Housing reservation opened at 12:00 noon yesterday, with every paid for registered member of the convention being randomly assigned a time within the 24-hour period when their housing reservations could be made and processed. I was disappointed to see that I had a time that was 1 hour and 12 minutes from the start at 12:00 noon. To be honest, in my experience with GenCon in the past, if you can't book a hotel room in the first 15 minutes, you aren't likely to get a room where you would want one. Should have guessed what would happen next.
Once the alloted time arrived, I logged on, opened up the Housing section, and attempted to make a reservation for a hotel. 1 room, 2 adults, between the 28th of July and the 3rd of August. Two listings came up, only one of which was for a hotel that I wanted, and more importantly, they offered me a single King-size bed to be shared. I figured I could hopefully get the bed stuff switched at a later date, and after a bit of hesitation, only around 40 seconds or so, I clicked the "Reserve" button - and found that both potential rooms were already gone! Less than a bloody minute!
I tried to call GenCon Housing, but just got the "All of our folks are busy right now, please stay on the line" business. I managed to speak to them later that night, and they couldn't help other than suggesting that I try several alternate reservations. But by that time, it was too late. :(
To sum up the story of yesterday's fiasco, I have managed with the aid of a Twitter friend from Toronto to book into a nice room (I hope) at the Baymont Inn and Suites, about 10-minutes car drive from the main convention site. The place looks good, has a good reputation from reviews of people staying there, and I just have to hope that it meets the requirements that I'll have for my diabetes and stuff. It does mean that once at the convention, I won't be able to just take a break and go up to my room and rest or take a load off or drop stuff off, or whatever. And it means taking the bus, a taxi, or renting a car for the period of the stay in Indy for the convention. Not sure how this will be handled yet.
In so many ways, this experience reminded me of why I haven't been back to GenCon the last couple of years. I still hope that this convention will be an enjoyable one. Just going to involve a lot more travelling around than I figured on.