19 JANUARY 2013
It's back - the change to reserve a hotel room without even knowing if you'll get a badge. On Wednesday, 23 January, at 9:00 am PST, you can partake of several hotel "deals" being offered in advance of official Hotel Day (which happens later, after Registration Day, and is fairly horrific.)
I'm going to be very clear about this.
What you need to know: payment must be made right then at the time of booking and is non-refundable. Yes, even if you don't end up getting a badge or get the chance to book a room at a MUCH better hotel. Also - you can't even cancel a night. Even if you get ill and have to leave Comic Con early. Whatever money you pay when you book your room this Wednesday is gone forever.
The hotels in question: are not downtown. They are in the Mission Valley and airport areas. They will all offer shuttle service.
How much money you'll save: I don't actually know. Sorry. Some of the hotels are offering packages like discounted parking and free wireless, but I'm not sure how the actual rates stack up to those offered on Hotel Day. Remember, those are discounted too.
Who this is good for: People who already have a badge, don't mind staying in Mission Valley, and prioritize the security of a so-so hotel room over the battle and possible victory of scoring a superior hotel room on Hotel Day.
How competitive the Early Bird sale will be: No idea. But CCI refers several times to rates expiring on 11 March, which makes it sound as if these rooms won't be booked up right away. I find that hard to believe.
Comic Con offered this last year and says it was a success. What they don't say: when badges go on sale, which is what we're all aching to know at this point.
Comic Con 2013 Early Bird Hotel Deals