It have been about 4 years since I last attended GenCon and I really would like to attend for 2023.
In past years (except my last visit) I attended as a VIG, and the main reason I had a badge was to get a room in a hotel across the street from the convention. The convenience of being able to go to my room whenever I needed was something I really enjoyed.
In my last visit 4 years ago, I was not a VIG, and I had to get a room in a hotel about a 20-30 min Uber drive away. I really have no interest in doing this again, and I want to again be staying in a hotel downtown. Is VIG early room reservation still a benefit with the VIG package?
Does anyone have any advice on how I can book a room in downtown Indy (ideally next to the convention center) while still taking advantage of GenCon's block pricing?
Thank you for the info. I was hoping there might have been some change that might make it easier to get a room downtown. I'm even willing to pay a little bit more for the convenience of being downtown, but certainly not the $1000+ per night, if I were to book directly with the hotels.
Yeah I am someone who thinks about Gen-Con on a daily basis and literally the only ways I have ever gotten a downtown room are by being a VIG/Companion, booking 11 months ahead of time (which as you note has started costing like $999/night rather than the previous "a little more than the block"), or waiting until mid-July and picking up a room via GenConHotels.com (though that was just changing rooms, I would never have had the guts to go without a reservation that long).
I've stayed downtown the last 5 years and only once was it as a result of getting a good lottery draw. 2021 was the outlier since anyone that wanted to stay downtown could have had a room. The other years were just being persistent in looking at openings in the block so, wouldn't lose hope if you get a bad draw.
Before I got VIG, I always paid rack rates outside the block... and that was $500 per night back then. The VIG badge pays for itself when I think about that guaranteed in-block hotel room.
One tip if you're going through the lottery is to have each person in your travel group buy their own badge. Then they will each get a chance at the lottery. If you buy 2+ badges on your account, you only get 1 chance at the lottery (although you can book multiple rooms on that 1 chance if you bought badges for enough people).
genconhotels.com is a great site as it gives a live view on what's available on the housing Portal without having to log in. I got lucky this year but if i don't get downtown in February I'll be setting it as my home page.
There are no guarantees, but it helps if you're planning to share the room. Everyone in your group is another chance to get a good draw in the lottery.