What Happens When Anthrocon 2017 Hotels Open on Thursday?

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Giza's picture
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"Sorry about your webserver, bro."

Hi everyone, this is your friendly webmaster leopard here!

As we indicated in our previous post, general hotel reservations will open at 11 AM EST on the morning of Thursday, February 2nd. That said, I am sure there are a lot of questions about what will happen when hotels open on Thursday morning, and I'd like to cover some of them in this post.

Here's what to expect that morning, and when to expect it:

10 AM EST, Thursday

Around this time, I will place the website into read-only mode. Any attempt to load a page from our website will instead show our hotel countdown page. The purpose behind the countdown page is to keep the website from falling over under the insane crush of traffic which is expected to hit at 11 AM. This level of traffic is greater than even during the convention itself!

11 AM EST, Thursday

The hotel page goes live.

This is an automated process handled by PHP code on the server side and requires no manual intervention on my part. This is important because with thousands of inbound connections, my SSH connection may not be very responsive. Smiling In theory, this means everyone should be able to visit the website with no issues. In practice, a huge spike in traffic may make the site unresponsive for a few seconds.

That is why, instead of posting the hotel reservation link on only this website, we are also posting it on our major social media channels also at 11 AM EST on Thursday:

I would strongly recommend that you bookmark these links now, and checking them on Thursday morning as an alternative to visiting this website.

11:05 AM EST, Thursday

If you plan on staying in The Westin, Doubles sell out within a few minutes, and all other rooms sell out of the Westin within the first 30 minutes of hotels opening.

If you plan on staying in The Courtyard, there are very few rooms available there, and they are in high demand; thus, they can be expected to sell out almost immediately. We must apologize in advance for this, but there is very little that we can do about it. The Courtyard has been extremely gracious with us and has allocated as many rooms to us as they are allowed to under their corporate policies. Having learned from previous years, we limited the number of rooms available to Supersponsors for their advance reservations, so we can assure you that there are as many rooms available at the Courtyard as is practical for us.

In short, if you do not see your preferred hotel listed, it means that it has probably sold out. The first thing you should do is try shortening your stay. Sometimes the hotels will sell out on the earlier or later days, but still have plenty of rooms available for the peak nights. If you shorten your stay to just Friday and Saturday, the hotel may re-appear. Book your room, then, and contact housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com to see about extending your stay afterward.

If you experience any issues or have questions or concerns about your reservation, please contact VisitPittsburgh Housing Services at housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com. Do not contact Anthrocon! This system is operated entirely by a third party and we have no access to it, and we will be able unable to help.

11:30 AM EST, Thursday

Things usually calm down within 30 minutes. When that happens, I'll restore the regular version of the website and things will be back to normal here.

Now that I got a room, what do I do with it?

First, please visit our Anthrocon 2017 Hotel Reservation Experience Survey and let us know your thoughts on the reservation experience.

Next, make travel plans!

Finally, if you need roommates, we have room share forums for that.

You got questions? We got answers!

If this post didn't cover any outstanding questions, please let us know in the comments below or via email!

Best of luck to everyone on Thursday, I hope you get the hotel room you want!

-- Giza

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Moxitoxis's picture
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Here's to hoping I get into the westin! Knock on wood.

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Techwolf's picture
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WOW!! The supersoncers westin doubles sold out in less then a minute.

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Grumpish's picture
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So did all the Courtyard and Drury rooms!

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whtllnew's picture
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Are you sure?  I got onto the right screen after about four minutres and it was offering me a double room.

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MeowthRocket's picture
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They did indeed.

 

I got extremely lucky though and a double opened up for me and allowed my single to be upgraded.

 

To Gail and all of visitpittsburgh, I toast this AC to you and your awesome service.

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Soggy Otter's picture
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Don't give up hope for a Westin Double!

I was in the site minutes after 11:00 and kept getting single king.  But only a few minutes ago, I gave it one last try and got a double!

 

Soggy

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Thank you, everyfur who attended Highwing's, Skarlath's, and my Zootopia panel!
Will we do it yet again, next year?
As I said last year: "Only time will tell..."

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If there's only a few rooms available to supersponsors to allow regular guests to get the best hotels, what's the point of being a supersponsor?

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whtllnew's picture
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1-The fact that we have rooms set aside for us, apart form the general attendee pool of rooms, DOES give us a leg up in getting the room we want.

2-There are enough other advantages to being a supersponsor that I consider it a good thing to get.

3-A lot of other furs are about to tell you that being a supersponsor isn't about what you get out of it.

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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It's more than just 'a Few'; a majority of the rooms are set adide for Advance Booking. We do want some rooms to be available for General Booking, as we've had years where the Courtyard and all two-bed rooms at the Westin were filled before then, and we don;t hink it fair to completely exclude everyone. It may be a 5% chance for them instead of a 0% chance, but it's a chance.

 

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white_wer's picture
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Makes me glad I reserved my hotel room for anthrocon 2017 back in late august. No fighting for me, just relaxing and popcorn.

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I suppose the only downside to your method is that you didn't get the Anthrocon room block rates.

 

I'm just curious. Which hotel did you book and how much are you spending per night?

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Kittynoy's picture
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I got a room in the Omni a few months ago for 30% less than the Anthrocon rate. I was just lucky to find a good deal at the right time.

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Tyzoo's picture
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I just got my suporspunsor ticket today, am I still up for early booking or did I miss that?

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SnowQueen's picture
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You should have received the link about an hour ago.

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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... please tell me that you were being silly with the spelling of 'Supersponsor'.  ..please.

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Glelin's picture
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You have a typo too, Chiaroscuro.

It's "Souporspunsir".

Maybe this word stands out the most, but it seems that "Supersponsor" is one of the most misspelled words on these forums. It's okay though. Even with some misspellings, people's intended messages are usually understandable.

Edit: A thought came to mind. Maybe it's often misspelled because it's a made-up word. I googled "Supersponsor" and the majority of the results are Anthrocon-related and other furry conventions!

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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Well, it's two commong words, 'Super' and 'Sponsor', together. (Anthrocon uses them as one word, no spaces, capitalization of the first 'S' only).

Usually most people can handle 'Super', but I see 'sponcer' 'sponser' all the time.

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charlieg's picture
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If someone only goes that route for the Luncheon, would they be a Suppersponsor?

Or a Superspooner?

(Running, ducking)

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SouperSpooner

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I was indeed joking around with the spelling. I've seen it many ways and thought I'd add a new one to the pot  Sticking out tongue

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Good luck, everyone!

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It's great being a Sipersponer

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That was the response I was aiming to get as a SuperSponsor. See, I CAN spell it right.

 

But regarding the Ultra-Sponsor, may I suggest something? I do think that, if done right, you COULD get people to sign up for it.

 

Cost: $500 (1000 is REALLY stretching it as most of us can get basic fursuits for that much!)

Maybe everything a supersponsor gets... plus...

GUARANTEED space at the hotel of their choice.

Coupon book full of free meals at any of Pittsburghs awesome restaurants (Furnandos, Burgatory, Subway, etc.)

Permission to join the board of directors and the GoH on stage for the opening and closing ceremonies

If there's a charge for autographs or pictures from the GoH, the UltraSponsors get the charge waived

A rooftop marshmallow roast with the GoH (if it's too cold, it could be done in the con center)

An extra-special gift (a giant plushie, a copy of a board/card game, a fursuit piece of their choice, etc.)

A video/dvd of Anthrocon's best in the fursuit parades

A video/dvd of Anthrocon's funniest moments (panels, bloopers, whoopsies, general shenanigans)

The right to host a panel of their very own with the GoH covering ANY topic or subject

A night on the town with Kage.

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   Hmmm....

   I wonder what sort of benefits would come with an "Ultrapatron" level of  membership...

   ...(besides the different type of word-play, of  course)...

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charlieg's picture
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Your own Ultraman costume, of course!

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We've pondered an Ultrasponsor level, but we'd need a compelling reason to say "Please hand us one thousand dollars to pretend to be a cartoon animal this weekend." We haven't had one yet.

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Guarenteed 4th floor in the Westin booking, first row seats in all main hall events, a commission from an amazeballs artist?

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Funny thing is, though, if you made an Ultra-sponsor level, you'd have people sign up for it.  Dunno how many, but you would.

I like the ideas suggested above, but maybe can add an "exclusive" breakfast/luncheon/cocktails/marshmallow roast/whatever with the Board/GoH?  ...especially since the Supersponsor Luncheon has grown so big.  Or expedited checkout from the Art Show on Sunday?  Though, with that kind of power, you would want to limit the number of Ultra-sponsors... say, to five?  Super-exclusivity, possibly a custom fursona badge (I bet you could find someone willing to do five badges for a reasonable fee), expedited lines, choice seating, small private luncheon?  You'd get takers, I bet.  :-)

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~Tyrrlin

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It better come with a paid for suite.

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Heh, I don't think $1000 would quite cover a suite. Not even a regular room for 5 days now that the topic is brought up!

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Just do it for Friday and Saturday nights. That's all Fur The More covers for their VIP level.

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Thing is, there are definitely furries willing to drop $500, $1000, even $1500 to be an "ultrasponsor". Not telling you all on the Board on how to do your jobs, but it is something that you may want to consider doing as the con continues to grow. 

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There's likely someone out there that we could offer a $5,000 level to, but Anthrocon won't charge money just to charge money. It.. goes against our community spirit as well the spirit of our not-for-profit social club status.

Likely we would only offer an Ultrasponsor level if there were a compelling reason- a perk we'd like to offer which would neccessitate a high price, and/or an intense financial need to keep the con going. Right now, Anthrocon does take in more money than it spends and has reasonable rainy-day savings, so we haven't seen the need.

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Quote:
Right now, Anthrocon does make more money than it takes in

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NoCq6dbYLg Smiling

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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>_>

Ahem. Yes, yes. *edit* Sticking out tongue

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Quote:
Anthrocon won't charge money just to charge money. It.. goes against our community spirit as well the spirit of our not-for-profit social club status...Likely we would only offer an Ultrasponsor level if there were a compelling reason...(such as) an intense financial need to keep the con going. Right now, Anthrocon does make more money than it takes in and has reasonable rainy-day savings, so we haven't seen the need.

   I am most pleased to hear it!

   Still - should there ever be the need - I have some suggestions to make as regarding a perks package.

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I don't remember the details (don't you just LOVE those kinds of posts) but I recall AC staff screwing up what each level of attendee was supposed to get a few times.  The AC staff should think carefully before offering another level of attendee as that would add to the level of complexity they have to deal with in running the comvention.

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