Hotelpocalypse Recap Round 2: I Don’t Want to Wait

Last Monday, a few thousand San Diego Comic-Con attendees received their hotel placements — and for many, it was good news. Those who didn’t hear back on April 9, though, had a long wait ahead of them, as round two e-mails were not set to go out until today, Monday, April 16.

While Round one e-mails went out bright and early around 9AM PT, round two e-mails didn’t kick off until a very late 12:52PM PT. During that time, as @LolaM15 perfectly described on Twitter, attendees hung in a sort of Schrödinger’s Cat state. They potentially had an amazing hotel reservation waiting for them — or they potentially wound up with nothing. But until that fateful e-mail would come, they still had hope.

Finally, when e-mails did go out, it was great news for a select few. Some in round two did still receive downtown hotels, just like last year — despite several in round one getting Mission Valley hotels. While onPeak states that hotels are assigned on timestamp, our speculation has always been that these kind of placements in round are likely returned inventory from round one, which would explain why they didn’t go to those with earlier time stamps in the first round.

Simply based on anecdotal evidence, it did feel a bit like there were fewer downtown hotels to go around in the second round this year, though. Soon, attendees were being placed in areas in like Mission Valley and Shelter Island, despite having what they believed to be a “good” time stamp.

For the most part, it seems like the Gaslamp hotels were mostly all full somewhere between 9:01-9:02. The remaining non-Gaslamp hotels were assigned, to mixed levels of emotion.

For those just hoping to score a hotel at all, it seems like the cut-off time was somewhere around 9:03AM. However, as with any onPeak sale, there are definitely outliers that we can’t begin to explain.

So, what does all of this mean? First of all — what many hoped and considered to be a “good” timestamp (9:03-9:05), often wound up not receiving anything this year. 9:03-9:05 in years past has been around the cutoff time, so it’s not that far off. As we state every year, while that can feel like an abnormally small amount of people received hotels, it’s simply a numbers game. There are around 130,000 attendees, compared to a total possible 19,623 hotel rooms. There is no possible system that is going to give everyone the hotel that they want, or even to give everyone a hotel through this system. That is why most attendees “partner up” and add roommates.

Is this system perfect? Absolutely not. We made some suggestions last year for how onPeak and Comic-Con International could improve this system, and we feel like all of those options would still be valid improvements. However, as disappointed as thousands of attendees are today, this system is still lightyears better than the absolute disaster that was 2015 before they revamped the system (want to experience PTSD three years later? Go read our 2015 recap). It’s not perfect, but it’s still much improved, and it’s important to remember that.

For those who were lucky enough to receive room requests today, remember that your deposit must be paid by Thursday, April 19, before 11:59PM PT. For those of you who didn’t score a hotel yet? You still have lots of options — including the waitlist, trading hotels, finding roommates, and much more. You can check out our I Didn’t Get a Hotel Room — Now What? guide over here.

Did you receive a hotel today? Let us know in the comments.

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