Revving up for Gen Con I like to watch videos. The other day I was watching one about traveling to Gen Con with families. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml84UJmgcY4. This couple with young children have traveled to Gen Con the past 4 years. They state that if they cannot be within walking distance of the ICC, they are not going. Then they said that was their line in the sand. "It hasn't happened yet, but ..." I was stunned. This is my 6th straight Gen Con and I have yet to get a downtown hotel room. Last year one day after the con ended I started searching for hotel rooms downtown near the ICC. There was no availability presumably because Gen Con has them locked down. My next step was to try AirBnB to try to get 2 rooms for myself and my grandson, and my son and daughter-in-law. I was very excited that I found two near downtown. I paid my deposits for the two rooms and was very happy. One month later, one of the AirBnB hosts apparently realized he had not gouged me enough and told me he was revoking my reservation. I apparently have no rights even after they took my deposit. Fortunately the other host was more on top of things and we still have one room. I waited for the housing portal to open and was ready to go right at noon on the day. However, I was not allowed to access the portal until 2:40. Downtown hotel rooms were gone by 2:00 PM so I was out of luck for a downtown room.
I was stunned that two young people were 4 out of 4 for downtown rooms and I am zero for 6. I do not begrudge families with young children a close room. However, I will be 70 in September. I applaud Gen Con's support for diversity and LBGT rights. However, they do not seem to be as concerned about their loyal senior citizens. The first year I went to Gen Con I was afraid that I would be the only old fart there. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw a lot of us senior citizens. It would be good if we had the opportunity to get a downtown room, not every year but occasionally. I also hope that those with disabilities have the option to get close rooms. It would be great if Gen Con would step up and give a little more priority to the aged and disabled folks.
The first guy you had revoke the Air BnB was he a super host or no? Because I'd say the next time that happens report them to Air BnB, sure they're allowed to do that, but affecting a superhosts rating really messes them over.
Some ways to get a downtown hotel:
The "secret" is simply obsessive diligence. Out of all the times I've landed a connected hotel, only once was it from winning the housing lottery. All other times it's been through having the damn housing portal open constantly. When I say obsessive, I mean it; it's been hours of splitting attention between whatever else I was doing and that. Sometimes I'd see a post here or in Reddit saying "I'm dropping" or somesuch and rush as fast as I could to launch the portal. And too many times I'd miss. But usually I'd land something. The few times I haven't, I've just settled for an "outer rim" hotel, but then it's not really the same as being able to go back to your room for a quick shower, or rest if you feel ill (that was me last year, and THANK GOD/PROVIDENCE/THOR/FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER I had it!).
It's sort of crazy, and it's absolutely cratered my patience, but I don't know any other way to do it.
This is the truth of it. It was such an ordeal that other members of my group got lucky in the housing lottery and were able to be downtown, while my slot remained open and I STILL checked the housing portal semi-frequently out of habit. It was so weird to pass up all the downtown hotels I saw open up. I was curious and checked pretty frequently on the last day the portal was open and I saw at least a dozen downtown hotels pop. People can get downtown if they're willing to put in the effort.
Post-lottery, I scored 2 downtown hotels (1 connected) this year for my party of 8 (one on my badge, one on my wife’s badge) by diligently watching the hotel portal.
It takes effort - but it can be done.
I think it might be easier to get a downtown hotel this year than in the previous few. As of this morning, I found 3 outside the block. Yeah, the prices are around $400/night, but they're still out there.
I'm beginning to wonder if attendance won't take a bit of a dip this year.
Wouldn't surprise me. None of the people I know from gaming groups are going this year - Gen Con's too expensive, too crowded, and they're only interested in gaming.
As the great Yogi Berra used to say - "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded"
Not sure if there will be a dip in attendee numbers, but it has been interesting watching just how many people are sharing rooms this year - mostly due to the gouging by the dt hotels...
I would guess the number of people will increase a bit but the main factor in open hotel rooms is the sharing.
The conrad though. I’ve seen ridiculous rates, like 100k a night. No thanks.
I do not believe that Gencon collects any demographic information such as age, family size, etc., when you register, thus they have no way of giving preference to to someone in the housing lottery based on those things. I agree with the other posters that the person in the video probably just kept checking the portal until they found something. I booked outside of the block, but checking x2 a day, every day, was how I got a downtown room for my friend using my in-block spot.
Speaking of points, the hotel chain that does not jack up points based on the date is IHG, which owns Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn/Express, and Staybridge Suites. This can work for or against you, but in this case 30K points a night for the Crowne Plaza was the deal of the year.
Having said that, I think they do an amazing job of running this huge event. I feel sorry for them that they do not get a chance to really enjoy it until the Monday after Gen Con.
I am always proud to continually give away my "secret" to always getting a downtown room--booking a year in advance. Certainly compatible with your experienced wiles! It has only failed me the two years the MotoGP overlapped with Gen-Con, and even then I could have gotten a room if I had wanted to pay about $100/night more than usual (he says, casually).
I've attended since 2007, and have always, eventually, gotten a downtown room. Sometimes not until July, but if you keep checking the portal, they come open. And, sometimes, we've gotten in on the lottery day 1...
And people with disabilities are able to participate in a separate pool of rooms (I'm guessing that they are situated downtown, but I have never opted to participate).
People with disabilities can request accessible rooms; they don’t get priority access to downtown rooms.
It would be great if Gen Con would step up and give a little more priority to the aged and disabled folks.
Screw that. I don't want priority treatment. I want equal treatment that doesn't penalize me because of my disability and provides accommodations where necessary to put me on equal ground with everyone else. Priority treatment because of my disability is so... demeaning. It's really, really insulting.
While they would certainly be more convenient for some people, very few disabilities would require a downtown hotel room to accommodate them. There are accessible transportation options for getting downtown and there are designated quiet areas within the ICC where someone can go sit down, relax, and rest if they need a break from the hustle and bustle of the con. There's a pool of accessible hotel rooms that people with disabilities can participate in if they need to and there are disability services on-site to assist people who need help during the con.
As has been said elsewhere, the secret is diligence. When I missed out on the lottery this year I kept checking back on the portal--not as obsessively as the poster above, but several times a week at least. I saw two "single bed" rooms in downtown before I finally found the "two bed" room I needed! We had a backup at the Conrad paying out-of-block, but it was over twice the in-block rate so I was relieved to be able to cancel it.
There are no guarantees you'll be so lucky, of course, but, at least based on this year, it seems like you can find an in-block DT room if you can be patient and put in the time!
Given that situation, I dont see a reason why the ADA rooms should not be reserved for those requiring ADA compliant rooms, as opposed to simply giving an ADA room away to those who dont need it. It used to be that the ADA rooms were kept separate, and you could call in for them. That's how it should be. Or at least give them a 24-48 hr time period first.
And this doesnt affect me. I dont need such a room. But I feel for those who actually do.