Hotel Questions

Note: If you plan on using a debit card to pay for your hotel room, please read this FAQ entry on debit cards.
  • I heard that some hotels will put an immediate charge on your credit card when you make a reservation. Do I have to worry about that?
  • I made my reservation but the charge hasn't appeared on my credit card statement. Do I still have a reservation?
  • My credit card expires before the convention starts. Will that be a problem?
  • Why do I have to make a down payment and why can't I get it refunded if I cancel?
  • I want to cancel but do not want to lose my down payment. Can’t I just transfer my reservation to someone else?
  • Is it true that Anthrocon is going to allow Housekeepers to ignore our "do not disturb" signs?
  • When is Anthrocon's room block for?
  • I tried to make a reservation online and it said the hotel was sold out. What do I do?
  • I want to reserve a room, but I do not have (or do not want to use) a credit card. What do I do?
  • How many people are we allowed to have in a hotel room?
  • Do the Westin's elevators work?
  • Does the hotel have high-speed internet access?
  • Are there any cheaper hotels in the area?
  • Where do we get good cheap food?
  • Where is a good place to meet up with my friends?
  • Is there a charge for parking?
  • What is the minimum age to rent a hotel room?
  • Are there refrigerators or microwaves available in the Westin's hotel rooms?
  • What is Anthrocon's policy on room parties?
  • Can the hotel set up a party floor?
  • Where can I find the nearest (liquor store, Mosque, etc.) to the hotel?
  • The hotel's reservation system has different dates from that of the convention itself. What's up with that?
  • What are the taxes on hotel rooms?
  • I heard that some hotels will put an immediate charge on your credit card when you make a reservation. Do I have to worry about that?
  • VisitPittsburgh's Housing Service will take all of the reservation information and distribute it to the various hotels. Anthrocon's partner hotels will then make a charge to your credit card equal to one night's room fee (plus 14% tax). This charge, which should be made within 14 days of the date of booking, is a down-payment that will be credited to your stay when you check out at the end of the convention. If you cancel your reservation, though, this charge is NOT REFUNDABLE. For that reason, Anthrocon strongly suggests that you wait to make your hotel reservation until you are certain that you will be attending.

  • I made my reservation but the charge hasn't appeared on my credit card statement. Do I still have a reservation?
  • You have a reservation as long as you have a confirmation number (or reservation number from VisitPittsburgh's Housing Service). Due to the volume of reservations coming in, it may be up to two weeks before the charge appears on your credit card statement. If you do not see the charge by that time, please email housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com. Do not contact the hotel directly! All housing inquiries are to be made through VisitPittsburgh.

  • My credit card expires before the convention starts. Will that be a problem?
  • It is possible. Hotel reservation systems generally don't like taking reservations that begin after the card expires. If your credit card expires before Anthrocon starts, please call your credit card company and ask them to send you a card with a new expiration date well in advance of when hotel reservations open.

  • Why do I have to make a down payment and why can't I get it refunded if I cancel?
  • Anthrocon, along with many of the other large conventions, faces the challenge of providing enough rooms for everyone in the face of speculative room reservations. Speculative reservations are those made by people who may not even have the intention of attending the convention, but who want to be sure to have a room just in case they decide to go. The result is that the hotels fill up faster and earlier year after year, and inevitably there is a mass of cancellations at the last minute, usually too late for others to make travel plans to attend the convention. Requiring a down payment which will not be refunded if a cancellation is made was the only way we could think of to halt this practice. It is a system that the airline industry adopted long ago to prevent sold-out flights from taking off half empty. We are hopeful that this policy will prevent speculative room reservations and will mean that more hotel rooms are available for people who want to attend the convention, as opposed to those who might possibly attend, or maybe not.

  • I want to cancel but do not want to lose my down payment. Can’t I just transfer my reservation to someone else?
  • You could put someone else’s name on the reservation along with your own, so that person could check into the room without you. Be careful, though! The hotel cannot transfer the deposit from one person to another. Any financial agreements are entirely between you and the person you want to transfer your reservation to; please do not ask Anthrocon or the hotel to get involved. There are many possible pitfalls: the person you transfer the room to may opt not to go at the last minute; the person you got the room from may change his mind and opt to go anyway at the last minute; and most importantly, if your name is on the reservation, you may be held responsible for any damages or other room-related issues, even if you were not at the convention. If you still insist on transferring your room reservation to someone else, we strongly suggest you do so only to someone you know well, and that you have a written agreement. Don’t say we didn’t warn you if things go wrong.

  • Is it true that Anthrocon is going to allow Housekeepers to ignore our "do not disturb" signs?
  • No, Housekeeping will not simply ignore the signs. They will begin their rounds at 10:00 AM and will bypass those rooms with the signs on the doors, but once they have finished their rounds, they will have to go back, knock on the door, and inspect the room. They may only need to poke their heads in and ask if anything is needed, and they may at that point make note of any alarming conditions in the room (such as the Leaning Tower of Pizza Boxes or the Beer Bottle Sculpture or the fursuit hanging to dry from the sprinkler-head). Anthrocon attendees are reminded that even though they have paid for occupancy, they are nonetheless guests at the hotel and should behave accordingly. For more information on this issue, please see this posting in our Livejournal community.

  • When is Anthrocon's room block for?
  • We have room blocks that start (generally) with check-in on the Tuesday before Anthrocon and ends with check-out the following Tuesday, although our discounted rates are good for three days prior to and three days following the convention. If you'd like to stay longer, email housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com and they can investigate the possibilities. We do not know what sort of availability Anthrocon's partner hotels have before and after our convention.

  • I tried to make a reservation online and it said the hotel was sold out (or my hotel of choice was not listed.) What do I do?
  • If you do not see your favorite hotel listed, try changing the arrival and departure dates, making your stay shorter. The early and later dates traditionally fill up first, since our blocks are smaller on those days. Alternatively, try changing the desired room type, or leaving that part blank. It is common for double rooms to sell out before rooms with single king beds. Email housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com if this happens and let them know which dates or room types appear to be sold out, and they will contact us to see about increasing the room block. Keep an eye onthis link as well as our "hotel questions" discussion board to see when the hotels are well and truly sold out. If we have not announced it, then most likely we have just filled up our block on one or more of the nights. We can often call and have rooms added to our block, although that only works while there are still physically rooms available.

  • I want to reserve a room, but I do not have (or do not want to use) a credit card. What do I do?
  • There will be a contact phone number on our hotel reservation page. That will put you in touch with VisitPittsburgh Housing Services. They will tell you your options.

  • How many people are we allowed to have in a hotel room?
  • The fire marshall does not like to see more than four people in a room, so that is usually the limit. There is no reason for anyone to go into a room and count noses, so if there is an extra person hiding under the bed, they are not going to be noticed. Of course, if you advertise the fact that there is an extra person hiding under the bed -- such as by announcing it on our message boards or asking the hotel for eight extra pillows and towels -- the hotel is sort of obliged to do something about it.

  • Do the Westin's elevators work?
  • They work wonderfully; even under the full onslaught of nearly three thousand people all trying to get to their rooms at once. The hotel has assured us that their maintenance staff will be keeping a close eye on things. The challenge arises when a thousand people all want to get up to (or down from) their rooms at the same time. There are five elevators, each capable of holding ten people at a time. Anthrocon does everything in its power to keep elevator traffic flowing as smoothly as possible, particularly at peak travel times, but we still strongly encourage our attendees to leave extra time -- perhaps as much as an hour -- to get to an event from upstairs. Signs will be posted to point folks to accessible stairwells if they do not wish to wait for elevators.

  • Do the hotels have high-speed internet access?
  • All offer high-speed wireless, although some of them charge a fee. We have too many hotels now and policies are changing too fast for us to keep up with all of them here. We still plan to be providing our usual Internet Room through the courtesy of Tigerden Internet Services, however.

  • Are there any cheaper hotels in the area?
  • There are no cheaper hotels within the immediate area that Anthrocon can recommend. Even if there were, we would strongly encourage our attendees to stay at one of our partner hotels. Anthrocon's very existence depends on filling a certain number of hotel room-nights, as per our contracts with the hotels. If you have financial concerns about getting a hotel room at any hotel, we would recommend that you look into sharing your hotel with one or more other attendees -- preferably people that you know well.

  • Where do we get good cheap food?
  • The Westin and other hotels are located in the heart of Pittsburgh's business and cultural district. We are told that there are more than 90 eating establishments within walking distance. At the convention we will have more information about where to go for affordable food.

  • Where is a good place to meet up with my friends? How about the Westin Hotel lobby?
  • Since Anthrocon covers so much acreage, it can be a challenge to pre-arrange a meeting spot with your friends for dinner or whatnot. We do not recommend people meet in the hotel lobby. It's not that big and it needs to be kept clear for traffic flow. Here are some places that you might consider for a meeting place. The Zoo: A large room specially set aside for Furries to hang out in. Can also be a bit crowded! The South Terrace Outdoor patio-garden, 3rd floor of the DLCC near the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom. There is an indoor sitting area adjacent to it, as well. Noresco Riverside Terrace: Outdoor terrace overlooking the river, 3rd floor of the DLCC. North Terrace: 4th floor of the DLCC (with the amazing blue scrolling novel!) We also recommend ckeeping up with friends using social media such as Twitter . Anthrocon's traditional hashtag is #AC followed by the current year (such as #AC2014).

  • Is there a charge for parking?
  • There is. It is $20 per night to park in the convention center's garage, and out partner hotels also have paid parking. There are also many more choices in parking locations that are close by. NOTE: prices are subject to change without notice. Anthrocon's staff can not always keep ahead of changes to parking rates, and thus we cannot guarantee what they will be at the time of the convention.

  • What is the minimum age to rent a hotel room?
  • The minimum age to rent a hotel room is 18. This is because that is the minimum age at which an individual can enter into a legal contract. (such as a rental agreement for a hotel room). The Westin and the Doubletree usually require a minimum age of 21, but for Anthrocon that requirement has been lowered to 18.

  • Are there refrigerators or microwaves available in the Westin's hotel rooms?
  • The Westin only has limited rooms that provide mini refrigerators. They also have a limited stock for people that request them; however, they will not be able to accommodate everyone. The other hotels may or may not have such amenities available. There are NO microwaves available for any of the rooms at the Westin.

  • What is Anthrocon's policy on room parties?
  • Gatherings in hotel rooms must not generate any noise that can be heard in neighboring rooms during nighttime hours. Hotel doors must be kept shut during such gatherings and guests are not permitted to congregate in the hotel corridors. Hotel guests who host any gathering are responsible for cleaning up afterward. Excessive amounts of unbagged trash must not be left for housekeeping staff to clean up (it's just plain rude). Trash bags are provided. Use them.

  • Can the hotel set up a party floor?
  • No, they cannot. Hotels located in a downtown area have different rules from hotels located further out. None of the hotels in the area are willing to set up party floors and non-party floors.

  • Where can I find the nearest (liquor store, Mosque, etc.) to the hotel?
  • Go to Google Maps. Enter the address "1000 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222." Then click "search nearby" and enter the appropriate keywords ("japanese restaurant", "alcoholic beverages", "mosques", etc.). Alternatively, you can go to Google Local and search for things like restaurants near 15222.

  • The hotel's reservation system has different dates from that of the convention itself. What's up with that?
  • That reflects the days that our group rate at the hotel is valid, usually 3 days before the convention to 3 days after the convention. This allows you extra time to stay in Pittsburgh and see the city if you like.

  • What are the taxes on hotel rooms?
  • The taxes on hotel rooms are: 6% Pennsylvania sales tax 1% Allegheny County sales tax 7% "Occupancy" tax This comes to 14% in total. So if your room rate is $135/night, the bill would come to $154 per night after taxes are added in. Please keep this in mind if you are sharing a room.

For further information on our hotels, please see our hotel page.

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