As always, the day after San Diego’s Hotel Stampede left the internet dazed and shattered by disappointment.
But before we get into it this person has a room available!:
That said, a friend of mine made a big goof and thus she has rooms to sell:
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
Wed, Jul 25, 2007 to Mon, Jul 30, 2007
Non-smoking, Late Check-in
The hotel is on the shuttle route.
There are two rooms available, $1,514 each.
All taxes and additional costs are included in that amount.
My friend accidentally booked these through Cheaptickets without reading their fine print (*sigh*) and she can’t cancel them without forfeiting $605 and she had to pay in advance, so I’m trying to help her offload them. We’re not trying to make any money off of this, not trying to sublet or anything fishy. The price is literally exactly what she paid for them. They’re causing us no end of hassle, so I’m trying to find a solution that will be beneficial to all involved.
Go to the link for the contact incase you are interested in the room.
Elsewhere, it’s the same yearly misery and kvetching over how it Used To be:
A few years ago, there were three big events happening the same weekend: Comic Con, Del Mar horse racing, and a tennis tournament. A good friend had a reservation at a Motel 6, but when he got there they demanded $600 a night. And he had a confirmed reservation!
Hotel reservation time is the worse part about the con. Once you’re past this part, it’s downhill all the way. That is,until you get to the registration lines, of course. But you make friends in line. I’m also a dealer, so I arrive a day early to set up and avoid most of the lines.
I’ve been going to Comic-con for about 27 years, back when it was still held at the El Cortez Hotel. You could sit and have a leisurely cup of coffee with Jack Kirby (though Roz really saw to it he did not overdo the caffeine), or have a conversation with Ray Bradbury. Attendance was, maybe, a thousand. Someday, I’ll write about some of the old stories–meeting Osamu Tezuka, Kirby’s surprise party, Sergio Aragones serenading everyone at poolside at 2 am, and the dilapidated San Diego Hotel across the street from the tattoo palors and bail bondsmen.
Jeff Marriotte sees a larger pattern:
As far as I can tell, the con thrives on chaos and madness. They want it to look “exciting.” Having attended since 1983, I can safely say that it’s far beyond exciting, and far beyond fun. It’s a professional necessity, it’s great for networking and for seeing friends (but hard to have an actual conversation because of the noise and the constant ebb and flow of the crowd). But I go because I have to, not because I want to. And I look forward to it almost not at all. It’s dread, not pleasant anticipation, like having an annual appointment with a dentist who hasn’t actually been to medical school and has a toolkit of hammers and pliers.
A few relatively easy steps–some lottery systems, capping attendance at a more comfortable 80,000 or so, cutting it back down to 4 days instead of the too-long 4+–might make it fun again. They might also reduce the money earned by the non-profit that runs it, and the salaries paid, including those to some friends of mine. But it it was genuinely fun again, maybe people would be willing to pay more to go. Maybe a little exclusivity would be better than the mob scene they have now.
Or maybe–crazy, I know, but I’d love to see it happen–it could be split into several different, smaller conventions, or held in multiple facilities like some other big conventions are. Movies and TV shows in one building, comics in another, action figures elsewhere, gaming someplace else.
Even Tom’s longstanding “I’ve always gotten a room for cheap” attitude is crumbling in the face of the new reality.
What that says to me is that San Diego may not have enough hotel rooms for those who want to stay in them. Telling someone to book miles and miles away seems justifiable if they’re booking in June, but it’s not the kind of thing you should be telling someone trying to find a place six months in advance. While most discussions of the show potentially moving have been about exhibition space, and a few about parking and other city-type services, this is the first year that housing has seemed like a major league factor, too. People used to joke about Las Vegas, but I bet there are a lot of people out there that would have loved to close down the slow-opening convention travel site yesterday with the option of firing up a room at the Orleans. It should be an interesting few years ahead.
MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH HOTEL ROOMS????? Hello, we’ve been saying this for years! It’s not a may, it’s a fact. Please go to this link and read the numbers on how many hotel rooms are in downtown San Diego and the city’s own awareness that they do not have enough hotel rooms to support the size of their convention center.
Look, back in the 80s we worked for The Hollywood Reporter, and part of our job was making travel arrangement for the Cannes Film Festival for the staff. It was a constant worry about getting in to the right hotel and paying ghastly amounts once you did get a room. It seems that hoteliers are aware that when a big once a year event comes to town that attracts lots of rich people, they feel perfectly justified in jacking up hotel prices.
The same thing — only WORSE — goes on in Angoulême every year, where 200,000 people descend on a medieval hamlet. Staying at hotels 30 kilometers away is not unheard of — in fact, it’s expected! People stay in farmhouses and garages!
Sigh. Every year the stampede and Mark and Us say pretty much the same thing.
This show is popular and there are empirically not enough hotel rooms. The new Hard Rock may siphon off a few high rollers, and the Hilton — opening in time for the 2009 con — may help a wee bit. But San Diego’s civic problems are the root cause here, not anything the convention folks have any real control over.
As for those who want a lottery…well, maybe that would seem fairer, but wait until you LOSE the lottery.