What Happens When Anthrocon 2017 Hotels Open on Thursday?

"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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VERY important hotel-reservation notes!

Our hotel room-rates for 2017 have been posted; they are linked from our hotel page, which has very important information that we think you should read.  

Three important additional notes:

1)  General reservations will begin on FEBRUARY 2, 2017, at 11:00 AM EST.  Supersponsors will be sent a link for hotel reservations on January 30; please note, however, that with the growing number of supersponsors, we must out of necessity limit the number of available rooms at our smaller and more in-demand hotels so that there are still plenty available for everyone on the 2nd.  And to that end...

2)  We have added the Drury Plaza and the Homewood Suites.  Both of these are comparatively small hotels, like the Courtyard.  We expect these to sell out very quickly.  There is nothing we can do to remedy that, save to continue to add hotel rooms to our inventory each year.  

3)  From VisitPittsburgh Housing Services:  "If you know the true names of your roommates when you make your booking, of course you can enter them, and if you have your roommates’ email addresses, enter them in the email field and your roommates will receive a copy of the reservation acknowledgment. If you do not know the true names of your roommates at the time of booking, please do not add fake names or generic names such as Guest #2, Guest #3. You will have the opportunity to add guest names at a later date. It is fine to leave a leave the those fields empty. You may also email housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com with roommate names. They will edit your reservation and send you notification once your roommates have been added to your reservation." This request comes in because in previous years, people have still had "John Doe" and "Guest #1" listed on their reservations even on the day they arrived.

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Anthrocon 2017 Charity: Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary

Anthrocon is pleased to announce that Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary will be our beneficiary for 2017's charity efforts. The following is a summary provided by Hope Haven's representative that summarizes their mission and efforts:

Hope Haven is a beautiful non-profit farm animal sanctuary nestled in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. Our mission is to rescue neglected farm animals and provide them safe haven. Our residents range from pigs, goats, sheep, emu, llama, alpaca, and farm birds of every variety. These animals have been surrendered at animal shelters, confiscated by local humane agents, or saved from factory farms. They now live out their lives with comfortable housing, nutritious food, and companionship from others of their own kind. They also receive endless love and affection from the human components of the sanctuary, as well as from guests and supporters.

Hope Haven also prides itself on being a resource to raise public awareness of the plight of animals raised for food. We joyfully promote a cruelty-free, plant-based lifestyle. Rather than focusing on the horrors and suffering inherent in factory farming we want to showcase the individuality and personality of farm animals. Our hope is that when people realize these animals are sentient creatures deserving of compassion they will make up their own minds to respect life and adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle.

The farm is open from May through October. We offer monthly farm tours and frequent volunteer work days. We also hold several festivals at the farm that are open to the public. So please make it a point to come out to Hope Haven and meet our residents! How often do you get to hug a turkey, feed an alpaca, pet an emu, or nuzzle a goat? Visiting with our animals and hearing their stories is guaranteed to brighten your day and even change your thinking about how all of us (humans and animals) can coexist happily together.

Hope Haven will be at the Charity Auction and will have a table in the Dealers' Room where you can meet them and peruse information about their organization.

More information about Hope Haven can be found at their website, hopehavenfarm.org. If you have any questions regarding Hope Haven, they can be reached through their representative to us, veterinarian Dr. Karen Phillips, via karen[at]hopehavenfarm.org.

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Anthrocon 2017 Panel and Programming Suggestions Are Now Open!

Have an idea for a panel or event that you'd like to host at Anthrocon 2017? Help us knock this year out of the park and tell us all about it!

Just fill out the form below to get started:

Do you have any questions? Our Programming team can be reached via email at programming@anthrocon.org.

We look forward to hearing from you!


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We're on Telegram Now!

I am happy to announce that we’re on Telegram now! Come subscribe to our channel for the latest news and announcements as they happen!


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Requests for WESTIN suites for Anthrocon 2017 are now being taken!

Anthrocon's hotel rooms are not yet available for reservations! On Thursday, February 2, 2017*, at 11:00 AM EST, we will throw open the doors for people to make reservations at the Westin Convention Center (our flagship hotel), as well as our all-within-easy-walking-distance satellite hotels, the Doubletree, Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn, Marriott City Center, Omni William Penn, the Wyndham Grand, and the Renaissance, and as an added bonus, we are negotiating for some space at the Homewood Suites and the Drury. And yes, we will be providing a shuttle for ALL hotels other than the Westin this year.

Requests for Westin Hotel suites (and ONLY SUITES) are now being taken. Suites are deluxe rooms as described below and are more expensive than regular hotel rooms, which this year will be about $184 ($210 with tax) per night. We make suites available early because of the high demand. Remember, only suite requests for the Westin are being accepted at this time. Regular room reservations begin on February 2.

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Anthrocon T-shirts from past years no longer available.

We sold nearly every one of our 2016 T-shirts, thanks to the amazing artwork contributed by our honored guest Tracy Butler.  We had a number of 2015 shirts and a few 2014 shirts that were destined for our Con Store next year, but with the catastrophic flooding that has occurred in North Carolina due to Hurricane Matthew, the Board of Directors felt that it would be more appropriate to donate our remaining stock of shirts to disaster relief efforts there.  Thus, our full stock of prior-year shirts has been delivered to local Emergency Services representatives for distribution in the hardest-hit areas.

Please accept our apologies if you were hoping to purchase one of our earlier shirts at the next convention.  We believe, however, that our attendees will understand our desire to help out those who have lost everything to the floodwaters.

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The Anthrocon 2017 Website is now live!

It's here! The Anthrocon 2017 website is now up and running. The design is by Cuprohastes, who we thank for the excellent work!

In addition to this change, we are well underway with our Anthrocon 2017 preparations. The first one is Registration. Except that to open later this month.

Have you never attended Anthrocon before, but are thinking of doing so for the first time in 2017? You may want to check out our New To Anthrocon section of the website.

Just 266 days left until Anthrocon 2017 is here. Smiling

-- Giza

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Anthrocon 2016 Fursuit Photos Are Up

The Anthrocon 2016 Fursuit Photos are up!



We'd like to thank Warphammer and Kreggan for all of their hard work in setting up this year's photoshoot!

A photo rights note from the photographers: "Nonexclusive, nontransferable rights to noncommercially use each image are granted to those depicted in said image only."


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