The simultaneously anticipated and dreaded San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) hotel lottery (also known as Hotelpocalypse) is almost upon us. Badges in hand, we want to secure our hotel rooms. Yet the number of rooms in the Gaslamp area is not enough to meet attendee demand. As such, Comic Con International (CCI) secures rooms in other parts of San Diego, running 24 hour shuttle service to the convention center. Even so, downtown hotel rooms are always in great demand. To assist with the allocation of hotel rooms, CCI hires travel booking company OnPeak to run a ‘fair’ system to allocate the rooms. This system changes from year to year, leaving attendees anxious and uncertain as to their hotel fates. Generally, attendees fill out a form requesting their choice of hotel and OnPeak goes through the forms, allocating rooms as they see fit. Naturally, both OnPeak and CCI have been very closemouthed about the way in which this allocation is performed.
This year, the hotel form submission will take place on Wednesday, April 26, at 9:00 am Pacific time, with badge holders receiving a link to the waiting room via e-mail on Friday, April 21. Room allocations are scheduled to be sent out in two different waves: on May 1 and on May 8.
In 2016, OnPeak instituted a waiting room to access the hotel request form, staggering attendees so as not to crash the servers. This system will be back in 2017. However, there will be a significant change to the form: rather than simply picking your top 6 hotel choices (as has been required for the past few years), attendees will now have the option to pick both their top 6 downtown rooms and their top 6 non-downtown rooms. It is also possible to submit only for downtown rooms or only non-downtown rooms as well, and only one (1) hotel choice will be required to submit the form.
As always, changes to the form and the process only serve to cloud the allocation process. Is access to those coveted downtown hotel rooms allocated based on a random form access time, or is it truly a lottery, with anyone submitting at any time giving a choice location? Only time will tell.
Will you be participating in the SDCC 2017 hotel lottery? Join the conversation on FoCC!