Wow, Hotelpocalypse 2015 was a rough- leaving many battered and bruised once the Thursday notification e-mails went out. Intense pressure for the annual Hotel Sale has grown the past few years and I think we may have broke something this time. I won’t re-live all the issues with Travel Planners, but needless to say, their work is cut out for them the next few days and for next year. So for those that are left without homes during Comic-Con, let’s move on to some options:
May sound silly but sometimes you need all the help you can get. Besides, sometimes it’s good to pause and reflect on the fact that being homeless at Comic-Con is nothing like actually being homeless. So take a breath, don’t freak out, and start working your options.
Seriously, our fandom on Twitter is amazing. Even in the midst of all the calamity, fellow attendees rallied together and helped each other get rooms for the past 24 hours. Like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, rooms were passed and traded in 140 characters or less. If you scour the hashtag #SDCC, you will most likely come across someone willing to give up an extra reservation. Then you have to contact each other through e-mail to pass the reservation. Two warnings; the current reservations are only good till Sunday so you have to lock something down ASAP. Second, you shouldn’t have to pay anyone for a room reservation. It’s comic-courtesy to pass it on. I’ve been saved in the past and I was again this year. I made it into the Bayfront because of the generosity of others. You also may ask those with high influence to give you an RT boost.
3. Friends of CCI Forum
The title of this forum says it all. For years now the Friends Forum has been coordinating the tribe and helping them resolve any number of issues related to Comic-Con. On the link proved above, many are listing extra rooms, wanting to be a roommate, or wanting to add a roommate. It’s really awesome and the organizers are even awesomer. Check it out.
After the 72 hour deadline and once the dust settles, some might be able to expand their 1-2 person rooms into full 3-4 person rooms. In the past, Travel Planners has been very good with making adjustments to the reservations where possible. However, this has been a weird year and with all the issues, they might be less flexible. Nevertheless, if you know someone that is willing to try, you might be able to get into their upgraded room. It’s worth a shot.
5. Next Sale is April 8th
Comic-Con says there will be another sale next month, however it is very unlikely that Gaslamp hotels will open up. It’s worth a try but make sure you are ready to register on April 8. Check the CCI site for more details.
With some patience and Google, you can still find rooms on your own. Whether it’s an AirBnB or a random Motel 6, if you are willing to go farther out, you can find some options if you are patient. Now that people have gotten their hotel of choice, many are now canceling their ‘back up’ hotel in other locations. Just make sure to find one near the tram or SDMTS route and you’ll be ok. I had a hotel off the grid in Chula Vista years ago and it was fine.
Desperate times lead to desperate measures. If you don’t have a room, you might as well have a good seat in Hall H by camping out over night under the tents. You will end your week pretty frazzled but hey, your making memories. So if your young at heart and have a good back you might want to consider this option. With the right gear and the right group of friends, this can be the best thing you ever done!
I know this was a stressful experience for some of you but it will be worth it in the end. CCI has done their best to handle the situation and I’m sure it will be better for next year. Rarely to the exact same problems repeat themselves- but we sure find ways to create new ones! Happy hunting this weekend and let me know if you have any questions and please leave a comment with your story of hotel generosity.
**Update May 5**
I just learned of a company called Hotel Room Alerts that helps people get rooms at completely sold out hotels. Because of the Comic-Con dilemma, they created a specific event page for SDCC:
I’ve not tried them before but if you have a positive experience, let me know!