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shadowspawn

Otakon Gofers
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shadowspawn last won the day on December 7

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About shadowspawn

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    Otaku In Training

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    The Great State of New Hampshire
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  1. Hotels

    So, how about a slight thread hijack? I have a dim memory of this situation unfolding in 2002: https://web.archive.org/web/20020123132653/http://otakon.com:80/ I don't think that I made my hotel reservations for Otakon 2002 until after the dates had been changed, so it didn't really affect me. But wasn't it kind of.. chaotic? When the convention dates changed after hotels had been reserved and people had gotten rooms? Anyone else remember?
  2. Hotels

    I hope that when all this is over, we get the whole story behind the long delay. NOT because of "accountability transparency blah-blah". I've seen the inside of event planning enough that I'm genuinely sympathetic to the Otakon Staff, and my level of annoyance is approximately zero. I just suspect that there might be some interesting event planning drama back-stage, which would be interesting to hear about and learn from.
  3. Hotels

    Yes, I remember back in 2004 - 2005 era, I went back to work after Otakon, and learned that a colleague of mine had legit direct reservations at the Holiday Inn Saturday night because they were visiting a local University, and got turned away (late Saturday evening arrival) because the place was 100% sold out by Otakon and other direct bookings. The Holiday Inn got them a room somewhere else further away.
  4. Hotels 2018?

    I do miss the drama of when it used to be a surprise. Having to compulsively check the web site frequently. And then some groups would reverse engineer the previous years' URL and break in to get reservations days before it was announced. Oh, wait, actually I don't miss that at all...
  5. Hotels

    Holy moly, that didn't take long.
  6. Hotels 2018?

    It depends on the hotel. They vary wildly. I've gotten the Government rate at some hotels just by showing my CAC Card, even on weekends, and government contractors were fine (e.g. Wyndham). Others are more strict; Marriott, for example, excludes government contractors. Generally, on the hotel web site there will be a "Rate Details" clickable link next to the rate, which will usually pop up something that details the requirements. Same with the auto club rates. Some hotels won't book the reservation unless you input your AAA member number with the reservation. Others (Marriott Marquis) just want to see a card when you check in.
  7. Hotels 2018?

    They don't charge your card in advance. Cancellable. Standard good hotel stuff. As far as the price, I booked the AAA rate (I've been a member of AAA for years, because I like being able to call for their services if my car has a hissy-fit, plus all the hotel discounts that I get booking AAA rates way more than pays for the membership fee). Marquis only require you to show your AAA card at check-in (so, theoretically, a person could book now at the AAA rate, and then join AAA next July). In this case, the AAA rate is almost $50 less per night than the normal rate, so it was a no-brainer to grab it. And yes, the Marquis is at least $80 more per night than the last convention if you pay the normal rate. Note that hotel prices fluctuate weirdly, based on the algorithms and phase-of-the-moon that they use to price their inventory, so anything I say here might not be valid for more than a day...
  8. Hotels 2018?

    FYI, the Marriott Marquis is now taking reservations for the dates of Otakon 2018. We have ours. I usually think if this as an "insurance reservation" that can be cancelled if I don't get trampled in the 5-minute stampede when the Convention rooms open up. However, using the American Auto Club (AAA) rate, it was not that much more expensive than the last convention rate, guarantees an Atrium view room (as opposed to a construction view room), and takes requests like "high floor", so there is some added value for the extra cost. I might sit out the Convention room stampede this year, one more room available for someone else.
  9. Overheard at Otakon 2017

    Not from Otakon 2017, from Baltimore, but still my all-time favorite overheard comment. Guy standing in front of me in the Dealers Room, in line on Friday afternoon, waiting to pay at the official Otakon merchandise table: "All I have to eat for the rest of the weekend is a box of Pop-Tarts, because I just spent all my food money on Anime crap".
  10. Folks, tip (properly) the people who serve you

    When we went there for dinner at 6:00 on Saturday night, they required you to give them your credit card or room number to run it before they took your order. I assume that there was a reason for this...
  11. Future Request: Quiet Floors

    If this is not too difficult and unreasonable to arrange with the hotel, I would add my vote to this. I've stayed on a "Quiet Floor" at Anime Boston in the past, and it worked pretty well., I do bring ear-plugs to Otakon, and that always works OK, but it would be even more pleasant without the ear-plugs.
  12. I realize that this post will probably not be seen by many or most people who need to see it, but I feel a need to post it anyway. Late tonight, I stopped into the Marriott lobby bar to get a snack, since my dinner had been about 4:00. The kitchen was closed, and they were not serving food, but the bartender was kind enough to get me some potato chips. He and I got talking, and talking to him I learned that It had been a great night for them, as far as moving product. Lots of business, lots of orders. The place was still really hopping at 11:30 when I showed up. They had been scrambling and working really hard to keep up with the business resulting from Otakon. It was a terrible night for the Marriot lobby bar staff, and for the staff view of Otakon. He told me that he had had many checks with zero tip ("Zero, zero, zero" as he put it to me)., He told me that they had had more than one table with several people, that they waited on for 2 - 3 hours, including special drink orders; for which they got $1 - 2 tips. He was REALLY pissed off. Folks, this is bad. These people make just a fraction of the minimum wage, because the minimum wage is different if you are in a tip-expected job. They pay their rent with their tips. We're all depending on these Marriott staff to have a positive view of convention members, to make Otakon a good experience for years to come. I realize that this is just common sense, and is also probably also already documented in the Otakon web site behavioral guides, but I put up this Board post because the bartender I talked to tonight was so disappointed and taken aback by our communal behavior. If you're reading this, do the right thing by your servers, and tip them appropriately. (Also, tip the person who takes care of your room. The Marriott leaves little folders that makes this easy).
  13. I Have Not Received My Badge In the Mail!

    We got ours today. This might have already been discussed in this very long thread, but just in case it is useful or helpful to someone... We had two different shipments coming to one address. One arrived Friday, but no one was here to sign for it, so they left the card in the mailbox. Today, the second one arrived, and when the carrier had me sign for the one that arrived today, I showed him the card that was left Friday, and asked if he had that one. No, it was at the post office. BUT, he said, if I signed that card and gave it to him, or just signed it and left it in the mailbox for him to find, he could deliver the badge and just leave it in the mailbox on the strength of the signed card that he would then have in his possession. So, if you have no other alternative, you can sign the card that they left, put it back in the mailbox, and they'll deliver your priority mail package the next day. Note that I am NOT necessarily recommending this. If you do leave the signed card, and the carrier scans it, and your signature is registered into their system where it is visible that the delivery was signed for, and then (for some reason) you never find the envelope in the mailbox, then you will be Out Of Luck. No badge, no Otakon in that scenario. FWIW, I did NOT sign the Friday card and give it to the carrier. I told him it would be too complicated if the delivery somehow went wrong. He told me a secret, which was that (in this small northern New England town), even though the Post Office is closed on Saturday afternoon, someone is actually working in the back, and if you go to the Post Office and knock on the door or windows, they'll come out and take care of you. Sure enough, it was true, and I was able to pickup the Friday badge on this Saturday afternoon from the nice guy hiding inside the Post Office. But, if you have no other alternative, signing the card and putting it back in the mailbox is a way to solve the dilemma of how to get your badge delivered.
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