Growing Pains: Grand Geneva Overbooked

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Melf, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    On Monday morning the Grand Geneva emailed some people to inform them that they had been overbooked due to an error made during the flood of calls when Gary Con reservations opened up.
    Please check your emails and spam folders. If you were notified of an overbooking they arranged for a room at the Fairfield and some fringe benefits for the inconvenience. We are so sorry that this occurred and are working with the Grand staff to help mitigate the situation.
  2. tellion

    tellion Footpad

    Very disappointed to have had my room reservation bumped today after having 3 prior communications from the Grand Geneva confirming my reservation. If I had slacked on making my reservation, maybe I wouldn't be as disappointed; but I called the minute registration opened, was disconnected twice (once after being on hold for 22 minutes) but finally completed my reservation by around 7:40 am (9:40 am Wisconsin time) as I drove to work. More than 9 months later, we have airline tickets already but not sure we'll be attending now. Will the Grand Geneva refund the change fees we'll have to pay to use our airline tickets to go somewhere warm instead?
  3. jim

    jim Level 0 Character

    Do you know yet how preferred booking for 2021 will work?

    For anyone else in this situation: I called the Fairfield last night, but they said they hadn’t received the room list yet so they couldn’t guarantee my room yet. They suggested calling back closer to the end of the week.
  4. booke63

    booke63 Level 0 Character

    I'm booted too. Really really diminishes my interest in the con. It's also cool it takes 9 months to discover this problem, and we get a single email and (apparently according to Jim above a less than) one week for US to take action and a second time to secure a room reservation or lose out. Yay.
  5. jim

    jim Level 0 Character

    I’m not happy about the situation, but I’m trying to make the best of it. I had a good time at the last con, and I’m still looking forward to this one. However, the email from the Grand Geneva seems carefully worded to avoid accepting blame for the mistake or offering an actual apology (as Luke did, even though it’s not his fault), and the short notice and issues with trying to promptly secure lodgings at the Fairfield aren’t confidence-inspiring. I’m hoping things get sorted out, and the preferential booking means I can be onsite for 2021. Otherwise, I might give Gary Con XIII a pass.
  6. Muddy

    Muddy Level 0 Character

    As far as I can tell, I wasn't affected by this issue. But I have a suggestion for the mods to pass on to the organizers - when sharing information about this, and letting people know that they should check their email, please include precise information about what we should be looking for - the exact subject heading would be best. And that should be very precise - "Your Garycon hotel reservation for March 2020" or something like that. If it's been a week of two before I know that I should be checking my spam folder I could have hundreds of messages. If I'm not searching for something very precise I may never find the email. Personally, I travel a lot and have tons of Mariott / random hotel reservation emails in spam and inboxes.

    Stuff happens, but I would think the organizers want to do everything possible to prevent people from showing up in March thinking they a room and learning not only that they have no room, but that all the nearby hotels (maybe all of them that have a shuttle) are sold out. Making it easy to find that email would do a lot for that.

    Just a thought.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  7. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    This is frustrating to say the least. I’m sorry that anyone is facing this problem. I believe the process is to call the Grand and say you are going to take the Fairfield option. There are a few concessions for those effected and they need to get your info and permission to send it to the other hotel. Right now we have a blanket hold for the entire Fairfield to ensure all have accommodations nearby. The Fairfield is literally 5 minutes (1.4 miles) from the Grand. It’s certainly not the same as being there on site but it’s also not a huge displacement in distance. I am talking to the Grand multiple times a day to raise the issues and concerns you all raise in FB or here. Again I’m really sorry that this situation happened. The GC staff is doing what we can to help as best as we can.
    The Josrian and jim like this.
  8. jim

    jim Level 0 Character

    Thanks, Luke. I’ll give that a try this afternoon.
  9. booke63

    booke63 Level 0 Character

    I called Grand Geneva. They have my reservation which I was able to confirm. I'm all set they said. Then I mentioned the email I received and asked how is it you see my reservation as good to go when apparently it's not? She said Grand Geneva holds my reservation for now, but if I got the email then the reservation will go away at the deadline or when I call the Fairfield and confirm with them. I haven't called the Fairfield yet.

    I agree the Fairfield is nearby. Still this is my only vacation, and it's expensive for me. Every year after months of Winter I can show up, park, put on shorts and play games. I don't go outside, I can visit my room in between games. It's been really great over these several years. Staying at the Fairfield will greatly change the experience for me. I'm not looking for someone to blame. But I'm disappointed.
  10. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for bearing with us Jim. This stinks and we are doing what we can to assist. I agree that the preferred placement for 2021 needs to be carefully managed. I am looking at brining in a third party system to coordinate lodging across multiple hotels to help alleviate issues in the future. It’s really great that so many people want to come celebrate with us in Lake Geneva. But it also creates some growing pains. I want everyone to be able to book a room, get a badge and register for games with minimal hassles and enable maximum enjoyment. It’s a con dedicated to my Dad’s life and works and celebrates a host of creative people that helped shape pop culture today. I don’t like it when people are focused on the friction around what should be a happy event.
    The Josrian likes this.
  11. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Agreed! I pointed out those concerns when the issue was raised to me. That is why the Grand agreed to add the $25 a day food coupon. I imagine some people like to relax in their room and have a coke or snack between games. Again I’m sorry you are facing this problem and I hope you are able to come and enjoy the games and camaraderie this year despite the inconvenience of this displacement.
  12. chainsaw

    chainsaw Troubadour

    Thanks for trying to make the best of a bad situation. Any idea yet how late the "daily transportation" will run? At least until the bar closes? Asking for a friend...
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  13. jim

    jim Level 0 Character

    IIRC, the shuttle from Comfort Suites for XI ran until 2:00.
  14. jim

    jim Level 0 Character

    They seem to have sorted it out. I got an email today from the Fairfield asking me to call and confirm my registration, and the woman on the phone was very helpful. I didn't have to call the Grand first. I did have to pay a deposit on the new room, which is understandable though a bit annoying, since I think it'll be a day or two before the Grand cancels my reservation with them and refunds the deposit I'd paid back in March.

    Edit: Looking back, it seems like I may not have actually paid a deposit to the Grand, even though the confirmation email I received lists one. Weird.

    I did ask about the shuttle times on the off chance that they'd already made arrangements for it, but they haven't yet.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  15. mwisconsin

    mwisconsin Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, you can thank the AL Room for that concession. :) In past years, I've had DMs running games for me until midnight, and many of them stay at the Comfort.
    Scott308 likes this.

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