The mild winds of spring may just be hitting the east coast, but here at Stately Beat Manor we’re already imagining the sweltering heat of July in California.
Yes, it’s that time. Time to begin planning your trip to the San Diego Comic Con.
Stealth announced on Tuesday, the annual hell known as the San Diego Comic-Con hotel sale starts at noon edt/9 pdt today. As before you must go via secret link to the waiting room, starting at 11 edt/8/pdt and then wait to enter the sacred mystical virtual hall  where you can pick six downtown hotels and six non-downtown hotels.
According to our pals* at the Unofficial San Diego Comic Con blog, the time when rooms are usually gone is around 9:03-9:05.
3 minutes to paradise.
This is much faster than the old, manual entry system, which could take an hour to get through the good hotel stock. This system also had the illusion of determinism, as one could convince oneself that being fast could get you a good room.
People complained about that, and wished for a lottery system. So the current lottery system was installed. And now people complain about that.
As we’ve been saying for 15 years, there are 150,000 people needing rooms and only, oh 15,000 hotel rooms to go around. So the odds are not in your favor.
There ARE some new hotels this year, though. The Hotel Intercontinental San Diego, on beyond the Embassy Suites. The Moxy San Diego Downtown / Gaslamp – no idea what that is but it was probably something else once. You can see the whole list (and prices) here. 
The USDCC blog folks have an EXHAUSTIVE list of how to fill out forms here. We call them pals even though they have made the use of the term #hotelpocalypse popular for the hotel sale, as opposed to our own #hoteloween. You can tell who is an old timer by which hashtag they use.
We’ll stick with #hoteloween because it is like Halloween – you never know if it will be a treat or Mission Valley.
Speaking of distance, many of the close hotels are now listed as “walking distance” and will not have shuttle service any more. Taking a shuttle from the Hyatt always seemed a waste of gas to be honest, even though it’s a half mile from Hall H.
Indeed, the con shuttle route has undergone the most changes from tradition this year. No longer will it run 24 hours! Hours are:

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 3:00 PM – Midnight

Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Saturday, July 20, 2019 5:00 AM- 1:00 AM

Sunday, July 21, 2019 5:00 AM – 7:00 PM

And the shuttles that go to PetCo Park will NOT move to the Convention Center driveway at night. You can read all the shuttle changes here. I know some folks will be sad not to have 24 hour service, but I guess with ride-share options, it’s easier just to hop on a Lyft.
This year, I don’t have to enter the hotel lottery. I have a room already, don’t judge. Honest to god, after going to SDCC for more than 30 years, it’s one little perk The Beat has earned.
But we’ll still be pulling for you all to get the hotel room of your dreams.
And if you don’t. Well there are still the cancellation sale, swapping, Airbnb, roommates and paying full, outrageous price. Everytime there’s a deadline for a cancellation, a few rooms open up.  I’d say keep checking the hotel list regularly. Folks have sniped some better rooms that way.
Or just go on right this minute and get a room for $600 a night. But don’t delay!
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  1. Yes, the shuttle route changes are not for the better. I’ve sometimes used them to visit the Horton mall and other places to buy stuff, but now with a few exceptions any hotels within 1.5 miles is considered ‘walking distance’ which is fine if you are fully able with lots of energy. It won’t be great for those with bad knees, feet or backs or those who are simply tired at the end of a day full of walking. These people don’t quite fit the term disabled and don’t feel right using the same bus that people with serious mobility issues use. I guess comic con is not meant for those people anymore, unless they can afford cabs or getting a ride on a bike service.

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