Paying the Price During Comic-Con - NBC 7 San Diego

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Paying the Price During Comic-Con

NBC 7 compared hotel prices before, during, and after Comic-Con to see just how much prices go up and down



    San Diego's Comic-Con is just a few days away and those lucky enough to have already nabbed a badge know securing a hotel room can be difficult as well.

    You may not spend a lot of time in the room, but its location to the San Diego Convention Center is incredible important.

    From July 18-21, movie buffs, comic book lovers and gamers flock to Comic-Con in San Diego. But sometimes, getting a hotel room is even more stressful than getting a ticket.

    Special Section: Comic-Con 2013

    Pricing Hotels for Comic-Con 2013

    [DGO] Pricing Hotels for Comic-Con 2013
    Mari Payton with NBC 7 Investigates compares hotel prices before, during, and after Comic-Con to see just how much prices go up and down.
    (Published Tuesday, July 16, 2013)

    More than 50 hotels, many of them located in downtown San Diego and Mission Valley, are part of the room block set aside for the convention.

    And because they are offering special, discounted rates, they tend to sell out within the first hour.

    “They are lower than what the market would allow,” David Glanzer, Director of Marketing and PR for Comic-Con said. “As you can imagine hotels are at such a premium during Comic-Con they could charge whatever the market would bear. One of the great things is that the hotels are working with us to keep the rates at a competitive level during those times.”

    But booking outside of the block will cost you.

    Hotel rooms not in the convention block, cost much more during Comic-Con – in some cases more than double or even triple the normal rate.

    NBC 7 compared several San Diego hotels to see just how much the rates differ.

    In July, the standard rate for a queen non-smoking room at the Comfort Inn Gaslamp Convention Center is $164.  During Comic-Con, that same room jumps to $449.

    The San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina is right next door to the action at the Convention Center. Its website shows a King or Double Room as $309, but jumps to $675. 

    The Manchester Grand Hyatt has more than 1,600 hotel rooms. Its price for a standard room increases from $314 to $714 during Comic-Con.

    Michael Kofsky, Director of Sales and Marketing with the Hyatt admits it's pricey, but says only 10 percent of its rooms are being sold at that inflated rate.

    The other 90 percent were offered as part of Comic-Con's room block, ranging from $274 to $299 a night.

    “It's really supply and demand. And I would say giving credit to Comic-Con. What they do in advance - securing 90 percent of our rooms - is to make sure that the bulk of the inventory in San Diego is at a price point that attendees can afford. So when you see those rates online, on all the hotels websites, it’s really a select few number of guestrooms.”

    More than 130,000 attendees are expected, although a large number of those are local.

    The President of the San Diego Tourism Authority says Comic-Con will generate $75 million in direct spending, plus more than $2.6 million dollars in tax revenue.

    NBC 7 did reach out to the Comfort Inn Gaslamp and Mariott Marquis, but they did not return our request for comment.

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