For GenCon staff - other than MOVE to Indianapolis how can I get a guaranteed downtown room for 2018?!?
Money. Downtown rooms are still available outside the block. Not cheap though.
For 2018 you can book ahead on some hotel sites, it depends on the site, normally you can't book more than 9 months or so in advance. Expect to pay $400+ a night because they know when Gen Con is.
You can register to be in the VIG lottery, if you win you can become a VIG at around $500. Then you will get an early chance at hotel registration.
$600 for new VIG, $550 for returning. It's cheaper overall if you manage to become a VIG, but the chances of that happening are even worse then getting a downtown hotel and every event you sign up for during event sign ups. Your best bet if viable is to throw money at the problem. Enough money will fix anything. Like Austicke said, you can book out of the hotel block for a rather steep price. But if you are willing to pay that price you will get what you want.
1. Buy a condo in DT indy.
2. Have a property management company run it as an AirBNB for 51 weeks a year.
3. Stay there during Gen Con.
See - you don't have to move to Indy, just own a place there ;0
I have no doubt that AirB&B can also solve your problems in a sense.
Are there not a few mobile home camps within a mile or so of downtown?