SDCC Hotel Reservations: Hotelpocalypse Part II

Offsite Gaslamp Street View Hard Rock Hotel Spiderman 2 BannerIf today’s Hotelpocalypse was a film trilogy, it would be the middle film. Dark, downbeat, ominous and threatening to the heroes of the story. It would be the Two Towers, Back To The Future Part II, or even The Empire Strikes Back of the Hotelpocalypse saga.

Last year’s hotel sales were the just the beginning. Many attendees were caught off guard by the increased competitiveness of it all, and were left scrambling for a bed during San Diego Comic-Con. It took just two minutes for downtown hotels to be sold out last year before attendees got waitlisted – or even sent away empty-handed.

But this year, many hoped they cracked the code, rehearsing each screen and keystroke of the reservation system and training their form-filling skills for weeks in preparation. We thought we were all ready. We had hopes.

We were all so, so wrong.

It was like Gollum leading us into a trap, or finding out Biff killed our dad and married our mom, or landing on Cloud City to find out that Lando had sold us out and led us right to Vader.

It was the day we found out there really was no hope.

Watching the tweets go by from those left behind, SDCC-style, we tried to gather the data on just how fast one needed to be to get a hotel reservation. The difficulty this year was that there were so many variables. More people got their submissions in quick and early. Everyone’s system clocks on their PCs, tablets and phones were off by seconds.

And in this race, seconds are the difference between a bed, and no bed at all.

So what was the cutoff time then? Looks like @fernborrego said it best:

That two to three minutes claim? We’ve found that if you selected the Hilton Bayfront, Marriott Marquis and Marina, or the Hard Rock β€” the top three hotels in the area β€” you’d be out of luck. Any of the other hotels which are less sought-after, and you’d have a sliver of a chance.

But it wasn’t a downbeat for everyone. After all, someone had to fill those hotel rooms, right?

The real question here is, will the final film in the Hotelpocalypse trilogy end with the heroes triumphant? Or will it be all downhill from here? There are slivers of hope. The Comic-Con community has banded together again to help those who are looking for reservations, with this exchange thread on the comiccon subreddit. And although April 30 is the last date to cancel and receive a full refund of the two-night deposit, the link on the Travel Planners website has the following message, indicating there will be more rooms available before then:

“Housing will re-open on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 9:00am Pacific Time. Please come back at that time.”

The convention center expansion, although not slated to complete until 2018 at the earliest, will add 500 more rooms onto the Hilton Bayfront. And like badge registration, there’s always an option of retooling the system, although we feel that option won’t please everyone.

What do you think of this year’s hotel reservation sale? Did you end up getting what you wanted or leave empty-handed? Let us know in the comments.

About Jeremy Rutz

  • Steven

    Glad I’m staying outside of DT…

  • Travis McIntyer

    I think it was fine even tho I was only in it to help out a friend. I some how got 2 reservation confirmations sent 2 me !! Granted they were 5 miles and 7 miles away from the convention center!

  • Last year in the same group of 4 we got nothing. I ended up with a cast off reservation from a friend who only by chance got a room. (TP made a mistake on a phone reservation and honored another friend’s request.)

    This year all 4 of us got something. Though I was the only one who got a hotel from my actual list. My first choice was the Mission Valley place we were in last year. I got that. Everyone else got a whatever hotel. (So we are sending 3 back if our feelers on various forums don’t get any takers.)

    I think I clocked in the fastest at 2 minutes. I stumbled a bit in the choices menu. I really meant to put a downtown ahead of my mission valley choice. Doesn’t matter. Happy with what we got.

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  • victoria

    it’s absurd how quickly you have to do things now to even get a room. i submitted my form in under 1min45 and got my first choice (bayfront) but my boyfriend who was gunning for the same hotels took an extra 50-ish seconds and got completely shut out. insane.

  • Got finished by 9:01 and got my first choice at the Hard Rock. First time ever getting a hotel room on my own in like, 5 years. FEELS GOOD.

  • amykbstuff

    I got my first choice, a smaller downtown hotel. Fourth year playing the hotelpocalypse game, and I’ve always gotten a downtown hotel on my list, though this is the first time the distance is measured in “blocks,” so I’m thrilled to have a shorter walk. I submitted in under 2 minutes, but not precisely sure where between 60-119 seconds, though I’d guess around 90.

  • jazzmanny

    I got it too actually Hard Rock seems we will be seeing each other i assume, i was like so stressed i was like going insane fast on it.

  • apple2apple

    I finished at 9:02. Not any in my top 6. I now have to pay more (US Grant) but at least I’m still downtown… (First world problems)

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  • Melanie Holt

    I got finished at 12:06. This my first time going to Comic Con. I didn’t get anything. So hopefully on the 23rd. I will have a chance!!!

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  • Kinseyrei

    Definitely glad I decided with the presale. As it’s my first year and I had heard horror stories, having a place to sleep at night was more important than where that hotel was.
    On a whim to see if I had done things right, I decided to do the Hotel Sale. Finished (according to my computer’s clock) at 9:03. didn’t get any in my top six, and I chose ones I thought weren’t ridiculously close — they were all around a mile away/10 blocks so you would probably have to use the shuttle. at least I have a room!

  • NYAvsFan

    I got nothing a downtown hotel not on my list, but another member of my group got Hilton Bayfront somehow so absolutely thrilled.

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  • Kacey weinkam

    So I submitted my form within two minutes and got my top choice hotel in the 4th arrangement (Embassy Suites) and then I was able to submit another form for my friend by the 4 min mark and able to get a mission valley room for her. Im starting to think that people are actually slower than they are claiming to be, at least the ones who got a rejection letter. If I was able to submit two forms and get rooms for both surely they could have acheived one. Oh, the extra room was transferred to someone else who was looking, it didn’t go to waster.

  • Eva

    I was one of the unlucky ones who submitted at 9:03 and received the rejection letter. I was totally freaking out and started looking for hotels on different website, all taken and the few they were left we unbelievabley expensive. I was about to commit to a hotel that was $500 a night, but then a miracle. As I was coordinating with a friend who was also in need of a hotel she gave me a different link to TP housing and I was able to book Manchester Grand Hyatt, which is next the Marriot Marqui, for four nights. I’m not sure how this happened but clearly there were still a few hotels left. The link I used doesn’t anymore so maybe it was just a fluke.

  • marybluefairy

    9:03 and none of my 6 choices panned out. Was offered a room at a Comfort Inn in Mission Valley for $192. I think I’ll try my luck with the resale. I’ve never been successful with hotelpocalypse. :/

  • Thunder Levin

    Got my submission in at 9:03 on my system clock. Got my 2nd choice, the Manchester Grand Hyatt (wanted the Marriott Marquis, of course).

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  • Fascinating. All I know is, I’ll be there this year. Anyone willing to give me crash space? #SDCC2015 #Hotelpocalypse #MikeShields