What downtown rooms are still available?
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Posted by laocain

Whether the current lottery system was available for the last 7 years is irrelevant.  All I know is that for each of the last seven years--four of which have been under the current system, per roderick above--getting downtown housing has been extraordinarily difficult.  It goes to show that whatever system they have put in place for the last x number of years has been getting progressively worse and worse.

Meanwhile, the out-of-block hotels have jacked their prices sky high, and even though there are less concurrent events going on, there are fewer and fewer rooms available to actual attendees every year.

Yes, the popularity of the event has been going up, and attendance numbers rising, but at the same time the pool of available hotels downtown has also gotten larger.

Seems to me that--given the expansion of the dealer floor and the general increase in vendors, game masters, etc--we're seeing more and more of the available hotel slots being taken up by the people running the show, at the expense of those attending.

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Posted by flamepulse laocain

laocain wrote:
Whether the current lottery system was available for the last 7 years is irrelevant.  All I know is that for each of the last seven years--four of which have been under the current system, per roderick above--getting downtown housing has been extraordinarily difficult.  It goes to show that whatever system they have put in place for the last x number of years has been getting progressively worse and worse.
Meanwhile, the out-of-block hotels have jacked their prices sky high, and even though there are less concurrent events going on, there are fewer and fewer rooms available to actual attendees every year.
Yes, the popularity of the event has been going up, and attendance numbers rising, but at the same time the pool of available hotels downtown has also gotten larger.
Seems to me that--given the expansion of the dealer floor and the general increase in vendors, game masters, etc--we're seeing more and more of the available hotel slots being taken up by the people running the show, at the expense of those attending.
not extordinarily difficult, you jsut have to get assigned the right time, and as for outside housing block hotels jacking up their rates, yes the downtown hotels do that, but I jsut boohed 2 rooms at the extended stay for 140 a night

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Posted by laocain

Sure, if you're happy driving in and paying to park--which they are some great options for, like over at Lucas Oil Stadium--or you happen to be at a location that has a shuttle.  I've done that.  Stayed at the airport, at the north end of the loop, at the northwest end, etc.  Nothing compares to the experience of being downtown for the con, IMO.

It'd be very interesting to see how much of the available capacity is being devoted to exhibitors, vendors and sponsors.

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Posted by funny-shaped dice laocain

laocain wrote:It'd be very interesting to see how much of the available capacity is being devoted to exhibitors, vendors and sponsors.

(For context: My assigned access time was 10:49PM EST.  I feel your pain laocain; not trying to be dismissive or flippant)

To what end?  Regardless, we all know that demand *far* outstrips supply.  If it is less desirable for vendors, exhibitors, staff and GMs to put on the con, there won't be a Gen Con.  If one demographic (e.g. "loyal attendees") is favored over another when assigning portal access times to attendees, we risk turning off new blood, the con "grays out" and eventually dies.

Complete, blind, randomness for access time is about as fair as it gets. Releasing more rooms from the reserved block is likely to have a very minimal effect on the problem; publishing that data is likely to lead to resentment.

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Posted by doogs19

The problem is that GenCon is no longer a good fit for Indianapolis, and hasn't been for a couple of years. Until a variable is changed (attendees, city, or a large increase in downtown housing in Indy), this is our set state. If you don't like it, as I do not, you have to ask yourself a few questions like, "Do I get a refund and avoid the headaches?" or "Is it really going to be that big a pain in the butt?" 

GenCon is hoping the latter. I'm not sure I'm up for that. 
 

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Posted by andrewj.rager doogs19

doogs19 wrote:
The problem is that GenCon is no longer a good fit for Indianapolis, and hasn't been for a couple of years. Until a variable is changed (attendees, city, or a large increase in downtown housing in Indy), this is our set state. If you don't like it, as I do not, you have to ask yourself a few questions like, "Do I get a refund and avoid the headaches?" or "Is it really going to be that big a pain in the butt?" 
GenCon is hoping the latter. I'm not sure I'm up for that. 
 
Over the course of the next 3-4 years I believe close to 1000 new downtown rooms are being added close to the ICC. It will not meet the demand, but it will help for sure.

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Posted by lordnlkon doogs19

doogs19 wrote:
The problem is that GenCon is no longer a good fit for Indianapolis, and hasn't been for a couple of years. Until a variable is changed (attendees, city, or a large increase in downtown housing in Indy), this is our set state. If you don't like it, as I do not, you have to ask yourself a few questions like, "Do I get a refund and avoid the headaches?" or "Is it really going to be that big a pain in the butt?" 
GenCon is hoping the latter. I'm not sure I'm up for that. 
 

If it's not worth it for you anymore, then just don't go. For us, downtown room or not, Gencon is just too much fun to miss. 

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Posted by roganca lordnlkon

lordnlkon wrote:
doogs19 wrote:
The problem is that GenCon is no longer a good fit for Indianapolis, and hasn't been for a couple of years. Until a variable is changed (attendees, city, or a large increase in downtown housing in Indy), this is our set state. If you don't like it, as I do not, you have to ask yourself a few questions like, "Do I get a refund and avoid the headaches?" or "Is it really going to be that big a pain in the butt?" 
GenCon is hoping the latter. I'm not sure I'm up for that. 

If it's not worth it for you anymore, then just don't go. For us, downtown room or not, Gencon is just too much fun to miss. 
This.

I'm sorry your local garage band became a huge success and now you can't see them at small venues anymore because they only play to large crowds. And now you hate that band for selling out. I'm sorry you feel that way, but maybe move on to a new band.

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Posted by laebanks

This is our first GenCon. We're traveling from the Caribbean/don't drive in the US and were disappointed to not get a downtown room slot.

Has anyone stayed at the Embassy Suites North? It's apparently on a direct bus route, but has mixed reviews. Just wanted to suss it out before committing to booking.

Thank you!

-Lauren 

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Posted by funny-shaped dice laebanks

laebanks wrote:
This is our first GenCon. We're traveling from the Caribbean/don't drive in the US and were disappointed to not get a downtown room slot.
Has anyone stayed at the Embassy Suites North? It's apparently on a direct bus route, but has mixed reviews. Just wanted to suss it out before committing to booking.
Thank you!
-Lauren 

Yes, Lauren.  I stayed there in 2016 and was prepared to stay there again this year but was able to get a different room.

I thought it was great (as far as hotels outside of downtown go).  Great breakfast every morning.  Good room, helpful staff.

I did not have to take the bus - we drove in from out of state - so I can't speak to that aspect of your journey.  But otherwise, it was a great hotel for us.  

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Posted by lordnlkon laebanks

laebanks wrote:
This is our first GenCon. We're traveling from the Caribbean/don't drive in the US and were disappointed to not get a downtown room slot.
Has anyone stayed at the Embassy Suites North? It's apparently on a direct bus route, but has mixed reviews. Just wanted to suss it out before committing to booking.
Thank you!
-Lauren 

I would not take the bus. Bus travel is super slow. Use Uber/Lyft, it's quick and easy to get around with. 

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Posted by rhone1 lordnlkon

lordnlkon wrote:
laebanks wrote:
This is our first GenCon. We're traveling from the Caribbean/don't drive in the US and were disappointed to not get a downtown room slot.
Has anyone stayed at the Embassy Suites North? It's apparently on a direct bus route, but has mixed reviews. Just wanted to suss it out before committing to booking.
Thank you!
-Lauren 

I would not take the bus. Bus travel is super slow. Use Uber/Lyft, it's quick and easy to get around with. 
Absolutely skip the bus.  Use Uber or Lyft.  Also, the Embassy Suites is a good place to stay.  You'll have lots of room and a good breakfast.

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Posted by squirecam doogs19

doogs19 wrote:
The problem is that GenCon is no longer a good fit for Indianapolis, and hasn't been for a couple of years. Until a variable is changed (attendees, city, or a large increase in downtown housing in Indy), this is our set state. If you don't like it, as I do not, you have to ask yourself a few questions like, "Do I get a refund and avoid the headaches?" or "Is it really going to be that big a pain in the butt?" 
GenCon is hoping the latter. I'm not sure I'm up for that. 
 
There is also a transportation fix either through a working shuttle program or if Indy builds a light rail to downtown from the airport. Most major convention cities have better public transportation then Indy does.

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Posted by laebanks rhone1

rhone1 wrote:
lordnlkon wrote:
laebanks wrote:
This is our first GenCon. We're traveling from the Caribbean/don't drive in the US and were disappointed to not get a downtown room slot.
Has anyone stayed at the Embassy Suites North? It's apparently on a direct bus route, but has mixed reviews. Just wanted to suss it out before committing to booking.
Thank you!
-Lauren 

I would not take the bus. Bus travel is super slow. Use Uber/Lyft, it's quick and easy to get around with. 
Absolutely skip the bus.  Use Uber or Lyft.  Also, the Embassy Suites is a good place to stay.  You'll have lots of room and a good breakfast.
Thank you all! Fingers crossed it's a good time! 

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Posted by hendelbolaf laebanks

laebanks wrote:
This is our first GenCon. We're traveling from the Caribbean/don't drive in the US and were disappointed to not get a downtown room slot.
Has anyone stayed at the Embassy Suites North? It's apparently on a direct bus route, but has mixed reviews. Just wanted to suss it out before committing to booking.
Thank you!
-Lauren 
Uber is a great option in a case like yours.

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Posted by lordnlkon laebanks

laebanks wrote:
rhone1 wrote:
lordnlkon wrote:
laebanks wrote:
This is our first GenCon. We're traveling from the Caribbean/don't drive in the US and were disappointed to not get a downtown room slot.
Has anyone stayed at the Embassy Suites North? It's apparently on a direct bus route, but has mixed reviews. Just wanted to suss it out before committing to booking.
Thank you!
-Lauren 

I would not take the bus. Bus travel is super slow. Use Uber/Lyft, it's quick and easy to get around with. 
Absolutely skip the bus.  Use Uber or Lyft.  Also, the Embassy Suites is a good place to stay.  You'll have lots of room and a good breakfast.
Thank you all! Fingers crossed it's a good time! 

Also, if you have time to stalk the housing portal, a lot of times you can find a downtown room that will come back available.

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Posted by mstabosz laebanks

laebanks wrote:
This is our first GenCon. We're traveling from the Caribbean/don't drive in the US and were disappointed to not get a downtown room slot.
Has anyone stayed at the Embassy Suites North? It's apparently on a direct bus route, but has mixed reviews. Just wanted to suss it out before committing to booking.
Thank you!
-Lauren 

Like they say, don't take the bus.  The slowness problem is secondary to the fact that they don't run all the time and may not be available if you stay out too late.  Learning a new city's public transportation system is always tricky too.  I live here and there will be some point this year when I have to get to a dentist office on the northwest side of town without my car.  I know that the number 10 bus stops there, but I'm still kind of nervous about my ability to find the correct stop on the way in.

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Posted by laocain funny-shaped dice

funny-shaped dice wrote:
laocain wrote:It'd be very interesting to see how much of the available capacity is being devoted to exhibitors, vendors and sponsors.

(For context: My assigned access time was 10:49PM EST.  I feel your pain laocain; not trying to be dismissive or flippant)To what end?  Regardless, we all know that demand *far* outstrips supply.  If it is less desirable for vendors, exhibitors, staff and GMs to put on the con, there won't be a Gen Con.  If one demographic (e.g. "loyal attendees") is favored over another when assigning portal access times to attendees, we risk turning off new blood, the con "grays out" and eventually dies.
Complete, blind, randomness for access time is about as fair as it gets. Releasing more rooms from the reserved block is likely to have a very minimal effect on the problem; publishing that data is likely to lead to resentment.
The resentment is there already, simmering under the surface.  I wouldn't expect them to release that data for exactly that reason.  I was more wondering out loud, as I already am pretty sure of the answer.

Within our local gaming community, we've discussed how to approach this problem.  Most of us have given up on the housing block entirely.  Some are considering Origins, Pax, or some other con instead.  All of us are frustrated.

In specific response to what you said, I would put the game masters, VIGs, vendors, etc in the same lottery pot as everyone else.  Make it--as you said--complete, blind randomness.   

As a thought exercise, we even considered what city could better house the con, and could not honestly find one.  Indy is a great city, and Milwaukee wasn't working.  Finding another city to house the con would be an unenviable job, just as likely to turn people off.

Bottom line is that I don't expect it to get better, unless some part of the system drastically changes.  Whether it is availability of hotels, moving the "staff" block out of the downtown area, moving to a new city with more capacity.  As it stands right now, the effects of the most recent changes are not convincingly positive.  Anecdotal evidence of an improved system is not real improvement.  If the downtown housing block lasted an hour longer than usual, but they drastically cut the number of people with access times during those few precious hours, then there was no improvement at all.  They just made it feel better to those "winners".

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Posted by squirecam laocain

laocain wrote:
funny-shaped dice wrote:
laocain wrote:It'd be very interesting to see how much of the available capacity is being devoted to exhibitors, vendors and sponsors.

(For context: My assigned access time was 10:49PM EST.  I feel your pain laocain; not trying to be dismissive or flippant)To what end?  Regardless, we all know that demand *far* outstrips supply.  If it is less desirable for vendors, exhibitors, staff and GMs to put on the con, there won't be a Gen Con.  If one demographic (e.g. "loyal attendees") is favored over another when assigning portal access times to attendees, we risk turning off new blood, the con "grays out" and eventually dies.
Complete, blind, randomness for access time is about as fair as it gets. Releasing more rooms from the reserved block is likely to have a very minimal effect on the problem; publishing that data is likely to lead to resentment.
The resentment is there already, simmering under the surface.  I wouldn't expect them to release that data for exactly that reason.  I was more wondering out loud, as I already am pretty sure of the answer.Within our local gaming community, we've discussed how to approach this problem.  Most of us have given up on the housing block entirely.  Some are considering Origins, Pax, or some other con instead.  All of us are frustrated.
In specific response to what you said, I would put the game masters, VIGs, vendors, etc in the same lottery pot as everyone else.  Make it--as you said--complete, blind randomness.   
As a thought exercise, we even considered what city could better house the con, and could not honestly find one.  Indy is a great city, and Milwaukee wasn't working.  Finding another city to house the con would be an unenviable job, just as likely to turn people off.
Bottom line is that I don't expect it to get better, unless some part of the system drastically changes.  Whether it is availability of hotels, moving the "staff" block out of the downtown area, moving to a new city with more capacity.  As it stands right now, the effects of the most recent changes are not convincingly positive.  Anecdotal evidence of an improved system is not real improvement.  If the downtown housing block lasted an hour longer than usual, but they drastically cut the number of people with access times during those few precious hours, then there was no improvement at all.  They just made it feel better to those "winners".
They did not cut the # of people.

Rooms lasted longer because of the change fee. Its that simple. Also, it was only an hour because there are not enough rooms.

 

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