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Thinking about making this my first Con!

Thinking about making this my first Con!
« on: June 01, 2009, 05:58:04 PM »
I've never been to a con before, but I've always wanted to check one out! I sort of have an idea of what to expect, but I'm a little nervous since I'll be going there alone. I'm mainly going to meet a lot of the Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, and Whedonverse people. (yay!)  ;D

I started thinking about this pretty late, so I noticed the hotels listed on the Dragon Con site are already sold out. It should only be about a 4 hour drive for me, but I figure I'll need a hotel anyway. Do you guys know of any good hotels that aren't listed? I don't mind driving a block or so. Since I'm pretty shy, I most likely won't be going to any of the after parties or socializing much. But I would still like to be close enough to get to the Con easy. And would parking be a problem?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  ;D


Offline scarfyrre

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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 07:20:11 PM »


The hotels listed on the DragonCon site are pretty much it (not necessarily the host hotels, they do have others listed).  I hate to break it to you, but you'll be driving a lot further than a block. :(

Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009, 08:50:17 PM »
Ohh, I guess what I'm really looking for is anything somewhat in the area. I just don't want to have a hotel that's like an hour drive away. I'll do some more research. There has to be something out there.  :-[

Offline Trathor

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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2009, 12:04:14 AM »
I stayed at the Day's Inn many years ago... I would call all of the overflow hotels listed on:
http://www.dragoncon.org/location.php#overflow
and see if they have any openings.  You might get lucky.  

Also, many if you find a group or are willing to pay for your fraction of the room, people will find slots open in what they have as time goes on.  
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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2009, 01:31:14 PM »
As a fellow 'Scaper and Whedonite I can tell you that you'll be among friends and I suspect that you'll have a great time at the con!!

As far as securing some hotel space that will be a bit of an adventure.  I'd suggest you check out the threads, websites and Live Journals linked below as a great way to learn about the con and to stay in the loop since so many other folks are probably in a similar situation.

The DragonCon community is very willing to offer advice and assistance.


DragonCon Live Journal
http://community.livejournal.com/dragoncon/

Recent posting on that Live Journal from a newbie with lots of helpful advice offered
http://community.livejournal.com/dragoncon/1953773.html

DragonCon rooms Live Journal
http://community.livejournal.com/dragonconrooms

DragonPod - the DragonCon podcast ** self promotion warning ** I'm a co-host  ;)
http://www.dragon-pod.com

Here is a link to the PDF version of the 'Pocket Program' from last year.  This guide is over 150 pages.  This is usually posted online about a week before the con so you can download it and try to plan your activities in advance.  A copy of this is also given to you when you pick up your badge at registration.
http://www.box.net/shared/jj7rp4vui8

Here is a link to a PDF page from last year's 'Pocket Program' that listed many of the nearby hotels
http://www.box.net/shared/ta3242az4i

Also keep in mind that many people make reservations well in advance and then need to cancel so room availability can be a very fluid situation especially as we get closer to the con.  You might need to just make phone calls to several of the hotels on an almost daily basis in the hopes that something may open up. 

Finally, to give you an idea of how much fun the con can be check out this recap from DragonCon 2005
http://www.dvdtalk.com/features/dragoncon2005/index.html


Feel free to ask any questions.


Good luck,

Kevin
Community for new and newish Dragon Con attendees
http://www.dragonconnewbies.org

Tuning In To Scifi TV podcast (covering all genre TV shows)
http://www.tuningintoscifitv.com

Tales Of The Black Badge - A Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast
http://www.wynonnaearppodcast.com

Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 03:52:38 PM »
Thank you so much for all of that info, Kevin! I'm going to go through all of it!

I think it's a great idea to keep calling the hotels to see if they get any openings. I'm sure something will work out. :)

Do you happen to know the rules on getting things signed by the celebrity guests? I want to be able to get a picture signed, but a friend of mine would like me to have his BSG DVD set signed for him too. I'm sure it depends on the actor or whoever, but does Dragon con have any specific rules against having two things signed?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 03:54:14 PM by KaleidoKatie »

Offline scarfyrre

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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 03:58:59 PM »


Nope, all up to the actor/guest.  Expect to pay for it, though.

Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2009, 06:25:08 PM »
Oh ok, thanks. About how much is it per signature?

Offline Trathor

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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2009, 10:03:46 AM »
I think $10-$50 is fairly standard.  (I think)
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TheDrunkenJedi

Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2009, 10:35:35 AM »
As far as the hotel this goes, in both '06 & '07 I was able to book at the Hilton about 5 weeks prior to the start of the *Con.

This was possible because Hilton charges a pretty hefty fee on your credit card if you cancel close to a month or so.

Things may have changed-and this is by far not a sure bet-but I called pretty much every day, twice a day for about 3 weeks before I hit pay dirt.

I usually book in October, but I made the error by letting a friend make the lodging bookings 2 years in a row...anyway you may still have some hope with host hotel.


Offline Martele d'Acre

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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2009, 01:05:23 AM »
In 2006 I was able to get a room at the Hyatt in July. Some of that might have been because FEMA had taken over a lot of the hotel that month due to a hurricane.

Typically I book my room when I check out now.

Are you willing to use MARTA? There are quite a few motels in what is commonly referred to as Mid-Town Atlanta. It is just two stops to the Peachtree Center. However, MARTA doesn't run 24/7 so don't count on staying really late.

Cabs do run all night though. I think the last time I stayed at the Hyatt (March 2009) I got a cab to Mid-Town for $7.00 + a $3.00 tip. That's probably more tip than needed but it was easier just to hand him a ten. We went both ways so it was $20.00 but we got picked up and dropped of at the curbside of the exact place we wanted to go. We might have walked 50 feet total before being inside restaurant and hotel, both legs included.

Check out the Marriott Mid-Town, very nice. It's right off Spring Street if I recall. MARTA station is a 1.5 blocks and it's a safe area as far as I could tell.
When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man? [Henry David Thoreau]

Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2009, 06:44:18 PM »
Ohh great! Thank you, Martele! I'll definitely check out the Marriott Mid-Town.  ;D

Transportation won't be a problem, since I'll be driving my car there. I live about 4 hours away. My only concern is parking at the Con. Do they have a section for guest parking, or is it only for people in main hotels there? I would think they would, but I just want to be sure.

And thanks for the signature cost, Trathor! I'll have to be very selective on my choices then.

Offline scarfyrre

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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2009, 06:53:09 PM »


Just as a reminder, people who have rooms reserved at the main hotels do release them closer to the con, so be sure whatever hotel you book now allows you to cancel in case a better option opens up.  Keep your eyes open for posts on the Yahoo groups, MySpace groups (where I got mine at the Hyatt last year...woot!), FaceBook, here, and other forums.  All you have to do is get the reservation number from the person and then call the hotel to change the credit card.

Offline Martele d'Acre

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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2009, 12:55:14 AM »
Transportation won't be a problem... My only concern is parking at the Con. Do they have a section for guest parking, or is it only for people in main hotels there? I would think they would, but I just want to be sure.
No, parking is first come first parked. It is not cheap either. That is why I suggested staying in Mid-Town and taking MARTA to Con. You will have parking at your hotel, but not at Con.

Parking is like any downtown area. If you don't lease a spot then you just hope for the best.
When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man? [Henry David Thoreau]

Offline Trathor

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Re: Thinking about making this my first Con!
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2009, 01:38:37 PM »
Yeah, parking is a bit of a pain.  I would say that by 3:00pm Friday, most of the hotel and parking deck parking in the immediate area is gone. 
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