It’s been almost two weeks since hotel reservations for the San Diego Comic Con went on sale and sold out in a matter of hours.

The crunch is amazing. Last year, San Diego’s public transportation system dissolved under the combined assault of 100,000+ Comic Con attendees and a weekend of Padres games. Two years ago, the first year we stayed in town instead of just driving down for Saturday, we booked so late that we were stuck with the Super 8. Just for kicks, I checked the prices there. A room for this coming weekend would cost half what we paid per night on Comic Con weekend in 2004. And their prices during the con this year? I can’t tell, because they’re already sold out.

This morning, Travel Planners (the company handling reservations for the convention) sent out an email to people who had reserved hotel rooms through their service. After assuring me that my reservation was fine, they went on to ask:

In the meantime, we have a favor to ask of you. Please take a minute to reassess the number of rooms that you’ve booked and help your fellow attendees and exhibitors by canceling any rooms that you are not absolutely certain you’ll need.

Like you, we’re all thrilled that Comic Con is growing by leaps and bounds every year, but with each new show it gets more and more difficult to find enough hotel rooms to accommodate so many visitors. Accordingly, every hotel room becomes an integral part of the show’s success.

It’s not uncommon for people to grab multiple rooms just in case more people come, or to keep their options open (say, reserving both an expensive hotel downtown and a less expensive one further out, then cancelling one once they’ve made a decision). I’m astonished that it’s come to the agency pleading with people to let others have a chance at the rooms now, instead of waiting until just before the hotels start charging for cancellations.

On a related note, now’s as good a time to any to link to some recommendations for anyone planning to attend Comic Con:

See Also: Convention Photos & Write-Ups