Yesterday was the day when Travel Planners sent out hotel notifications and it was joy for a few and grief for many more. I finished my own entry at 2:20 and got my first choice. Ben, who had the same hotel list, finished 20 second later and got nothing. Why? Well, I chose a single room and he chose double. Looking at the time stamps of others, it seems that asking for more beds may have been a harder order to fill than a single bed, which is more flexible.
There isn’t too much to say about this. As we all know there are mote people who want to stay downtown than there are hotels downtown. I got the Hyatt, which the older I get, doesn’t seem all that close, as it’s about a mile to Hall H. Supposedly if the convention center expansion is ever approved, the Bayside Hilton will also double its number of rooms. And add a whopping 500. Still only a drop in the bucket.
A few tricks and tips:
• For next year, I recommend hiring a youthful gamer to enter the lottery for you. Seriously, this is the Hunger Games for complimentary turndown service. I know I hit submit once and had to go back and fix something…in the micro seconds it took to do that everyone was getting the Omni.
• It’s better to click on the “give me anything” option than get nothing. A hotel on the shuttle route is better than throwing yourself on the mercy of the secondary market.
• Room swapping is going on in this Subreddit thread
• There is another thread here.
• The second bite at the apple for official hotel reservations—probably rooms shucked due to being extras or what not and not wanting to pony up $600+ for the deposit—opens on April 23, 2014
• The Unofficial SDCC Blog has a good round-up here. It looks like all hotel rooms were gone within five minutes. Getting in under a minute and you got your room. UNDER 60 seconds.
• Lots and lots of cartoonists, journalists and Important People Who Make Comic-Con What It Is did not get hotel rooms. I know just because you actually make comics or interview Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t mean you should get a good hotel room. It would be totally against the egalitarian spirit of Comic-Con to give special dispensation to any group like this. However, when Hoteloween first began, exhibitors complained that they needed to be at booths early and a 30 minute shuttle ride was a major problem. Thus began the ultra secret exhibitor hotel room lottery which takes place early in the year and gives exhibitors a well deserved crack at the rooms of their choice. I’m sure there is a limit on how many rooms you can get for your booth—otherwise some enterprising soul would get a booth just to get hotel rooms for his other friends. And yes I know there is a year long wait list for booths, as well, but they eventually come through. Unlike a room with balcony at the Horton Grand.
• What is true is that big exhibitors always book extra rooms and creative types can throw themselves on the mercy of their publisher for that. So now the bargaining begins. May the odds be ever in your favor!
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.