For several years the ordeal known as Hoteloween has been one of the the signature terrors of attending the San Diego Comic-Con — namely, the frustration of trying to get a decent room while competing against 50,000 other people trying to get online at the exact same time as you. Good hotel rooms are secreted away and stored, while others dole out tons of cash for a room that would be average at best.
But next week’s debuting C2E2 in Chicago has the polar opposite experience. Waiting to get a room with Chicago’s ample inventory may actually result in a CHEAPER rate than even the con offers. The Beat and FMB had been dithering about where to stay and just this week got a hotel room via Hotels.com — one that’s on the shuttle route and has free Wi-Fi and a rate cheaper than the regular rate. The only catch? You need to pay for the whole thing up front.
It’s not an unusual experience — Chicago has tons of hotel rooms and they rarely reach capacity. For instance, Hotels.com is still offering a few rooms at the Essex Inn, a popular choice about a mile from McCormack Place that is on the shuttle route. For the truly budget conscious, there are still a few cheap downtown hotels available a short hike from the shuttle route.
If you’re really going last minute, you can even book a room and a flight for under $400 a person via Travelocity’s Last Minute Packages page.
Should this show develop into a blockbuster, the availability of cheap hotel rooms and flight even at the very last minute is going to seem very attractive.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.