Snap up your Early Bird room right now


What exactly is CCI intending to spring on us in the first 6 months of 2018? At the rate they're going, we'll have Open Reg after Thanksgiving, the hotel sale in early December and the parking sale right after Christmas. They are on a roll.

Today they announced that the Early Bird hotel sale is live. Which means this post is for those of you who romantically believe in your CCI destiny. I used to be one of you. I loved Comic-Con, I was devoted to it, surely the gods of lodging and nerddom would gift me with a decent hotel room, right? Then I got one of these:

If you've gotten locked out of the hotel sale, you know what a kick in the teeth it is. You battled the badge sale odds and won, and now you have no place to stay! And it's not getting better - the hotel sale gets tougher each year for some reasons we understand and some we don't, but what it boils down to is that you cannot count on getting a downtown room - or a room at all - in the hotel sale.

But you can lock down a hotel room in the Early Bird sale easily and peacefully, and you can do so right now. No, the rooms aren't downtown, but most of the hotel sale rooms aren't either. My Early Bird choice remains the Sheraton, a mere 3 miles down the road and just a quick shuttle ride away. But that's me - your choice depends on your personal criteria.

Pros of Early Bird

You have more control over your hotel choice.
You really don't have jack to worry about for the next 8 months.
You can save money by paying (contextually) reasonable rates.

Cons of Early Bird

You have to pony up now for the entire stay.
It's nonrefundable.
You won't be downtown.

Again, though, on the downtown issue - last year out of a sample group of 30, only one person (me) got a downtown hotel - and it was Wyndham Bayside, the farthest-away downtown hotel you can get. It's not quite 2 miles from the Con where the Sheraton, available from Early Bird, is 3 miles. So - you're literally talking about the difference of just over a mile, and one was easily procurable and one was obtained through sheer, unlikely luck in a blood battle. 

Just something to put your odds in context. As someone whose luck died hard in a Carribean casino this weekend, I know that sometimes it's better to err on the side of prudence. Especially when it comes to having a comfortable Comic-Con.

I will admit that I am not doing Early Bird, but that's because I already have a downtown safety hotel booked. If you don't, and you lack the kind of San Diego connections that could help you find a couch to crash on, you should really consider this. When Hotel Day results roll around and all your friends are crying and homeless, you'll be glad you put a roof over your head the pragmatic way.


  1. I recommend this to anyone on the fence. I have done this now for the last 4 years with great results. If you are thinking about it, I would suggest the Sheraton Marina/Airport. Super quick Uber ride (3 miles tops)and I costume hard every day of the convention. Hotel bar is super cool and staff is nice and I never worry about stuff going missing from the room. Locked my room down yesterday. I have done the Mission Valley hotels as well and they work out just fine too. Mostly took the train when I stayed there to enjoy the ride in with fellow cosplayers and brown bag mimosas for a wake me up to the day. See ya in 2018.

    1. Solid advice, especially from a cosplayer. I know some people think they have to be right next door if they're going to cosplay so it's encouraging that you didn't find it to be an issue.

  2. How do people get backup rooms?
    Why is it harder to get downtown rooms when there are more hotels?

  3. I am also hoping for an early Hotelpocalypse. But parking is controlled entirely by Ace, and I suspect they won't be moving up their timeline. Even if everything else is early,parking is likely to be in the April-June timeframe again.

    Glad you have a backup downtown hotel! I do as well, although it's not nearly as good as the one I had last year. To the Anonymous poster above, you can get a backup room by checking out direct booking at various hotel sites. But make sure that whatever you book is cancelable. More and more hotels are only offering fully-paid-non-refundable reservations now.

    1. That's so true - it used to be much easier to get a refundable or no-deposit reservation. It's almost impossible now.

  4. I am a huge fan of staying at a hotel on Shelter Island. It’s next to the water, on the bus route, and if you choose to drive it is a easy drive to and from the convention. My friends and I have rooms booked at Best Western Island Palms. No money down required, just need a valid credit card. You have to at least till June to cancel your reservation. We typically book our rooms in October/November.

  5. Where us your article on buying groups??????