Gencon Bound

Posted on January 29, 2014 by

3


After two years of not attending “the best four days in gaming”, I’ve decided to once again attend Gencon 2014. The reasons were twofold, first because of the expected celebrations around the release of DnD 5th Ed. and DnD’s 40th anniversary, which I would like to be there for, and second because I miss hanging out with the many nice people I’ve met thanks to my site and twitter feed. I applied (and was granted) a press pass, so I’ll be covering the weekend’s events both for my site, twitter, and G+… But there’s still plenty of time still to think about that…

This was my first time using Gencon’s hotel booking system, on my previous trips to Gencon I bunked with someone who had already booked a room. Apparently the system in use this year, Passkey, just couldn’t handle the load and all hell broke lose. Twitter lit up with people complaining of pages crashing, endless queue times, pages not registering room selections… chaos. Full disclosure: I was able to get the room I wanted, but the system did have tremendous lag and it booted me once. Not sure how I landed the room I did (Marriott Courtyard), but I’m thankful for it.

The hobby is growing, and Gencon breaks all sorts of attendance records year after year. In 2013 Gencon had a weekend turnstile attendance of 159,364 and unique attendance of 49,058. The con grew 20% from 2012’s record-setting 41,000+ attendees. But with this growth, comes situations like today’s… There are 33,000 hotel rooms in Indy, and 7100 of those are downtown.  Can Indy really handle a large con like Gencon, one that seems to not stop growing?   What do you think?

Here’s a 2012 study on Indy’s hotel space.

As an aside… The NRA is hosting it’s annual con on April of this year in Indy, and they are estimating that 70,000 gun lovers will be showing up. I wonder if they are going through the same types of housing issues that Gencon attendees are going through today…


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