…and I prefer it.
This morning’s San Diego Comic-Con hotel registration process was, as opposed to past days, a quick 3 minute exercise during which I did not hit refresh even once.
The upside was that you knew within an hour if you had your hotel.
The new system, as not very many people seem to have noticed, is very different, but hopefully unlike last year’s mess up where people who got on an hour later could get rooms whereas people who got on right away were caught in a computer warp and got punted to Mission Valley.
This year’s system is a time-stamp lottery. It is very like the way it was once done, where people faxed (!!) in a list of hotels in order of preference and then they were sorted out. After a morning of anxiety and planning, like thousands of other people, we are now just waiting for a confirmation that will spell either breakfast at Cafe 333 or a bus ride from Old Town. Confirmations of receipt will be emailed out within two days and actual hotel assignment will be made by Tuesday, March 15 at which point you must confirm and put down a night’s deposit.
Although there is much uncertainty at this hour, there were no spinning beach balls or endless F5’s this time. Were there fewer people since tickets are all assigned already? Tony at Crazy4Comicon has a breakdown which I think is full of surmises and inaccuracies, but I agree with his overall conclusion: not quite as much demand as in past years. There were WAY more hotels available this year than in the past, rates were cheaper and a lot of people have already booked the rooms they need at $700 a night so as to avoid going through this.
As for The Beat, we’re satisfied for now, existing in a world of hazy optimism where we have a sweet room at the Horton Grand with a balcony and a mainline to Ralphs, or at the Hilton where a pleasant seaside walk takes us right to the show each day.
The REALITY — Hello Sea World! — may be not as great but now everyone has DAYS to spread out the anxiety instead of minutes, which should significantly reduce bitching. I think this new system is a wise move by Comic-Con, provided it works as planned. Early birds get the worm advantage, computers don’t crash, and the rest of us realize that Comic-Con is no longer something that happens at the San Diego Convention Center. It’s a state of mind, and as such it doesn’t really matter where you sleep at night.
[Top photo from Indigo Hotel; bottom photo from Jared Wengert]
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.