Confirmed it's dead. DEAL CLOSED!
OK, now I'm a little nervous for the future of our convention. There was a time (ie every year) that if there was a low priced walkable hotel room available outside of the block, it would be snatched up within minutes/hours yet this deal is still available.
This is a downtown room (yes, it's a slight longer walk but you can be inside within minutes by taking the stadium route), $40/night cheaper than in-block rooms, does not require payment before arrival (I never was charged), can be cancelled up to August, and is directly from Hilton.
What's not to like? What am I missing?
On my Hilton Honors account, it says I will be immediately charged the full amount, so I think people are hesitating on this one for that reason. As for people hesitating about Gen Con, I think there is HUGE pent-up demand. Almost ALL the Hilton properties are already booked for Gen Con weekend. Which is way earlier than usual. Normally, you could still book the Airport Hampton Inn in September. Even some of the far away ones are full. I'm nervous about not being able to get our badges this year, actually. I've been checking compulsively to see if they've gone on sale ever since Mike said don't hesitate to buy yours this year.
Looks like Tues-Sun is dead but Mon-Sun works at $148/night+. Of course, that's probably too long for most people.
I actually was surprised how similar "booking a year out" was this year from previous years; the Embassy Suites was dutifully listing rooms for $999/night, as it has started doing clearly just to make me stop booking there for my emergency reservation, some places were listed as sold out (likely not taking reservations yet), and there were only Diamond-status rooms available at a couple of other properties. It felt like the barest hint of normalcy!
However, unlike last year, I am not going to book a no-refunds room and then laugh at my own statement "well, it is not like there is any way I will not use the room."
Which is why this one's such a good deal because it can be cancelled (technically refunded but there's no actual deposit required) up through the end of July next year.
I can confirm that on the employee side, employee rate rooms were just as hard to find this year as the previous two years. Ended up with hotels 10-13 miles out and having to switch hotels between Wednesday and Thursday night, again.