The ongoing contest for the hand of Comic-Con International took another turn last week when San Diego Convention Center Corp. sent out an email to local hotels asking them to put in writing what they will charge for hotel rooms for Con.

With Los Angeles and Anaheim’s bids for the show getting more and more serious — and Comic-Con organizers taking their time to make a decision — it’s yet another way to sweeten the pot and to keep the Con in San Diego.

As you may know, it’s customary for local hotels to raise prices to $300 and up during Comic-Con, even on rooms that normally go for under $200. A quick check of Hotels.com, for instance, shows Ramada Gaslamp rooms going for $399 a night during Comic-Con…and $119 a night afterwards. Usury!

Getting prices under control for the show is a major goal of the convention runners. And the Convention Corp. thinks giving them a guarantee is the way to make them stay.

In an e-mail last week to hotel general managers and sales directors, the San Diego Convention Center Corp. pointed out that finalizing the agreements is an essential step in Comic-Con’s process for deciding where it wants to hold its annual, four-day event once San Diego’s contract expires in 2012.

“This (Comic-Con International) request for signed hotel contracts does not ensure that San Diego will be selected,” states the e-mail from Convention Center Executive Vice President Sandra Moreno. “However, if room block contracts are executed successfully to reflect hotel commitments made … we believe San Diego will be (the) city of their choice.”

According to David Glanzer, the con expects to make its decision on whether to stay in San Diego or move after 2012 within the next month. That makes a lot of sense as the longer they wait, the sweeter and sweeter that pot is getting. Right now it’s a regular vat of cotton candy.