2600's Hackers on Planet Earth con needs your help because the Hotel Pennsylvania has tripled its fees

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/29/muppets-leave-manhattan.html

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We’ve been sued, we’ve been threatened, and we’ve faced extinction on a number of occasions.

Hang in there, times are tough, and there’s a War on…


…do they know anyone who could hack the booking system…?


You don’t shit where you sleep.


I certainly don’t, no, but after some 30 odd years of being told how awesome hackers are and how they’re going to save us all it does strike me as a little odd that they don’t have an amazing technical go-around to fix a simple hotel booking.


Does anyone know why the hotel tripled the price? Was it specific to the hacker con, or are all convention groups there going through the same issue?


I’d be happy to see it at a better venue if one exists. Perhaps The New School or another university can host it for the educational value?

I live in NY, so Manhattan is easy for me and I can see why it’s a draw for visitors, but I’d travel to HOPE if it was in another interesting destination. What about someplace in Washington DC? It seems appropriate.


It’s a year in advance. Find another place.

Or is that what this is about? Hoping that some hotel will jump at the chance to steal a convention crowd away?


ok who’s mom has the biggest basement?


If they are having trouble negotiating a contract, this sure won’t hurt. Game theory, which I am guessing they know all about - let the hotel know that they are shopping too, unless they get a better deal. They don’t even have to jump, just show the hotel that they are willing to.

If I were them, honestly, I’d move out of NYC. Too expensive. Probably not NJ either.

Shifting it to the areas of Columbus, Cleveland, Buffalo, or Pittsburgh would probably help a lot on price and stay within driving distance of NYC. Depending on where people are coming from, it may not really be that much further. (You could do Albany, Syracuse, or Rochester too, but it would be harder to get to except from NYC and the NE.) Columbus and Pittsburgh are more than 100 miles from the boarder, which may be of help to the organizers. Both of which have good convention centers for up to 10K+ attendance.

I don’t know how underground HOPE is; Washington DC or Baltimore may or may not be valid, depending.

There is Indianapolis and Cincinnati and Louisville, Chicago and Detroit. But these are pretty far from the NE region, where I am presuming the majority of their clients are.

Some dark horses that might be a cool idea:

  • South Beach. They have a nice convention center. Expensive room rates, though. Also two very good international airports.

  • Myrtle Beach. Big convention center, relatively low room rates, really low room rates off-season. While it’s a more diverse area than most in the south with fewer issues, you have to drive through the south to get there.

  • The Greenbriar, West Virginia. Expensive room rates, and their convention rates are probably as expensive as last year’s in NYC. However… holding the HOPE in the Bunker? Priceless.


Schedule it in a resort town off season- like Cape Cod in the winter etc.

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I’ve always gone to Defcon, not hope. I need to change that!

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i see someone has not been to the black cat.

there’s a whole side of dc you wouldn’t expect. weed is legal, the h in h street stands for hipster and the dream of the 90s is alive in adams morgan

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And there in lies how that doesn’t make sense. The Hotel Pennsylvania does not need to compete for event bookings. There are enough conventions looking to book in NYC hotels, conference centers and colleges that they frequently spill over into the consolation prize that is New Jersey. If the hotel raised its rates, its because they can command those rates. Because lots of people are looking to book. There’s probably a wait list a mile long.

A nearly 8 hour drive, ~375 miles.

9 and a half hours, at ~462 miles.

About 8 hours. ~385 miles.

About an 11 hour drive. ~550 miles.

None of these places are right near NYC, and all of them are outside what I would call driving distance. More road trip distance. And I’m always down for a road trip, but given that’s where your mind went for “close to NYC” I’m curious how familiar you actually are with the geography of the East Coast. I mean the non-Albany upstate NY areas you mention are harder to get to from the NYC metro than Montreal. And about as far.

The one thing to recommend those places is they’re all fairly well connected to the same regional air hubs as NYC. So if you’re flying. And your coming from somewhere in the North East its gonna be just as easy to fly to.

If proximity to NY is what they’re looking for Jersey is across the river. Accessible to the same airports. Easier to drive to from all surrounding areas excepting Long Island (to the tune of several hours worth of traffic). And has abundant convention spaces at a fraction of the cost of Manhattan. And Philly is about 2 hours away, less than 100 miles. More accessible, significantly cheaper, has a large academic community focused on the subject to hand. Has become a premiere convention location over the last 20 years, so they have the infrastructure. And is conveniently connected via transit to both NYC and DC, as well as most of the surrounding states.

If proximity to NY is not a thing, pick a major city besides New York, San Francisco or LA. Many of them will compete for convention bookings. And not just the hotels or convention centers but the cities themselves.

Not as cheap as you’d think. I grew up in that kind of place. Most of the hotels, restaurants etc tend to shut down for the off season. Leaving slim pickings in the Winter, prices come down but not by much as they need to justify keeping the power on for all those empty weeks.

Also tend not to have convention spaces, public transport and what have. Just 40 different boutiques selling the same god damned bathing suit, and just that one bathing suit, lining both sides of the street.

Its “quaint”.


Fortunately - every attendee doesn’t live in your house. An extra drive for you is a shorter drive for someone else.

Most conferences bounce around to a different city every year - none stay at the same hotel in the same city every year. It’s not a deal breaker with a year to plan.


Sort of my point. If its important to be close to NY, then none of those places are remotely close to NY.

And any other place is just as convenient for anyone who’s not in the New York Metro. There’s a reason Denver is a major convention spot. HUGE airline and transport hub, roughly in the middle.


Miami then. Eric never got enough sun anyway.


I dunno if that’s any cheaper. I used to work in corporate webcasting in NY. Pretty much every major financial firm and drug company is constantly pulling major events in Miami. Primarily so they can brag about being in Miami. I think Tampa was the practical spot for that.

Also Puerto Rico used to be huge for this sort of thing. And they could certainly use the business these days.



If a major convention were to want to move to Buffalo, they’d find all the support they could possibly want just by making it known they were interested. Buffalo is on the rise culturally and they’d love to score any number of additional events like HOPE to add to the ones already being run in the city.


I hear that you can get a good off season deal at the Overlook Hotel; and it is family friendly too.

However, for hackers, I’d have thought that some sort of VR gathering could be the way to go; so maybe the Overwatch Hotel instead?