As I write this, the hotel situation for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con remains in flux. Open hotel registration—which is in effect a lottery based on hand and browser speed—took place yesterday morning, and it was a tense, tense 10 minutes with confirmation emails yet to go out.

Hours of training, both physical and mental, memorizing maps and testing internet speed were all for nought for a bunch of folks—the Beat included—because the website suffered some kind of hitch. Tony Kim has a sad account, backed up by many on Twitter. As the world collectively hit the refresh button at high noon EDT, 9 am PDT, the hotel selection form froze up and then sent you to the “Congrats, wait for your email” screen. That’s what happened here. I got the first screen, clicked on some hotels hit return, got kicked out and then sat there in confusion and dread and then went back in. The second time it worked but by then four minutes had passed, four precious, precious minutes, and downtown hotels are usually gone long before that to people with better autofill speeds.

Several people have heard from Travel Planners, the company that has been running Hotel Hell for many years, that a follow-up email would be sent to those who had submitted faulty forms and they would have a chance to pick their six hotels and resubmit. But would the first time stamp be honored? A few tweets of relevance:

I didn’t get any Travel Planners email so I guess my second form went through alright…but too late. No one seems to have gotten any “confirmation” emails from Travel Planners yet, either. But the fine folks there are doubtless working hard to make sure that people are taken care of.

And now the waiting begins. But I’m not going to just sit here and wait. I’m making a bold offer. If anyone has a spare room at the Omni, either Hilton, the Marriott Marina or the Hyatt, I’m willing to trade this mechanical pencil for it.
That’s right, for an extra hotel room you have no need of, you will receive this beautiful mechanical pencil, size B. The pencil is a few years old, but has not been used much, and has a secure grip for a firm, confident line. The pencil does not come with leads, but I’m sure you can find those at any stationary store.

This is a good deal, please give it some serious consideration.

Good luck to everyone caught up in this trying time. And as is now traditional for speaking of Hoteloween, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

PS: I know that the hashtag used among Hall H waiters is #hotelpocalypse, but I’ sticking with #hoteloween because you never know what you’re going to get and I was here first.


  1. No deal. I prefer the mechanical pencils with the claw grip on the lead (so it can handle different thicnesses, and with the sharpener in the cap.

    Now if it were a fulchau, I might reconsider…

  2. I called Travel Planners when I got the congrats screen and didn’t get a recap e-mail. I talked to someone yesterday, and they took my hotel choices. Now I’ve still yet to receive an e-mail telling me if I have a hotel or not. I have NEVER had any trouble with the hotel process until this year. Four of my friends and I played the game, and only one person got a hotel room at all with one bed.

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