Relocate GenCon to another city ( Locked)
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Posted by typhinius hawkeye
#81

hawkeye wrote:
I think it was last year, the suggestion was brought up to have tiered badges. You could have the regular 4-day bage with no housing, a 4-day badge with downtown housing (includes all hotels within walking distace) and a 4-day badge that includes housing at all the other hotels. personally I don't think it's a good idea to do it that way, because you will still end up with people who are not happy.
Plus you'd have to add a second lottery in essence. There would be a limited pool of the downtown housing badges with high demand, which would require a lottery or something. Then you'd still have the housing lottery as people fought for the best spots downtown.

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Posted by hawkeye typhinius
#82

typhinius wrote:
hawkeye wrote:
I think it was last year, the suggestion was brought up to have tiered badges. You could have the regular 4-day bage with no housing, a 4-day badge with downtown housing (includes all hotels within walking distace) and a 4-day badge that includes housing at all the other hotels. personally I don't think it's a good idea to do it that way, because you will still end up with people who are not happy.
Plus you'd have to add a second lottery in essence. There would be a limited pool of the downtown housing badges with high demand, which would require a lottery or something. Then you'd still have the housing lottery as people fought for the best spots downtown.

Exactly. Though they can limit the number of badges sold at each level, much like they did with VIG badges when they were sold during normal badge registration.

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Posted by burrfoot72
#83

Yeah but if we just added a lottery to see who gets in the lottery to be able to participate in the lottery that awards a draw in the lottery to determine......................  How many lotteries are we going to have?

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Posted by daveculp fizler
#84

fizler wrote:I still believe the Big Bang Theory effect will fade away and the demand will tail off over the next several years so the housing deal might fix itself.  

Table-top gaming has been groing in poularaity for quite some time now and continues to grow.   In fact since before The Big Bang Theory first aired.

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Posted by duhtroll ematuskey
#85

ematuskey wrote:
Man, this conversation is taking an ugly turn. 
1) "The Big Bang Effect"--seriously?  SERIOUSLY?!  People are tossing up the "fake geek" flag?  You think people are subjecting themselves to the crowd because Gen Con is just so cool to the "mainstream"?  

Yes, since I am the one who brought it up...exactly that.  

FWIW - the hipsters are the ones who embrace things on a temporary basis because they happen to be "cool" now.  I am anything but.

As was mentioned, Gen Con offers dozens upon dozens more "things" that were never a part of Gen Con before.  Gen Con is trying to be all things sci-fi/fantasy/games/even some comics/cosplay/movies/etc. and it is getting in the way of its own (historical) core.

And yes, many new attendees will come once and not return.  They aren't coming to game.  They are coming to buy.  They are coming to be part of the (your term) "fake geek" culture wave.  I know some of them and have even been told as much.  Some of them most certainly are coming because of what they saw on TV or facebook - hence the BBT comment.

I am not interested in keeping them from this year's affectation.  I am understandably interested if they should someday keep me from my nearly 40-year hobby.

I am also not interested in a culture war.  That part is over if it ever existed, anyway.  Gen Con makes more money selling things to people who really aren't interested in them beyond the latest craze and I conceded long ago (as many have) that Gen Con may cease to be the place where the actual "hardcore" gamers go.  We're not shouting sour grapes - some of us are being left out of the hobby we helped to build.

Profit above all.  No one at the corporate level cares who is spending the money, only that it is being spent.  Do these new people have the right to be here?  Of course.  Do I have to like it?  Nope.  Are they going to be here in 3-5 years?  I am betting few will.

And when all these temps eventually leave the hobby for the next craze, whats left is going to be us hardcore gamers.  Or maybe we will move on - don't know.

The people that were at Gen Con when attendance was low ... who helped make Gen Con a success... Do they have the right to feel slighted when they are shut out of the convention or the games they want to play?  To some, maybe not.  But does that mean they won't feel that way? 

And yes, "shut out" is a real thing - some people who need to stay downtown or have easy access to transportation - who are gamers because it is the activity they could have in their life because of physical or social restrictions -- they are a demographic.

And I am a lucky one who is staying downtown, every year so far, speaking for those who already gave up.

 

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Posted by ematuskey nikki
#86

nikki wrote:
Hey there.  I've been going to Gen Con since it was in Milwaukee.  I hardly ever play games at the convention.  Seriously, most years I don't.  I'm doing lots of other things.Your post has lots of valid points but Gen Con offers a TON of events that has nothing to do with playing games.  And it never used to offer those things.  There's haunted tours, an Orc Stomp for runners, dancing, martial arts, knitting, painting a My Little Pony figurine, improv comedy shows, musical acts, seminars that run from 8am until the evening on all kinds of amazing topics, and a bunch more I'm not even thinking about.  Gen Con even has something called the Spouse Track.  And I'm not even touching the kids and family stuff.  We have a friend who comes every year that hits the movie rooms hard because he doesn't really like to game but he loves the con.  It might be a smallish number, but people coming to this Con that aren't there to play games absolutely do exist.

Okay, fair point, I will concede that Gen Con has apparently expanded its scope a bit, though I'll say that it hasn't shifted focus nearly as much as, say, SDCC.  And I think it's awesome that GC has stuff for the non-gaming people who want to come along with their gamer friends/SO's, or the gamers who want to do non-gaming things with other gamers.  Gaming culture is still at the heart of what GC offers, IMO, and I love the fact that these days they can offer more than just tablespace for strangers to gather around, even if it that more robust approach makes other aspects more...challenging. 

> Yeah but if we just added a lottery to see who gets in the lottery to be able to participate in the
> lottery that awards a draw in the lottery to determine......................  How many lotteries are we
> going to have?

Incepti-lottery--we've got to go deeper! 
(runner-up joke: meta-lottery)

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Posted by 8one6
#87

My podcast actually did an episode about which cities you could move Gen Con to. Here's the link if you want to listen. (It was part of a larger discussion about SB101, That link should skip you straight to the more lightharted "make fun of cities in the midwest" part of the episode.)

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Posted by marimaccadmin
#88

If you think Gen Con doesn't care about it's attendees, you aren't even paying attention.  If you think about it, you'l see that Gen Con doesn't even HAVE to set up a housing block.  Nope.  You know what some conventions do for you hotel wise?  Nothing.  Tell you the closest hotels, and give you a push.  And if you're really lucky, they might work with passkey, but then again, maybe not.  Do you have any idea how much money Gen Con spends to set up a housing system, how many hours Gen Con spends negotating with hotels and working on contracts, just to try and get attendees a better rate on as many hotels downtown as we can?  Gen Con gets no money from that.  You're going to argue we get a higher attendance?  The fact that every room downtown, in and out of block, even at out of block ridiculous rates, is book, argues against that.  GenCon is under no obligation to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours to help attendees get cheaper housing.  They do it because they care about attendees.

What I always say is that everyone is a gamer, it's just that not everyone has found their game yet. And shame on you sir, shame on you for in any way implying that, just because you found your game first, you should be somehow given any preferential treatment, or are in some way better than, someone who just happened to stumble on the greatest hobby in the world more recently than you.

Any hobby needs new life blood to keep going, let alone, to grow.  And I guarantee you that every single one of you was a newbie at one point, and went to your first Gen Con, and how would you have felt if you found out that, as a newbie, you weren't given the same chance as anyone else to attend?  You would probably think that new people weren't welcome, which goes against almost every thing this hobby is all about.  Almost every single one of you out there was introduced to gaming by a friend, or brought to Gen Con initially by a friend.  We need new people, or this, or any hobby, will die.

The gamers that I know love welcoming new people into their hobby, and love showing them what a great thing gaming is.  They don't consider themselves better than other people just because they've gamed longer or played more games. They treat everyone as equals, and know that by encouraging new people to take up gaming, it helps us all keep expanding this hobby. If they see someone walking around their gaming table, they invite that person to sit down, learn a game, and have some fun.  They don't brush them off as a newbie.  For us nerds who spent half a lifetime being brushed off as different, for you now to brush off other people because they aren't a "true nerd" like you, is utter hypocrisy.

Is it cool to be a nerd now?  Is it finally hip to be square?  It kinda is, and I think that's great.  But I didn't get into gaming because I wanted to be a nerd or be different from other people, I got into gaming because I loved it.  And I want other people to love it too.  So I welcome every one to Gen Con wtih open arms, whether you've gamed before or not, because I know that, once you see what gaming is all about, you'll be hooked, and I'll have more people to game with. Stand on your lawn and rant at the new kids to get off it if you want, but that's not, and will never be, Gen Con, as long as I have anything to say about it.

Shame on you for thinking you're better than other people just beacuse you've gamed longer.

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Posted by duhtroll
#89

Hey marimaccadmin -

I don't believe anyone said what you're shaming.  

I will reiterate one thing though - Gen Con does what it does because it makes money doing it and the illusion that things are being done for any other reason at the corporate level doesn't hold water.  If they didn't make money they wouldn't be doing what they do.

I didn't say it is wrong or say people are bad for doing it.  It is what it is.

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Posted by marimaccadmin duhtroll
#90

duhtroll wrote:
Hey marimaccadmin -
I don't believe anyone said what you're shaming.  
I will reiterate one thing though - Gen Con does what it does because it makes money doing it and the illusion that things are being done for any other reason at the corporate level doesn't hold water.  If they didn't make money they wouldn't be doing what they do.
I didn't say it is wrong or say people are bad for doing it.  It is what it is.

It's you saying you didn't want new people at Gen Con.  That's the fact.

Of course Gen Con makes money, they have to make money to continue putting on the convention.  They have insane expenses, and maintain an office year roud JUST to run this event.  Of course they hvae to make money.

But you didn't even read what I said.  Corporate level?  There's like 7 people that work for Gen Con.  You think there's a big evil business corporation somewhere running the show?  I could name a couple of those that run shows for absolute pure profit.  Cattle call shows that funnel as many people in as possible, with almost no programming and just a big room to spend money in and a big room to buy autogrpahs in.  If Gen Con went that way, they could make a LOT more money.

Gen Con does things constantly to make the show a better place for attendees.  While Gen Con has to turn a profit, any though that the people that run Gen Con, and the man that bought this show TWICE because he loves it, is out for nothing but profit, is ridiculous if you actually look at what Gen Con does for its attendees.

Although, I do see your name is "duhtroll", so perhaps, I should stop feeding the trolls.

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Posted by dballing
#91

Wait, is having Gen Con get out of the housing game entirely and letting us deal with the hotels directly an option?

Because that would reward folks who are willing to commit much farther in advance, which by most folks' calculus would be a good/fair thing to do.

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Posted by marimaccadmin dballing
#92

dballing wrote:
Wait, is having Gen Con get out of the housing game entirely and letting us deal with the hotels directly an option?
Because that would reward folks who are willing to commit much farther in advance, which by most folks' calculus would be a good/fair thing to do.

No.  As you can see by the out of block rates, it would make it too expensive for many people to stay downtown.

Edited to correct that to, if Gen Con didn't really care about attendees, that might be an option.

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Posted by dballing marimaccadmin
#93

marimaccadmin wrote:
dballing wrote:
Wait, is having Gen Con get out of the housing game entirely and letting us deal with the hotels directly an option?
Because that would reward folks who are willing to commit much farther in advance, which by most folks' calculus would be a good/fair thing to do.

No.  As you can see by the out of block rates, it would make it too expensive for many people to stay downtown.

Well, that's because the out-of-block rates reflect a "mucked-with" economy, right? The hotels are discounting block rooms by $N,NNN total, and not-discounting the out-of-block rooms to make up for it.

We don't rightfully know what the 'free-market' cost of rooms would be.

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Posted by marimaccadmin dballing
#94

dballing wrote:
marimaccadmin wrote:
dballing wrote:
Wait, is having Gen Con get out of the housing game entirely and letting us deal with the hotels directly an option?
Because that would reward folks who are willing to commit much farther in advance, which by most folks' calculus would be a good/fair thing to do.

No.  As you can see by the out of block rates, it would make it too expensive for many people to stay downtown.

Well, that's because the out-of-block rates reflect a "mucked-with" economy, right? The hotels are discounting block rooms by $N,NNN total, and not-discounting the out-of-block rooms to make up for it.We don't rightfully know what the 'free-market' cost of rooms would be.
We know it would be more than those in block rooms are now.

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Posted by duhtroll
#95

Actually admin, I most certainly did read what you wrote.  I have refrained from calling you names, though.

My not liking the crowd levels the way they are and saying that I am better than other people are two entirely different things, I'd like to point out.  That's two accusations from an admin to a paid user who has not done the same in return (and will not).

Gen Con offers a VIG program and there are hundreds of examples of loyalty programs offered in many different types of memberships using a for-profit model.  But if I need to take the blame for the history of paid preferential treatment, so be it.

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Posted by wjpennington
#96

If Gencon got out of the housing buisness (excepting VIG's, of course, and staff and exhibitors) Rates might go up, but I don't think you would see them hit rack rate levels.  Before the lottery, and Gencon encompassing pretty much everything the hotels had downtown, if you started early enough, you could get certain downtown hotels at comparable rates. I used the government rate quite often.

Rates might go above the convention rate, but they can't price them all at the level you see now. the levels for the out of block rooms reflect extreme scarcity: they thus appeal to those who value incredibly downtown rooms, and are willing to pay whatever it takes.  not veryone can do that. Hotels are not stupid. They will not price rooms to where no one can afford it. Yes, you may pay more, but then those willing to commit the earliest, and who prove they value those rooms the most by being willing to pay the market rates for them is about the 'fairest' distribution method of all.

No one could blame the lottery.
no one could blame the crashed computer system.
you couldnt even blame Gencon for the prices. Free market baby.
If you didnt get a a room, its because you decided it wasn't worth it.
Sounds fair to me.

I really don't suggets Gencon go whole hog and do it all at once.  but it might be interesting to see what happens if, say, 25% of the rooms were 'let out into the wild'.

I'd rather pay more to be certain I had a room earlier, my choice of room, and location of room, than participate in a 'fair' lottery. but then I can afford it.

And before you say "VIG" , thats on the list of things to accomplish..but the VIG has to be limited. And its related  to my next post on why why Gencon shouldnt try to sell 'downtown' badges vs  stuck out in the boondocks badges.
 

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Posted by wjpennington
#97

Ok-this is why I do not think Gencon should sell two types of badges—one for the limited number of downtown rooms, and then general attendance, go live in the boondocks badges.

The VIG program really does not fit into this category for a couple of reasons. The VIG program has multiple benefits; the housing is just one. In addition, its small scale in terms of rooms it takes up. Its cost really is not completely attributable to room cost.

But to suddenly add a surcharge to be permitted to get a downtown hotel, well, that’s effectively Gencon adding a fee to your hotel bill. Think about it. You pay an extra 200 bucks, and you get a downtown badge, and get a downtown room. That downtown hotel is now looking at Gencon in this way: "You just made 200 bucks off of MY room."
 
Making money off of others people property without an agreement or clear legal right is a touchy situation. People get frisky, lawyers get happy.
 
Would you, Mr. or Ms. Theoretical Hotel Owner, stay in the convention block at that point, or sell as many rooms as you had outside of it? Because, that downtown fee is a straight out message:  “I can add that fee to my convention room rate, sell it out of the block, get more money and I'd not lose a customer."
 
You’d all leave the block or cut rooms. Everyone one of you, if you were the owner and it was your money on the line. Don't give me any 'I wouldn’t take advantage of people" sentiment, no one is falling for that.
 
I'd really want to look closely at certain laws, because Gencon, at that point, might be outright considered to be in the hospitality business, or acting as a travel agent, and might be owing some extra fees or taxes based on that. Because they are essentially acting as your travel agent. Right now, Gencon has just negotiated on behalf of attendees favorable housing discounts. Gencon is not making money directly out of hotel room rentals. The lottery is just a distribution system for the roosm Gencon has contracted for; right now you don't pay for access to that distribution system, that is just a free perk of the badge you buy. But having seperate badge prices, withthe only difference being access to the downtown room block, that is different. Gencon is, at that point, directly making money by selling hotel rooms.

To sell those downtown badges, they might even need some different type of permission or license, as they are not just acting as a conduit to housing. The city/county might suddenly say ”Hey, that fee should be assessed at the hotel tax, not just a sales tax".

Maybe it is not a legal issue, but maybe it is. It definitely would be an issue to a hotel. I don't think you'll see Gencon quickly move in that direction. More likely, it will never happen.

They’d be better off just getting out of the housing business, or keeping the lottery than selling the special badges. Either option is less fraught with problems than this one.
 
 
 
 

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Posted by hawkeye wjpennington
#98

wjpennington wrote:
Ok-this is why I do not think Gencon should sell two types of badges—one for the limited number of downtown rooms, and then general attendance, go live in the boondocks badges.
The VIG program really does not fit into this category for a couple of reasons. The VIG program has multiple benefits; the housing is just one. In addition, its small scale in terms of rooms it takes up. Its cost really is not completely attributable to room cost.
But to suddenly add a surcharge to be permitted to get a downtown hotel, well, that’s effectively Gencon adding a fee to your hotel bill. Think about it. You pay an extra 200 bucks, and you get a downtown badge, and get a downtown room. That downtown hotel is now looking at Gencon in this way: "You just made 200 bucks off of MY room."
 
Making money off of others people property without an agreement or clear legal right is a touchy situation. People get frisky, lawyers get happy.
 
Would you, Mr. or Ms. Theoretical Hotel Owner, stay in the convention block at that point, or sell as many rooms as you had outside of it? Because, that downtown fee is a straight out message:  “I can add that fee to my convention room rate, sell it out of the block, get more money and I'd not lose a customer."
 
You’d all leave the block or cut rooms. Everyone one of you, if you were the owner and it was your money on the line. Don't give me any 'I wouldn’t take advantage of people" sentiment, no one is falling for that.
 
I'd really want to look closely at certain laws, because Gencon, at that point, might be outright considered to be in the hospitality business, or acting as a travel agent, and might be owing some extra fees or taxes based on that. Because they are essentially acting as your travel agent. Right now, Gencon has just negotiated on behalf of attendees favorable housing discounts. Gencon is not making money directly out of hotel room rentals. The lottery is just a distribution system for the roosm Gencon has contracted for; right now you don't pay for access to that distribution system, that is just a free perk of the badge you buy. But having seperate badge prices, withthe only difference being access to the downtown room block, that is different. Gencon is, at that point, directly making money by selling hotel rooms.
To sell those downtown badges, they might even need some different type of permission or license, as they are not just acting as a conduit to housing. The city/county might suddenly say ”Hey, that fee should be assessed at the hotel tax, not just a sales tax".
Maybe it is not a legal issue, but maybe it is. It definitely would be an issue to a hotel. I don't think you'll see Gencon quickly move in that direction. More likely, it will never happen.
They’d be better off just getting out of the housing business, or keeping the lottery than selling the special badges. Either option is less fraught with problems than this one.
 

I 100% agree with you. I was not saying that it was something that should be done, but rather saying that in years past it was suggested on the old forums. Personally I think it's a terrible idea. While I think most peopel don't like the lottery system as it is, I think it's the fairest way to do it. Sure the old system of having everyone try to log in to the portal at the same time and get a room was good, and gave you the sence of control, but it did have it's issues. A few thousdand people all trying to connect to the same server at the same time will certainly cause a problem, and it did.

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Posted by rayken
#99

I can't help but read the people wanting the convention to move as people complaining about not getting a downtown hotel room.

Do you really think with 60,000 attendees this will be any different in other major cities? You'll still be walking a mile or more after the hotels across the street sell out, and at that point, most people at GenCon would drive anyway.

There are few cities with such a large convention center surrounded by so many downtown hotels. With an event this large, you will be looking at similar issues with hotels surrounding a convention center in ANY CITY. And you'll be dealing with ten times the amount of traffic if you get outside that block.

Mostly, people who didn't get a hotel room downtown need to stop complaining, and thinking the entire convention has to move. The best is people suggesting Chicago. You think INDY is bad? Oh MAN. Once the block sells out around any Chicago con, have fun driving in that!

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Posted by alans

Back to the origins of the topic:
   I think Gen Con LLC is, every year, looking at what city/cities might work out better than Indy, if any, and still keep the  Con viable.  In fact, I have no doubt they field several, if not many, calls and emails from Convention Bureaus, etc throughout the year, based on the economic impact we bring to the city, with very little in the way of crime or thuggery.  Geeks is Chill!

 Expansion into the stadium is a huge factor, so the "outgrowing Indy" reasoning, is, I think, mostly having to do with the hotel / parking / transportation issue.

  SDCC runs big busses pretty much nonstop to the hotels in the block, so people can get to the Convention Center without having to deal with parking, etc.  I don't know how that gets funded, but I agree Indy has a financial incentive to at least help with that, you would think.  At some point it seems like it would be necessary in order to grow, and still stay in this venue.

  As pointed out every year in these discussions, although other cities may have more hotel rooms and/or better public transportation, being "the" event for 4-5 days in the city really is special, and sets Indianapolis apart in a lot of ways from other places that could host.  

  I love the fact that it's in Indianapolis, and I can drive there - - I think I'd continue to attend if it were moved to, say Chicago or Las Vegas, BUT would I go every single year, if I felt like I was jus another visitor, or couldn't easily walk around?  I don't know.

  Eventually I suppose Gen Con will cap attendance in some way, or move, or the inevitable shrinkage will occur as tastes change.  In the meantime, see you in August!

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