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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

DragonCon Part One - HOTELS

Do you Con?
No, not The Sting type con - I mean, do you attend conventions? Fan conventions, not just 'we're all selling home freezers here!' conventions.
Then you know ALL ABOUT Con Hotels. You can skip the next bit. Just look for the line of asterisks for when you come back.
Did we get rid of the experienced people? Okay, good!
A Con Hotel is a hotel that hosts a convention by providing meeting rooms to the Con and selling hotel rooms to the guests. They usually have a 'Con Rate' which is set slightly below giving up your firstborn, but just above losing a major limb. They're great to stay in if you need to be Right On Top Of The Action and don't need to sleep.
Hello, welcome back!

Look, if you're wanting to do a Con, there are basically three ways to do it. Stay in a Con Hotel (a Host Hotel, somewhere that the Con is actually IN); stay in an Overflow Hotel (the short list of 'approved' hotels near the Con but not actually in it; it's a way for the Con to say 'Yes we need more space but we're not going to admit it, neener-neener, and by the way they cost just as much if not more!'); or stay outside the Con footprint. Oh, there are some variations (crash on a friend's couch, rent a mobile home and park nearby) but these are minor.

The problem with Con Hotels & Overflow Hotels is the NOISE and the COST. Noise because, let's face it, the parties roll All Night Long, despite the hotel attempting to keep the level down (and failing). And then you have the cost - hundreds per night, times five nights, leaves Nothing For Rent Next Month. (And often-times with the charges collected in full ahead of time with onerous cancellation or transfer policies.) Now, if partying is your thing, and you have six Close Personal Friends who are ALSO going and willing to split the bill, then you can just stop reading here.

No, really. Stop. Don't bother, you won't care about this. Doesn't bother me at all; whatever makes you happy, man.

Still here? Good. Sensible.
Look, you don't HAVE to say in a Con Hotel - you don't even need to stay in an Overflow Hotel. If the city has public transportation that gets you close to the Con Footprint, then I'll tell you the secret to restful nights and full wallets:


And that's where this hotel is. Minutes from the airport (which has a MARTA station, that's Atlanta's subway/bus service), with a FREE SHUTTLE that runs every half hour from 5 am until - well, not really sure how late.

You fly in, get your luggage (if the airline didn't lose it), hop on a shuttle, and get driven to the hotel. Check in and - collapse! You're done for now.

Next morning, eat a full, hearty breakfast (make your own waffles; bagel; toast; Danish; yogurt; cereal; fruit; oatmeal; grits; biscuits & gravy; cheese omelet; sausage patty; milk/juice/coffee/tea/hot chocolate; all as much as you want) that is INCLUDED IN THE ROOM COST. Maybe check your email on the FREE WIFI. Then hop on the shuttle over to the airport, onto the MARTA, and you can be in line for your first panel while most the Con Hotel-stayers are still recovering from their hangovers!

Rooms are clean and spacious - ours had a separate sitting/work area, LOTS of outlets, lots of lights and seats - and if there's anything wrong, just pop by the front desk. They'll be happy to help you out.

I'm telling you, staying here makes the difference between enjoying the Con and being totally wiped out at the end.

Do it. Keep more of your money IN YOUR WALLET and less at the hotel!


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