1 MAY 2017
Most of us just spent our morning on a useless vigil, refreshing our inbox over and over. We watched on Twitter as people began crowing about getting Hilton Bayfront and the Omni, then Marriott, and so on down the line it went... while our inboxes stayed empty. (Except for New York Comic Con deciding to email a bunch of us right as emails were going out. I'm sure that caused a few false hopes.) Now onPeak has signaled they are officially done, condemning us to another week of waiting.
Here's what we know:
- Most of us did not get an email of any kind.
- Most of the hotels that were assigned today were downtown. Not all, but most.
- Even people who got in around the 9:01 mark (like yours truly) often got nothing.
- Another batch of assignments will go out next Monday, 8 May.
Plenty of people have called onPeak and gotten various stories, which I won't repeat here because I put as much stock in any of them as I do a Magic 8 ball. And there are many theorized patterns floating around online, but I wouldn't invest too much belief in those either; at the end of the day you get the room you get. Thinking you got screwed over your choice of king vs double beds is just a ticket to a pointless circle of hell.
I will theorize this: it's going to be really, really tough to do room exchanges this year. The timing just isn't in our favor. Most people who got rooms today are keeping them - and even if they wouldn't mind trading, the pool of people with rooms isn't big enough to trade nimbly with. That means we'll have to wait until next week to start making deals - and it will have to happen in a very narrow window. You need to make your deposit that week and you only have a few days to change your mind/cancel. After Monday, 15 May, one night's deposit is gone forever.
Try to keep your hopes up for next Monday and the waitlist; and really, don't waste your time wondering why there had to be 2 batches, why someone with a later timestamp got the Westin and you got nothing, why onPeak can't get their story straight, etc. It's Comic-Con. Focus on the fact that your feet will be carrying you into the convention center in July and don't stress too much about where you're staying. You'll find a room. This is just round one.
ETA: I've heard from 3 people now who swear they got in immediately (didn't get the running man) and didn't get an email. They didn't request an odd room type either. They're upset because a few people have posted they got in at 9:02 and got one of the top 6.
I can't explain why that is, but I would caution taking anyone's self-professed timestamp as the literal truth. Some people looked at the time when they submitted the form and guesstimated from there - and they may have spent more time filling out the form than they thought, meaning they got in earlier than they think. It's hard to say.
I know today was really disappointing. I'm sure we'll see a whole storm of theories brew up over the coming week, but try not to get too fearful. On the other end of the scale, I've seen some people speculate that there's a new crop of Marriott Marquis, Bayfront and Hard Rock rooms just waiting to be dished out next Monday. I highly doubt that's the case. There will probably be a sprinkling of those rooms, but most likely the top downtown hotels are already spoken for. Next Monday will likely move through assignments for the other downtown hotels (still a great option) and then more non-downtown hotels.
Remember that you have other options, line up a plan B and wait to see what next Monday brings. Good luck.
ETA Again: In talking to people who got a room, there's emerged a pattern. All but 1 of my friends that got rooms started their reservation request beginning Monday or Tuesday. The ones that got in early but requested reservations beginning Wednesday or Thursday have not heard for the most part. I don't think it was the deciding factor but it could be that the most revenue-producing reservations were prioritized.
If you don't know, it's pretty easy to get a cheap downtown hotel room on Tuesday or even Sunday night. Often those same hotels are pricier on those nights through the CCI system, so many people will book outside the system. Last year I paid 169 for a room at the Hyatt on Tuesday night when it would have cost almost double through the CCI/onPeak system. (And that quickly reverses on the Con nights.)
Accommodating the people with extended reservations willing to book through the systems may be one way the hotels recoup some money lost to the discounts. Just a theory. If it's true, that means it's smarter to request an early arrival date and then change it once you reserve the room. People have speculated on this before but this is the first year I've seen it play out so starkly.