the lottery? I admit they begin to blur together after a while. I know 2013 was still easy mode.

I think it was earlier than that. I distinctly remember that in 2013 I was on the waiting list where you called into the Indianapolis Visitors Bureau or whatever and they manually put you on a waiting list for whatever hotels you told them. I remember because I ended up not being able to attend that year and had to call them to remove myself from the list. 

However in 2011 I decided to attend at the last minute, and like a week before the convention jumped online and got a room at the downtown Hampton Inn without a problem. 

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Posted by austicke ryric

ryric wrote:The current lottery system isn't a decade old. Ten years ago if you wanted a downtown room you just logged in at noon and got one.Was 2015 the first year of the lottery? I admit they begin to blur together after a while. I know 2013 was still easy mode.

Yes, the "managed access to housing portal" began in 2015.

_____________________________________
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group

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Posted by funny-shaped dice ryric

ryric wrote:
funny-shaped dice wrote:
You'll know pretty quickly based upon your access time whether or not the chances are good for a downtown hotel.  That hasn't changed in, what?, a decade?
 The current lottery system isn't a decade old. Ten years ago if you wanted a downtown room you just logged in at noon and got one.Was 2015 the first year of the lottery? I admit they begin to blur together after a while. I know 2013 was still easy mode.

My point was that there has always been a limited supply of preferred hotels.  They go quickly. I did not mean to imply that the lottery system was 10 years old.  My bad; I can see where you got that point.

Ah well.  Given the growth of the Con, I still think the changes are worthwhile.  I think Gen Con is doing its best to make the experience as good as it can for as many people as it can.

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Posted by squirecam funny-shaped dice

funny-shaped dice wrote:
ryric wrote:
funny-shaped dice wrote:
You'll know pretty quickly based upon your access time whether or not the chances are good for a downtown hotel.  That hasn't changed in, what?, a decade?
 The current lottery system isn't a decade old. Ten years ago if you wanted a downtown room you just logged in at noon and got one.Was 2015 the first year of the lottery? I admit they begin to blur together after a while. I know 2013 was still easy mode.

My point was that there has always been a limited supply of preferred hotels.  They go quickly. I did not mean to imply that the lottery system was 10 years old.  My bad; I can see where you got that point.Ah well.  Given the growth of the Con, I still think the changes are worthwhile.  I think Gen Con is doing its best to make the experience as good as it can for as many people as it can.
Getting a working and reasonable shuttle would help too. Because there will always be a lack of downtown rooms.

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Posted by nialith squirecam

squirecam wrote:Getting a working and reasonable shuttle would help too. Because there will always be a lack of downtown rooms.

While a shuttle system would definitely help, it's not the be all, end all of the problems. SDCC has a 24 hour shuttle to the outer hotels like I stayed at last year. Sounds awesome, right? The problem was if you were on the end of the loop in the morning. During that morning rush, the shuttles would be filled to capacity (they are the large tour buses even) before they got to all the hotels. So I ended up doing Uber half the time anyway. Now during the middle of the day or later in the evening, that shuttle system rocked. Around 5-7pm, you could count on an hour wait in line to head back.

It wasn't paid for by SDCC though. It was done through sponsors I believe. If GenCon could get someone to pony up that cash, it could happen. 

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Posted by squirecam nialith

nialith wrote:
squirecam wrote:Getting a working and reasonable shuttle would help too. Because there will always be a lack of downtown rooms.

While a shuttle system would definitely help, it's not the be all, end all of the problems. SDCC has a 24 hour shuttle to the outer hotels like I stayed at last year. Sounds awesome, right? The problem was if you were on the end of the loop in the morning. During that morning rush, the shuttles would be filled to capacity (they are the large tour buses even) before they got to all the hotels. So I ended up doing Uber half the time anyway. Now during the middle of the day or later in the evening, that shuttle system rocked. Around 5-7pm, you could count on an hour wait in line to head back.It wasn't paid for by SDCC though. It was done through sponsors I believe. If GenCon could get someone to pony up that cash, it could happen. 
The last time we we charged $50 for unlimited use. I'd pay again, if the shuttle issues were fixed.

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