I agree with this forum 110%.
Allow me to tell you a little something about myself. I am a disabled attendee that uses a manual wheelchair to get around. Due to my disability, I would like an ADA-accessible room in a connected hotel for the shortened distance going back and forth from the convention center to the hotel, and back again. But not this year! The VIG badge holders snagged ALL the connected hotels two weeks ago -- even the rooms designated as ADA-accessible were gone before today. I wonder if a number of the VIGs actually do require such a room.
where's the equality in this system?
One thing that would vastly improve the housing portal is to allow you to book all your rooms at the same time, in one request. I had 3 rooms to book this year, and had I been lucky enough to get a downtown hotel, chances are good that by the time I finished filling out the first room request information, the hotel would have already sold out before I could get the 2nd and 3rd requests in. Wasn't a problem for me this year, but I'm sure there are some people who have had this issue.
Basically, you would go into the portal and immediately pick number & types of the rooms, then would have maybe 15 minutes to finish filling out all the names & billing info until you were kicked out and the rooms were released back to the system.
Fair or not, I don't know. I don't like the new system as much. For people who used to get on right at noon and queue up there chances of getting a DT room were much better. I've been to 20 GenCons, first one in 1994, obviously that predates indy or even electronic hotel registration. ( We used to pre-reg by mail in, as crazy as that sounds) and I never failed to get a room downtown until the system changed. It seems to reward those people who didn't have the due diligence to get on and queue up at noon, maybe they felt they were too good for the queue, I don't know. If you are successful one way 18 times, then something changes and you are not successful any more, I would say something is broken right? In all fairness I did get a DT room this year, by total luck of time slotting, not because of any effort on my part.
Just because the "Its more fair now!" people shout louder, doesn't make them right. Its not really a deal breaker for me, but it does change the way you have to approach the convention. Maybe its just part of the bigger picture of GenCon moving away from their gamer base and trying to be more like Popcorn or ComiCon. I think the "Pay to Win" philosophy of the VIG system is problematic. The benefits of it do not equal the cost, I guess people would just do it to guarantee a good room. It seems like the kind of thing that would go against the spirit of the convention. I have the means, but until the value of the cost is there, it just seems kind of a waste.
There shouldn't have been any rooms designated as ADA available online to VIG or Attendee. All available room types can be booked with an ADA request by selecting the "Accessible" checkbox after selecting the hotel and room type online.
You can do this as a "modify" after you have your room. Or you can contact GC Housing for help:
GEN CON HOUSING CONTACT INFORMATION
The Gen Con Housing call center will operate concurrently with Housing Registration opening on January 27, 2019. The call center will close at the end of the convention on August 4, 2019.
Daily Hours: 10 am – 6 pm, Eastern time, Mon-Friday, except national holidays.
Call Center Phone: (317) 688-1323
Call Center Email: [email protected]
i think it Should be that only those who need the room can book it. Since the rooms will sell out down town, it’s not like the room won’t be used. But it should be for those with ADA room needs.
The thing that changed is the massive increase in attendance in the years between 2011 and the present where Gen Con grew from a ~25,000 person con to a ~60,000 person con in 5 years.
Having a free for all at noon just picks winners a different way, namely those who connect to servers with a few second clock skew better, whose network connections are closer to wherever Gen Con's servers are hosted, who happen to get routed to a server that doesn't crash, etc.
All those things could be easily managed with technology, and putting resources into load balancing and equalization. I mean the cost of this convention is really high, especially for the realm of nerd culture, so I think expecting some upgrading and streamlining is not unfair or unreasonable. Allocate resources to improve processes, instead of changing the processes to work with old resources.
We could do without the convention expanding into a new building and apply that cost to optimization of the registration processes.
I really don't want to get too deep into trolling this process, I was being more reflective in my post than aggressive.
I realize this, but hopefully they can develop a system other than the "blind luck" system in the future. Some people argue for a loyalty system, but I understand the drawbacks of that, although anything is better than the "money" system. If people are coming to the convention for the first time, you want them to have a reasonable chance of getting the best experience possible, so a loyalty system would not really be conducive to that. Doing away with the housing system is problematic as well, as Hotels would have no guidelines, so they could make as many or few rooms available as they liked and could charge whatever they felt like. They are already higher in the housing block then if you were to book them on a regular week, and there would be no ceiling for that. The solution is not easy, but when people stop discussing it, then people will stop thinking about ways to improve it. The shouters will have their day.
There is no “rush the door” system any more. But there are multiple systems.
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
ADA Double with Shower
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown
ADA Marriott Suite
The Westin Indianapolis
ADA King Room
Hampton Inn Downtown
ADA Queen Suite
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group
Hotels rewards aren't really viable I don't think. I travel a lot for work and have a bunch of hotel points. For example right now my I have around 96K Hilton Honors points and am Gold level (Platinum being the highest), but the Hilton was long gone before my turn came around, and if I tried to book it separately, out of block, 96K would net me maybe 1 night. I would of course get a free water and cookie for my loyalty. :)
Holiday Inn offers better stays vs. rewards for my membership with them, but it won't get you any special privileges, except maybe a slightly discounted rate or a free night depending on your points. It definitely won't get you preferential treatment vs. a full price customer.