Relocate GenCon to another city ( Locked)
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Posted by big12cowboys
#41

I have a city in mind that is probably much like several other cities.  Not going to name it, but it has a million square foot convention center (ICC is 1.3 million sf), at least 10 hotels within walking distance of the CC, restaurants galore, lots of things to do very close by... however, it still only adds up to about two-thirds of what is needed for GenCon.  There would have to be a contract in place a year or more before GenCon left Indy to get investors to build more hotels for which there is space (I'm fairly certain).  Again, I feel like there are several cities like this, but they would just need that push of "In two years, we will have 70,000 people come to our city for four days in late July/early August, and most all of them want to be within walking distance of the convention center."  Otherwise, I don't see GenCon going anywhere ever because, as has been said, Indianapolis is kind of like a unicorn when it comes to the space needed at the given price point with attached hotels.

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Posted by lanefan captainraffi
#42

captainraffi wrote:
It seems the desire isn't just for hotels, it's for hotels specifically within 1-2 blocks of the convention site AND at around $200/night when a surge of 60,000+ people arrive for the convention, ...
The desire is for hotels one can get to relatively easily from the centre(s) of activities on a 24/7 basis during GenCon week.  A hotel could be 10 miles from the actual convention space and still be perfect IF there was reliable all-hours transportation such as a light rail or subway.*  This, unfortunately, is where Indy falls flat; as otherwise it really is a pretty good place for a convention like this.

So, the first thing to look for in a replacement location for 2021 is whether the actual convention centre is big enough.  The second is what does it have for all-hours public transit and how many more hotel rooms beyond those right close to the centre are thus made easily accessible.

* - taxis and-or uber are not part of this equation and never will be.

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Posted by burrfoot72
#43

What is the fear and resistance that people have to cabs and uber?  

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Posted by dballing burrfoot72
#44

burrfoot72 wrote:
What is the fear and resistance that people have to cabs and uber?  

In Indy, at least, evening cabs are a pain to obtain at 2AM. Been there, done that.

​Many do not consider the unregulated environment of Uber to be safe (I'm a huge Uber user myself, but I get the reasons why single-females-travelling-alone for example might not want to risk it).

 

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Posted by keithbradburn wjpennington
#45

wjpennington wrote:
Been watching this tired argument repeat for the better part of a decade. I'm going to sum it all up in advance to save time.
And here's how It goes: no one finds a better place...even by the standards of forum members who really have no idea what is really needed.
Places are suggested. Most shot down. Usually someone insists horrible location is the best...but tries to deny that their support is because it's where they live. Occasionally some grognard suggests Gencon move  back to its origins. Few people even bother responding to that idea each year despite how bad it is. Sympathy for the elderly restraining them possibly.
Sone one suggests Vegas. Usually a desperate virgin with fantasies of being a high roller who has never  been to Vegas. Those who have been to Vegas respond with the many reasons why it would be horrible for GenCon.
Once all the other bad ideas are shot down (New York, St Louis..oh heck all of the big bad cities ) the topic then spirals to all the things GenCon or Indy should do. Most are laughably beyond GenCon power. Many are out of touch with reality. Topic slowly dies out, with a few diehards insisting they know better, and GenCon could do better if they just cared...without having any actual knowledge of the area or professional experience in event coordination.
There. Saved you all the trouble. Entire tthread in one post,
You're welcome.
Best Response Ever.  Thank You.

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Posted by mrshiny
#46

Well, it is a pretty dead horse, but it does bear, IMHO, prepping people for possibilities to look at this.  Certainly Las Vegas would be more economical (once you get there).  Plenty of rooms within walking distance, huge convention facilities and as a plus, Gen Con is right in the hottest part of the year, a decided low point in tourism. 

Orlando similarly as Gen Con is historically close to the school year and another relatively low time. (City, Avg hotel cost (as you can see this includes non-downtown for Indy), Con center space, Total sleeping rooms (also including non-downtown). 

So not all of these would be "better" but if Gen Con were to move, probably to one of these:


  1. Las Vegas, NV USD $92 3,200,000 Sq. Ft. 140,070
  2. Orlando, FL USD $108 2,100,000 Sq. Ft.118,000
  3. New York City, NY USD $268 2,100,000 Sq. Ft.102,000
  4. Dallas, TX USD $154 724,526 Sq. Ft.76,990
  5. Houston, TX USD $109 1,200,000 Sq. Ft.48,430
  6. Chicago USD $174 3,200,000 Sq. Ft.44,818
  7. St. Louis, MO USD $100 1,200,000 Sq. Ft.37,827
  8. Atlanta, GA USD $133 3,900,000 Sq. Ft.37,487
  9. San Diego, CA USD $139 819,815 Sq. Ft.36,427
  10. San Antonio, TX USD $106 1,300,000 Sq. Ft.35,619
  11. Kansas City, MO USD $99 800,000 Sq. Ft.32,000
  12. San Francisco, CA USD $192 890,000 Sq. Ft.30,497
  13. Columbus, OH USD $99 1,700,000 Sq. Ft.26,487
  14. New Orleans, LA USD $138 1,100,000 Sq. Ft.24,636
  15. Austin, TX USD $120 9,000,000 Sq. Ft.24,513
  16. Phoenix, AZ USD $109 900,000 Sq. Ft.22,643
  17. Denver, CO USD $149 774,000 Sq. Ft.20,756
  18. Boston, MA USD $202 2,100,000 Sq. Ft.20,301
  19. Indianapolis, IN USD $95 742,075 Sq. Ft.19,870

Source: http://www.cvent.com/rfp/us-destinations-comparison-chart-e6702a5296714ff38e1e75f26d7ca082.aspx

Personally out of that list, I'd go with St. Louis or Kansas City.  Chicago would be nice, but you have to bus people from McCormick Place to downtown (except for the one hotel actually at McCormick place).

Las Vegas is interesting as GenCon would fit in the MGM Grand all by itself!  The "gaming" nature of Gen Con could work against it their though.
 

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Posted by burrfoot72 dballing
#47

dballing wrote:
burrfoot72 wrote:
What is the fear and resistance that people have to cabs and uber?  

In Indy, at least, evening cabs are a pain to obtain at 2AM. Been there, done that.​Many do not consider the unregulated environment of Uber to be safe (I'm a huge Uber user myself, but I get the reasons why single-females-travelling-alone for example might not want to risk it).
 

Yeah the uber thing I get about single female and all that.  I guess I just assumed that Indy was a big enough city that I could call and order a cab at anytime of day and get one and just keep an eye  on my phone as you get text updates on it as I have with other places or walk over to the JW Marriott and have the doorman hail me a cab and such.  I always feel like I have seen cabs there waiting to be called up by them.  I dunno.  

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Posted by marimaccadmin
#48

Yes, I've used Uber at Gen Con many times.  And there are always taxis at the stand over at the downtown Mariott and most any other hotel doorman will call you one.

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Posted by rogersba big12cowboys
#49

big12cowboys wrote:
I have a city in mind that is probably much like several other cities.  Not going to name it, but it has a million square foot convention center (ICC is 1.3 million sf), at least 10 hotels within walking distance of the CC, restaurants galore, lots of things to do very close by... however, it still only adds up to about two-thirds of what is needed for GenCon.  There would have to be a contract in place a year or more before GenCon left Indy to get investors to build more hotels for which there is space (I'm fairly certain).  Again, I feel like there are several cities like this, but they would just need that push of "In two years, we will have 70,000 people come to our city for four days in late July/early August, and most all of them want to be within walking distance of the convention center."  Otherwise, I don't see GenCon going anywhere ever because, as has been said, Indianapolis is kind of like a unicorn when it comes to the space needed at the given price point with attached hotels.

Gen Con by itself is not enough to drive hotel construction. I takes a much bigger event plus an array of Gen Con sized events. Why were the expanded convention center, Lucas Oil Stadium, and the JW Marriott complex built? It was for the Super Bowl. Why are there more hotels going up? Because Indy wants another Super Bowl. Those other events of Gen Con size in Indy? NCAA Final Four, Big 10 Basketball Tournament, FFA National Convention, Performance Racing Expo, along with over 100 other "national" conventions of varying sizes.

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Posted by squirecam marimaccadmin
#50

marimaccadmin wrote:
Yes, I've used Uber at Gen Con many times.  And there are always taxis at the stand over at the downtown Mariott and most any other hotel doorman will call you one.

I think the problem with taxis and even uber are that you no longer save $ at an outlying hotel. You now spend as much as downtown (block) w/o the benefits. A $50 budget for cab rides each day (vs a $50 shuttle for 4 days) is a big difference.

Uber is hit or miss IMHO.

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Posted by trace_sl
#51

As I said before, you have to draw a circle around the location, say 1000 miles, that is the where people will come from.  If a location does cover that area, Gen Con will lose people.  Indy is a great central location, the city just needs a monorail system. 

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Posted by squirecam trace_sl
#52

trace_sl wrote:
As I said before, you have to draw a circle around the location, say 1000 miles, that is the where people will come from.  If a location does cover that area, Gen Con will lose people.  Indy is a great central location, the city just needs a monorail system. 

I saw where they considered (but declined) a light rail system. A monorail is even less likely than that was.

 

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Posted by vutpakdi mrshiny
#53

mrshiny wrote:

So not all of these would be "better" but if Gen Con were to move, probably to one of these:
[...]
    5.  Houston, TX USD $109 1,200,000 Sq. Ft.48,430
[...]


The total number of hotel rooms and price per hotel room is very deceptive.  They don't take into account population density, size of the metropolitan area in sq miles, and where those hotel rooms are located.

So, using Houston as an example, Houston hosts several GenCon sized conventions or larger each year: International Quilt Festival, about 62k attendees, the Offshore Technology Conference, 108k attendees in 2014, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (much harder to count since the HLSR takes place over weeks).

But, there are only 5k or so downtown hotel rooms, and many are not within as easy a walking distance of the convention center (IQF).  There are even fewer near the convention center complex at the NRG Stadium (OTC and HLSR).  Most attendees travel by car or chartered bus shuttles.

I still like wjpennington's thread summary post.  That post should be stickied at the top of each year's General Info forum.

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Posted by rodoubleb
#54

Monorail! *sings song from the Simpsons*

I'll confirm you can cross Chicago off that list, on the criteria of far less walking distance hotels, which is clearly something people desire, coupled with far higher costs pretty much across the board.  It would be sweet to Gencon out on the lake shore and in Mellenium Park.   Renting boats on Lake Michigan could become the new holy grail of Gencon accomodations.  

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Posted by hawkeye
#55

Mono means one, and rail means rail.

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Posted by burrfoot72
#56

It's more of Shelbyville idea.

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Posted by aklevah
#57

Columbus, OH 1,700,000 Sq. Ft.  26,487 Rooms
Indianapolis, IN  742,075 Sq. Ft.  19,870 Rooms
 
Source: http://www.cvent.com/rfp/us-destinations-comparison-chart-e6702a5296714ff38e1e75f26d7ca082.aspx

I pulled these numbers from mrshiny's post above - I have seen these numbers before and simply put I call BULL!  Not bull on Mr Shiny, but bull on the manipulation of the numbers by those submitting them to the website in the first place.  

Many of us have been to both Origins in Columbus and Gen Con in Indinapolis.  Simply put, my experience is that the Columbus convention center is smaller than Indy's.  These numbers state that the Greater Columbus Convention Center is one million square feet bigger.  Let me state that again ONE MILLION Square Feet Bigger!  Simply put, it is not true - common sense experience for anyone who has visited both know this to not be true.  You can look at the foot prints of both buildings on a tool like google maps and see that it isn't true. 

The total room numbers also seem inflated, probably as a result of using a larger geographic radius.  Again, no one who has been to both conventions could reasonably say that there are more total hotel rooms, convenient to the convention center, in Columbus vs. Indy. 

 

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Posted by bushmaster
#58

I think people don't understand the city and state have a large impact on what is happening. If we, as the people who are attending and are spending the money, are not happy, we should be expressing this to the city and state leaders.

The city needs to step forward and help Gencon solve some of the problems like transportation.  The state needs to step forward as well.

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Posted by austicke aklevah
#59

aklevah wrote:
I have seen these numbers before and simply put I call BULL!

Well said, David. There's a lot of misinformation online, and it's easy to be misled. Whenever someone suggests Gen Con move to Chicago, Las Vegas, New York or Orlando, I immediately know they have not attended a convention in any of those cities.
 

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Posted by corpboy73
#60

Went through this when it was at the MECCA center,learened to love Indy after they moved it.... If its not broke,, dont try to fix it....

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