A few wrap-ups on this year’s hotel lottery. The next hotel sale is April 8th, with details to come from CCI, but no downtown hotel rooms are expected to be available. However here’s a succinct list of options for those who are without hotel rooms at this point.

This year’s sale did not go smoothly, and the folks at Comic-Con responded with a statement:

We’re obviously disappointed the hotel sale didn’t run as smoothly as we would have liked. Our attendees are very important to us and we have worked very hard to secure more room blocks and reduced rates at area hotels. We continue to strive to provide the best means to accommodate the growing number of people looking for lodging during the show. In fact, one of the major sticking points in our current negotiations to remain in San Diego are hotel rates. This incident has cast a shadow on our efforts but we are working with Travel Planners to ensure this type of situation does not occur again.

I think “cast a shadow” is a little strong, but Kerry Dixon at the SDCC Unofficial blog has a strongly word editorial called The San Diego Comic-Con General Hotel Sale Failed On Every Level – And Why That’s Not Acceptable:

Because no matter which way you slice it, the entire general housing sale this year was not only a disaster, but a critical failure, on every single level.
Although we can almost picture how the conversation went behind the scenes — something along the lines of, “Yes, there were problems, but we think we can work very hard and keep our deadlines and the promised March 26 hotel reservations deadline” – it fails to address the main problems here. First is obviously that things went horrifically wrong in this sale. Unlike when the Member ID site crashed an hour before the Open Registration badge sale, when you could theoretically blame attendees for “waiting until the last minute”, this was not the fault of outdated browsers, ill preparation, or anything other than technical issues – plural.

While I agree that the user slam on the Travel Planners site was even bigger than usual (think epic cyclone) and TP maybe should have known that, I’m not sure how the results would have been any different if it had all worked! Some people would have gotten their hotel rooms and others wouldn’t. And those who were deserving because they were fast would have…I mean is this really a contest of strength and agility? Maybe they can give out hotel rooms based on how well you run the Walking Dead Obstacle course next year? Or there can be tournaments? Let’s really make this a show!

Some people seem to pretend taht the hotel lottery isn’t a lottery and is based on some kind of merit system. And it isn’t.

I preferred Tony Kim’s reaction which suggested that hotel rage may have been even worse than the technical meltdown.

Yet even in the calamity of Hotelpocalypse, I saw the very best of our community as extra reservations were swapped and given out to those in need.

However, it was not without it’s blood shed. It wasn’t before long that the blog-o-sphere started firing away with articles recounting the events of the week in excruciating detail. Frankly, I’m a little over it. I get it- clearly Travel Planners was not prepared for the deluge of registration that hit on March 24 at 9am. I was victim of it and walked away empty handed on Friday. They need to learn some hard lessons and make it right for next time. But the negativity that emerged, was to me, nothing but needlessly stating the obvious. Perhaps it’s cathartic in nature for some but in a lot of ways, I think it just adds fuel to the forest fire. In fact, stating that an organization ‘doesn’t care’ about their fans is just plain ignorant. Sure mistakes or underestimations were made- and there needs to be accountability, but to accuse a team of hard working people of apathy is irresponsible. Inflammatory articles like these just give bloggers like us a bad name.

I agree, and not just because I got my first choice. I’ve been shut out in years past —as Tony was this year—but I always figure something out. This year, I’ve already hooked up several people with rooms with people who needed rooms, and there is this message board for room swapping. Not having a long commute to the con helps me do my job but one year I almost stayed on Coronado just because taking the water taxi every morning and waking up on a beautiful island would be SO COOL.

San Diego Comic-Con is about having a great time; in fact, having one of the best times. And the random nature of it is part of the appeal. You only go through life once; deciding on new paths versus a beloved older one is part of what makes life interesting.

Once you embrace the random chaos it becomes more beautiful than you could possibly imagine.



  1. Do you know what would be a really good way to fix this?
    At the time you get your ticket, you also check a box that says you need a hotel as well.

    Those people get an e-mail with a specific code at which they log in on the given date and get their hotel room. That way those going to the con and need a hotel room get first crack at it. This would reduce travel planner’s bandwidth, website crashing issues. After those people have been serviced, it can be opened up to the general public.

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