Three days have passed since the San Diego Comic-Con International hotel lottery aka the Hotelpocalypse (Hotel Apocalypse) happened on Tuesday 5th April, 2016. Yesterday and today those that took part in the hotel lottery learned of their fate, some succeeded in obtaining one of their top 6 choices, some managed a downtown hotel that wasn’t part of their top 6, some got a non downtown hotel and where automatically waitlisted, others where simply waitlisted with no success at all in getting any hotel rooms. Sadly we are in the waitlist group, our fate in getting one of our top 6 choices, like many others, rests in the hands of onPeak.
While the hotel lottery itself went smoothly and without technical hitches as seen in previous years, the process of how they handled the requests either remained vague or contradicted itself. For next year’s hotel lottery they will need to clearly state and stick to their words on how hotel requests will be handled.
- If the hotel lottery was going to be random anyway then why make everyone wait up to three hours in a waiting room before the sale even begins? Wouldn’t it be easier to let everyone fill in a request form in their own time as it wouldn’t make a difference if it was all a random process.
- If the requests would be handled randomly rather than the order submitted then why not clearly state that so that everyone isn’t in a state of panic trying to fill in and submit their request forms as fast as they can possibly type?
The whole process of a random lottery was to make it a fair process for everyone involved but it seems that this year’s process was an utter mess especially since onPeak themselves couldn’t make up their minds about how to handle the situation.
Some suggested the sale should be open only to badge holders, while this would help increase the success rate of a hotel room for badge holders it simply may not be that easy for onPeak. Many people who failed to get a badge attend San Diego Comic-Con International to be able to experience all the outside events and they too bring money to the San Diego economy. At the end of the day it’s money that matters, San Diego itself fights to keep Comic-Con International in San Diego because it brings millions of dollars into its economy. In fact the hotels in San Diego have even admitted that the profit they make from Comic-Con International alone helps keep them afloat for the rest of the year. It’s why they don’t currently have a hotel lottery for badge holders only, they know that if badge holders and non badge holders want to attend San Diego Comic-Con International badly enough then they will pay anything to stay downtown. The San Diego downtown hotels know this all too well which is why they charge extortionate rates for their rooms that weren’t part of the hotel lottery. It’s why onPeak has a limited amount of rooms they can offer during the hotel lottery as the hotel themselves reserve their own block to charge at a higher rate. Unfortunately not all of us have that kind of money to burn.
Some suggested priority of the hotel lottery should be given to press, professionals and those that work in the industry. As a member of the accredited press for San Diego Comic-Con International 2016 I can understand the convenience having a downtown hotel would provide, after all who wants to carry their photography and video equipment for long distances. However we’ve already been provided complementary badges to an event which is notoriously hard to obtain badges for in the first place. It would be greedy to ask them to provide you a downtown hotel as well and it wouldn’t be fair to other regular badge holders.
However it’s not all doom and gloom, for even if you didn’t manage to get a hotel from the lottery or through the waitlist, the early bird hotel sale or even managed to bag yourself a room well in advance before any of the sales happened there is still hope. There is a community out there of great people willing to trade or exchange their hotels to others who may need them. One such community is the Friends of Comic-Con forum which you can check out by clicking here.
What did you think of the Hotelpocalypse experience? Let us know in the comments below.
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