Home Conventions SDCC '13 San Diego Comic-Con hotels sold out in about 2 minutes

San Diego Comic-Con hotels sold out in about 2 minutes


As the lamentwitterations filter over the land, the results of this year’s Hoteloween are being discovered. And while the lucky ones who got their first hotel choice smile to themselves, the tweets of the homeless fill the air.

Us? We’re somewhere in the middle. We didn’t get the hotel we’ve stayed at for many years—a quiet oasis in the middle of everything that has come to feel like home — and instead got stuck right in the middle of the hurricane at the Hyatt. Do not look forward to negotiating that Stella Artois and Charybdouche every night, but at least we don’t have to pack an electric kettle.

Based on what everyone is saying, it seems this was less of a lottery than in past years, and the time you got in, did your business and got out is really what netted people first choice hotels. Since we were in and out in just a tad over 2 minutes, it seems like if you were in and out in anything more than 3 minutes you were S.O.L.

This year it really depended on whether you checked other options, as well. For instance you had the option to get any downtown hotel, any downtown hotel at market rates or any hotel PERIOD. If you didn’t check all of those you didn’t get put on the list for those options.

A lot of good people who have been Comic-Con mainstays for decades didn’t get rooms. They’ll have to use their while and smarts to find accommodations if they plan to attend—the exhibitor hotel room lottery which took place last month is now the nexus point of many schemes and dreams.

There’s also the feeling that today’s Jim Parsons fans and cosplayers are just more motivated and more nimble. At least that’s how we feel here. It really didn’t matter when you got in but when you got out. After getting into the hotel system you had to quickly make six hotel choices from a lengthy drop down menu, type in your name and address and make other check box decisions on the fly. It took the concentration of a fighter pilot. When they make the inevitable Comic-Con reality TV show this needs to be one of the challenges!

In the larger sense, as we’ve been saying for a decade, there are more people who want to go than there are close hotel rooms. There isn’t a thing the con or the mayor or Jim Parsons can do about it. And until they start docking giant cruise ships outside the show, this is how it’s going to be.

To those who got the room of their dreams, congrats! To those who didn’t…perhaps Ron Marz is on to something:

For those who got the golden ticket, Bryan Singer has a picture of empty hotel lobbies for you.


  1. I have to wonder how many people opted for the lone Coronado hotel on the list (Which is very nice with HUGE rooms) and if anyone wound up there and is in a panic. Between water taxis, cabs and the Ferry, it really isn’t a bad option and there are even more hotels on the island that weren’t part of the Hotelpocolypse.

  2. My wife and I got in and I have no idea how we did it.
    We had a choice between a hotel (not part of SDCC) and one that was on SDCC list (complete with bus /shuttle service). We took the SDCC option. So odd, because I recall use talking about it for a bit as we balanced the pros and cons. Then we came back to it later (she left the site open) and booked the room.

    Go figure.

  3. Heidi, I stayed on Coronado island twice (with Derek McCulloch). Once at the Marriot and the other time at the Hotel De Coronado (which is a historic resort = $$$$). It was fun. It was about 4 years ago. The water taxi is cool. Drops you off right next to the old camp Twilight side of the convention center.

    But if you plan to stay out late at night your options get limited on how to get back to the island. If you don’t have access to a car then you’ll have to use a cab. The water taxi ends around 10PM or so.

  4. Re: Water taxi $7.50 (circa 2007) I’m not sure how much it would be today.

    Re: Taxi cab $18+ (from the gas lamp district to the Marriott)

    Coronado’s Marriott is on the edge of the water, so it’s the first exit once you cross the bridge. But Hotel Del Coronado is clear across the island facing the pacific ocean. Del Coronado is lovely place… but it is a world renown resort so it cost serious money. Coronado island also has plenty of other hotels and often people don’t consider it when going to SDCC. The only issue, as I noted above, is getting across that stretch of water. It’s like being so close… yet, so far away. The Marriott sits on the water’s edge and faces the convention center — you can see it clear as day off the balcony. But last I checked… even Coronado’s Marriott was selling out, and their their prices were also going up. Welcome to Hoteloween.

  5. I love Coronado in general, which has been the site of some of the best (non-SDCC) vacations I’ve ever taken. I did stay at the Coronado Marriott for a SDCC sojourn over a decade ago (when things were not as crazy crowded as they are now, of course.) My favorite part was taking a water shuttle across the bay and having the captain talk about the show. “I love Comic-Con,” he explained. “You see, my last name is Marbles, and I’m the captain of this boat, and this is the only time of year where I can introduce myself as Captain Marbles and all the comics fans get it.”:

    Last year, a colleague of mine stayed at the Coronado Marriott and it worked out great for him. The water taxi schedule was a bit of a problem, but he wasn’t the kind to do late late nights. And, of course, it was a pricey room (he booked the room at the last minute and not through Hoteloween) but aside from that, it worked out well.

  6. Coronado is gorgeous — expensive but worth it. They have great rooms and a beachside cafe with phenomenal hot dogs and hamburgers.

    Glad you got a room, Jamie. I wonder if people gorged themselves on multiple attempts by the same party (the Parsons quote is right on — met two people from Oxford 2 years ago who came JUST FOR HIM). My wife actually did the 12:00 rush for us — and we lost out at 12:04. We will live in the sewers and build our way up. A FIRE WILL RISE.

  7. Yup, Coronado is great. I really need to go there when I’m *not* at SDCC. I miss so much of the island because I’m at the convention all day and most of the night. And the people I would normally hang out with (after exhibit hours) all have hotels on the other side of the water.

  8. i’ve never been to SDCC and likely never will despite living in SoCal for years. Hotels and ticketing is insanity. I planned my wedding with less stress than a SDCC trip. haha

    The Coronado is amazing. The ghosts and hauntings are free!

  9. Retired from blogging? Is that like retiring from unemployment? Hahaha, sit down, nerd girl.

    We got lucky this year, we did alot of planning and preparation, and thought we’d go whole hog, and we got four day tickets and a room at the Maquis (typo intended) – it is hot in here, in must be Summer.


  10. We got the quiet oasis hotel of the US Grant. We would prefer the hurricane at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, or the Hilton Bayfront, or the Marriot Marquis and Marina. The website friendsofcci.com has a forum thread “2013 Official Hotel Give/Trade Thread” and our contact info is listed there on the first page of hotel trade requests.

  11. My neighbor across the street has a room to let for Comic-Con 2013. Anyone have any idea where she might post that? (one cat in residence)

    I go to CCI every year. We’re 10 minutes by car from the convention center, although, personally, I go the longer route and drive to a shopping mall and take the trolley in to avoid the craziness downtown. I’ve even heard of folks offering shuttle service to the trolley at the beginning and end of the day. Not sure if she is offering that.

  12. Go For Broke! …….. Otaku & Comic Geeks Alike……. The idea of docking a “Fleet of Cruise Ships along the Waterfront is a great idea. Let’s do it. !!

    That former Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders didn’t endear himself originally to begin with. But, has since come to his sense’s on Comic – Con’s necessity. Though I’m not fond of Republican’s. I can do business with the “Old School Variety” which Sanders definitely is. ( Tea Party Mutha @&$?!#% are a whole other matter ). That said Mr. Sanders is still a “Freaking Serious Power Broker” around town. Hence someone or group needs to contact him on this matter and have him Lobby Up a Cruise Ship Company or two or three.

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