Celebrating our New Offices and Showroom!

We’d love to see you and your friends at our Open House to celebrate the new offices and showroom for Carolina Game Tables! But before we get into the details…


Sale the ENTIRE Month of April: Free Cup Holder Upgrade!

To celebrate our new offices and showroom, we’re offering a FREE Cup Holder Upgrade for all Dining, Streamer, and Tablezilla sales during the month of April, either online or in person at our new offices! That’s a savings of $150 on the Dining and Streamer; and $200 on the Tablezilla Game Table!

If you’re placing an order online, just mention you want the free cup holders in the notes at checkout.

Open House

Here are the Stats for our Open House:

10 am-6 pm Saturday April 22, 2017 at the Carolina Game Tables offices and showroom

940 Tate Blvd. SE, Suite 108

Hickory, NC 28602

10 am Dedication Ceremony

Led by Pastor Bill Miller-Zurell (from our church, Holy Trinity Lutheran of Hickory). It’s not always cool to talk about faith and business, especially in the game industry, but our family and our business are based in Christ’s teachings. That’s why we’re asking for the Lord’s continued blessings on Carolina Game Tables with a short Dedication Ceremony in lieu of a “ribbon cutting.”

Come See the Game Tables!

We should have ALL of the table designs there for you to see in our showroom:

$899 Coffee Game Table

$1199 Kitchen Game Table

$1599 Dining Game Table

$1999 Streamer Game Table

…and maybe the $2199 Tablezilla Game Table will arrive in time. Here’s hoping.

We’ll also have our chairs and side tables/benches for you to see, and the finish samples and fabric samples so you can dream about owning your own Carolina Game Table.

Classic Gamer Food!

We’ll have donuts, fruit, coffee, and juice for the morning and pizza, salad, soda, and water available around one o’clock.

We know gamers tend to focus more on the games than on making sure they’re fed. We gotcha covered. 🙂

Please click “Going” on our Facebook event so we know how many people to plan for.


We’ll have games set up and ready to go on most of our tables in the showroom. Call of Catthulhu RPG, Savage Worlds RPG demos, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Starving Artists, Apples to Apples, Crap or Slap, King of Tokyo, and more are scheduled to be run at different times of the day!

Not a board game fan? We’ll have a jigsaw puzzle set up on a Coffee Game Table, too.

Prizes and Giveaways!

What’s an Open House without some prizes?

Everyone signing up for our newsletter at the showroom that day goes into a drawing to win cool stuff from us and our friends! Drawing will be held at 5:30pm, and you do not need to be present to win. But you do need to stop by in person to sign up!

So far we have: Savage Worlds core rules, Starving Artists board game, Dinner and Dice: A Gaming Cookbook, and a set of our Carolina Game Tables coasters! More are being added every day, so be sure to sign up. 🙂


PAX East in Boston and New Offices!

We’re getting ready to hit the road for Boston, MA, and PAX East, but we’re bursting with news about our new offices!

New Offices in Hickory, NC

For those of you who’ve supported us from our humble Kickstarter beginnings, you’ll understand just how excited we are about this. Until recently we’ve worked Carolina Game Tables partly from our home office (which is where Jodi also manages Pinnacle Entertainment Group as COO and Managing Editor), and partly from Old Hickory Tannery (where Clint works as Vice President for his father’s factory).

Now we have our own space! It’ll have a showroom, offices, warehouse…it’s a dream come true for us. Thank YOU for helping us get here.

We’re tentatively planning an Open House for Saturday, April 22nd. If you live within a day trip of Hickory, NC, we hope you’ll join us. 

Now, PAX East!

PAX started in 2004 with the folks at Penny Arcade who decided they wanted a show exclusively for gaming. After all, games are just as cool as comics, anime, and other nerd hobbies, right? Bursting out of their old venue from doubling each year, they expanded into Boston for PAX East in 2010 with tens of thousands of attendees in the inaugural year.

PAX East has tabletop boardgames (with games for all ages), console freeplay, a PC area, a handheld lounge, panels, an exhibit hall with all the con goodies, concerts and Ommegathon where the lone survivor of six games wins a trip to Japan.

Our booth for Carolina Game Tables is booth #10109. We’re close to the PAX Australia Road Show.

The Boston Convention Center has a grand entrance for their Exhibit Hall: ride down one of two escalators, taking in the view of all there is to see and do! To find us, take the left escalator down and then walk straight down that aisle. You should walk past Microsoft and Rooster Teeth. When you get to the PAX Australia Road Show, take a left. We’re on the left. Left…Left…Left…couldn’t be easier. 🙂

Here’s a map to help you find us:

Pax East Exhibit Hall Map

Come out to experience the fun!




Y’all Come See: Game Tables at Con Nooga!

Con Nooga is located in the Chattanooga Convention Center and historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel February 24-26 2017. Y’all come see—it’s the biggest little con you’ve ever seen, with truly something for everyone!

If you don’t have a badge yet, don’t worry. You can pick one up at the door. The cheapest one day pass is Sunday $10 (ages 12 and up) and $5 (ages 7-12). Kids under 6 get in for free with a paying Adult badge. A three day pass for one adult is $60.

Here’s a shot of our booth at PAX South recently. We’re bringing a Dining Game Table with Cup Holders, 2 Kitchen Game Tables, and a Coffee Game Table to Con Nooga!

Con Nooga Has It All

Con Nooga has over 500 hours of programming beginning at Noon Friday and ending around 3pm on Sunday.  From every genre and fandom they add fun and informative sessions, contests and events for Anime, Artists, Authors, Console Gaming, Music, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Kids Track, Comics, Paranormal, British Media, Gaming, and almost anything else imaginable!

To see the gaming schedule, panels, and convention center maps, check out their app. You can view it in a browser here, and the link to download to your phone is on their main page here: http://www.connooga.com/home.html

Panels, Events, and Contests

There are lots of interesting panels at Con Nooga. Everything from Not Just Mathematical: Politics, Religion, and Feminism in Adventure Time to a funny series aimed to help you with your interpersonal skills like The Zen of Flirting – Interacting With Humans Part II. If you want to argue, there are panels on Camp Half-Blood vs Hotel Valhalla vs Hogwarts vs The Guard as well as the usual Marvel vs. DC Debate.

Our family is involved in several panels at Con Nooga including Game Mastering for Tabletop RPGs, Writing for Gamers: Story/Game World Creation, Spoiler Alert! What’s New for Savage Worlds?, Promoting Gender Equality in Kids Gaming, Kickstarter 101, and Growth Trend: Women in the Game Industry.

Don’t worry…we’ll make sure there’s always someone in the Carolina Game Tables booth to answer your questions about our beautiful game tables for everyday dining and game night!

There is a fantastic Kidz Track at Con Nooga for kids 12 and under. Our daughters were one of the first kids to get involved in the Kidz Track years ago as Game Masters and panelists (seven years ago, I think!). They have crafts, lightsaber duels, big wheel races, and costume contests.

Finally, we’d like to say this convention does a fantastic job of separating the 18+ events like the burlesque and concerts from those looking for a family-friendly convention experience. They keep the “after dark” stuff at the Choo Choo hotel…and nothing starts before 8pm. Bring a babysitter to put the kids to bed in the hotel room–you don’t want to miss the cheeky fun of the late night panels and contests!

Find Us in the Exhibit Hall

You can find us in the Exhibit Hall in booths J12 & J13. Here’s a handy map of the Exhibit Hall. Click to make it larger!

Find Carolina Game Tables at Con Nooga 2017! Booth J12 & J13, close to concessions and gaming!

Find Carolina Game Tables at Con Nooga 2017! Booth J12 & J13, close to concessions and gaming!


Post PAX South 2017


Streamer Game Table in Matte Cherry finish and Purple fabric, and with cup holders!

PAX South is one of our favorite conventions and holds a special place in our hearts as the first “official” show (in 2016) for Carolina Game Tables. Plus getting to visit sunny, warm, and welcoming San Antonio in January is always a treat! This year, we decided to make another debut at PAX South 2017 with the Streamer Game Table.

Streamer Game Table Convention Debut!

A game table designed specifically for tabletop game streaming at a PAX convention? Yeah, it got a LOT of attention. For those who weren’t there or didn’t get a chance to see the Streamer Game Table (there is a TON to do at any PAX), check out these shots from the exhibit hall floor!

Booth From Above

New Purple Fabric and Cup Holder Options

You may also notice a couple of other features to “debut” at PAX South: the new Purple fabric option and the cup holders add-on seen on both the Streamer and Dining Game Table. Both of these were hugely popular as well, and we were personally thrilled to be able to finally show those in person.Kitchen_FrenchCouture_Purple_Cat_Tower

As we said though, the Streamer was really the star of the show. The (inner) gamer website (podcasts and videos) interviewed Clint on the new table while at PAX South, and you’ll find that on their site soon. While you’re waiting to see Clint in action with the Streamer, check out this video of a lot of other cool stuff making a first appearance, like the Nintendo Switch!



Streamer Links

If you want to see more of the Streamer Game Table, you can check out the original prototype on Geek & Sundry’s Twitch channel on Game The Game with Ivan Van Norman and Becca Scott Kerns playing tabletop games every Thursday, or you will eventually see the actual table taken to PAX South on Penny Arcade’s Acquisitions Incorporated the Series as they decided to “upgrade” from our Dining Game Table* to a Streamer.Interview_Inner_Gamer

Geek and Sundry’s Twitch Channel: https://www.twitch.tv/geekandsundry

Penny Arcade’s Acq. Inc. the Series: https://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/show/acquisitions-incorporated-the-series

*Word is, the Dining Game Table has gone to the Penny Arcade office so they can game on it there. That’s got to be an awesome place to work!

What’s Happening at PAX South 2017?

We can’t waPAX South 2017 mapit to see our Texas friends in San Antonio for PAX South January 27-29, 2017! We are in Booth 10055.

Find Carolina Game Tables in the Exhibit Hall

If you enter from the Queue Hall, follow the right hand wall through the labyrinth of booths until you find us.

If you enter from the PC  Room or Tabletop hall, look for the left hand wall and follow along it. Either way, we’re easy to find at PAX South!

Click here to see our PAX South 2017 Exhibit Hall map in a larger resolution, or click on the image.

What Else Can I See at PAX South?

Oh, a LOT.

Video games take center stage at any PAX convention, and PAX South has plenty. You’ll get to play games before they’re released, talk to game developers, and hang out with game enthusiasts like yourself. Some people like to cosplay as their favorite video game character, the more obscure the better! But you won’t feel out of place in a T-shirt and jeans.

Tabletop is bigger at PAX South than any of the other PAX conventions. So if board games, card games, or tabletop roleplaying games (like our own award-winning Savage Worlds) are your thing, this is the show to see! We’ll have Savage Worlds core rules available for sale in the Carolina Game Tables booth (10055) and Clint and I love to talk about our game developer experiences—and our furniture experience! There should be demo games of Savage Worlds in the Tabletop hall often throughout the convention.

Panels on everything from web comics, breaking into the industry, and Game Master advice pepper the schedule like sprinkles on a cupcake. Mmm…cupcakes.

Penny Arcade drives the organization that brings you the PAX conventions, so if you’re a Penny Arcade fan you just don’t want to miss it! One of the things they’ve become known for is their Dungeons & Dragons group, Acquisitions Incorporated. We’re proud to be a sponsor of Acquisitions, Incorporated: The Series and you can see one of our tables in their videos! They have a mega Acquisitions Incorporated live play event at PAX South from 2–5pm Saturday. Add it to your schedule!

The evenings offer the option to keep gaming or participate in live music shows from SuperMES, Urizen, and Descendants of Erdrick on Friday,  and the OneUps, Viking Guitar, and Bit Brigade on Saturday!

The complete schedule is here, and shows they pack a lot of diversity into one convention. If you come to PAX South, be sure to stop by the Carolina Game Tables Booth (10055) and say howdy. 🙂


New Fabric Color: Purple!


Streamer Game Table built for Game the Game! Cherry finish and Purple fabric. Note the trapezoidal shape? That’s so a single camera can get up to 8 players in one shot!

If you watch Game the Game on Geek and Sundry, you’ve already seen our new Purple fabric color option on the Streamer Game Table!

Game the Game with Ivan Van Norman and Becca Scott Kerns

Subscribers to the Geek and Sundry channel on Twitch can watch previous episodes here. Not a subscriber yet? Tune into the channel each week from 1:30-4pm Pacific to watch it for free LIVE. Subscribers get access to everything, and it’s only $4.99/month. Amazon Prime members can subscribe for free!

Game the Game is the self proclaimed “Sister Show” of TableTop by Wil Wheaton, where Ivan Van Norman and co-host Becca Scott play board games with friends Live on Twitch. Each week, Ivan and Becca play a new game (now on the Streamer!) for you to see. He started with the Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Battle cooperative card game from USAopoly. It looks like a very fun game. We’re suckers for anything cooperative, and you can play each year of Harry’s academic career.

Ivan is a friend of ours and contributed a Jenga-like recipe for our Kickstarter stretch goal Dinner and Dice, a Gaming Cookbook. Here’s his unboxing video of the Streamer on Periscope: https://www.periscope.tv/w/1lDGLmeYZeqJm

We think this is a fun show, and if you like board games, you don’t want to miss it. Ivan and Becca make for a great show. And the set piece is totally cool. 😉

Where Can We Get the Purple?

The new Purple fabric color isn’t just available for the Streamer, though. You can get it on any one of our five table designs including Coffee, Kitchen, Dining, and Tablezilla!

We’ve updated our “Spec Sheet,” an 8.5″ x 11″ page you can view or print, giving you all the details and options for our tables. This includes prices on the tables, their dimensions, whether there are cup holder options, and all finishes and fabrics. Carolina Game Tables also offers matching chairs and side tables/benches. As always, the finish and fabric options do not affect the price. All tables come with a table top. No upcharge! Download the Spec Sheet by clicking here.

Purple Swatch Preview

Here are some swatches to peruse, showing the Purple fabric with each of our four finish colors. We have other photos on the Streamer Game Table page, but please remember the lighting changes the fabric color significantly.

Come see the new Purple fabric swatches at PAX South in San Antonio, TX, Jan. 27-29!

Let us know if you have any questions by emailing gametableJodi@gmail.com.

Sagamore Hill with the new Purple fabric option

Sagamore Hill with the new Purple fabric option


Cherry finish with the new Purple fabric option

French Couture finish with the new Purple fabric option

French Couture finish with the new Purple fabric option

Elm finish with the new Purple fabric option

Elm finish with the new Purple fabric option




Holiday Sales at Carolina Game Tables!

Black Friday has come and gone, and Cyber Monday is behind us. No more holiday sales, right? Wrong!

Free Set of Coasters Shipped NOW With Each Table Order in Decemberholiday2016

We know budgeting during the holiday season can be a tricky thing. How much do you spend on your nephew, or daughter, or mother? If you have gamers to shop for, how do you know what they want–or what game they don’t have yet?

Perhaps you introduced a family member or friend to a new game over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, only to end the game early so the table could be set for supper. Or you sat down to your Thanksgiving feast and wish you’d replaced that wobbly dining room table and chairs in time for Christmas.

Imagine your family’s surprise when they unwrap a SMALL present—a set of our leather coasters—and see their BIG smiles when they read a Carolina Game Table is headed their way in 2017!

Instead of holiday dreams of sugar plum fairies and nutcrackers your children may have board games, card games, and RPGs swirling through their little heads. They’ll make lists of the friends they want to invite over to play the games. Your partner may dream of a shiny new mahogany table with matching chairs, and being able to add “just one more” with a small bench seat (and it matches).

That holiday scene, those holiday dreams. That’s why we’re offering a free set of our full grain leather coasters made from eco friendly 100% post-industrial waste with each table order during the month of December. And we’ll ship them to you for free, too. Orders placed before Dec. 21st will have their coasters in time for Christmas!

Use the coupon “Holiday2016” at checkout to claim the offer.

And since we know you’re thinking about your budget, remember we offer payment plans. Pay half now, half in 14 weeks. Or sign up for the 6 month installment plan. Read about both options here.

kitchen_elm_burgundyBlack Friday Sale!

We have two tables available for those who really want a table for THIS holiday season! There are no delivery options on these pieces; you or a friend must pick up the table from Hickory, NC.

$999 $1199 Kitchen Game Table in Elm finish with Burgundy fabric

$599 $799 “Topless” Coffee Game Table in Cherry finish with Dark Brown fabric

These are convention show pieces we’re offering at a discount because we have more coming! Read more about them here.

Update on #Fun4Liz Charity Raffle funforliz-fundraiser

The holiday season is for giving, and the charity raffle we kicked off with a Coffee Game Table is going great! Over $2900 has been raised to benefit the Chambers family whose daughter Liz is being treated for aggressive blood cancer. That’s a big help to these friends of ours, and we get warm fuzzy feelings just thinking about it.

The raffle ends on Dec. 9th, so please help us spread the word. You can purchase one ticket for $20 or three for $50, and there are more prizes being added daily! Check out the link daily to see what’s been added: http://bit.ly/fun4Liz

We can’t wait to find out who wins the Coffee Game Table so we can box and ship it. That winner will have a game table in time for Christmas!


#Fun4Liz Charity Raffle and our Black Friday Sales!

Cup Holders on the Dining Game Table and Tablezilla!

Cup holders were the #1 most requested feature, but we had no idea just how interested people were! We had some website trouble with the new feature rollout, but it all seems fixed now.

Dining Game Table with Cup Holders!

Dining Game Table with Cup Holders!

Payment options are back (half down deposit, or pay over 6 months), and we created a new category so you can mix and match seating for your table. Want 8 Chairs and 4 Side Tables/Benches for your Tablezilla? Simply order 4 sets of 2 Chairs (save $200 on each set!) and 2 sets of 2 Side Tables/Benches (save $100 on each set!). The Side Tables/Benches serve as extra seating for the holidays and a place to put rule books, tablets, or other gaming gear close by.

#Fun4Liz Charity Raffle

Clint and I were thinking recently about how lucky we’ve been this year with Carolina Game Tables. The response–from the Kickstarter in August 2015 through our first year of sales to the new cup holder announcement–has been overwhelmingly positive. But while our family has rejoiced, our friends in the Chambers family have suffered.


About this time last year, Jamie Chambers and his family were gearing up to welcome a new member to their household, baby Jensen. In March his 18 year old daughter Liz was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and the lives of all in their family changed forever. Jamie stresses that they have insurance and are not destitute, but it’s been rough. He’s lost valuable working time as her bone marrow donor and patient advocate–things any parent would do.

How can we help? How can you help? Well, it’s simple, really: we have a Coffee Game Table in Cherry finish and Forest Green fabric left over from our convention season in excellent shape.

We’ve donated the Coffee Game Table AND shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 United States in this online raffle benefiting the Chambers family: Tickets are $20 each or three for $50! 

Best of all, the #Fun4Liz Coffee Game Table prize will arrive to your home in time for Christmas!

Click here to win this Coffee Game Table!

Click here to win this Coffee Game Table!

We encourage you to share our raffle to benefit the Chambers family with this shortlink: http://bit.ly/fun4Liz

Many of our friends in the game industry have stepped up to throw in additional prizes, with more announced every day. Check out the raffle page for the latest prizes! And no purchase is actually necessary—check the link for details about getting your name in the pot for free.

Thank you to all who have already supported the raffle. We set a goal to raise $2000 and we’re more than halfway there!  Thank you for giving. Let’s have some #Fun4Liz!

Black Friday Sales

We have two tables left over from our convention season for sale at a big discount! Please note there is no delivery option–you must come pick it up from Hickory, NC.

Kitchen Game Table in Elm finish and Burgundy fabric (with top) $1199 $999 (save $200!)

There are a couple dings on edges around the game play area (from hundreds of lanyards catching on it at PAX East, Origins, Gen Con, DragonCon, and MACE) and one bolt has been replaced in a table leg.


Coffee Game Table in Cherry finish and Dark Brown fabric (no top available) $799 $599 (save $300!)

This was our prototype Coffee Game Table and arrived without a top (What do you mean “There’s no top on the schematic! Oh. Let’s fix that.” We do tops for all tables. Sort of our thing.).

We can order a replacement top if you like, but we think you may just want to go to the hardware store and have a piece of Plexiglas cut to fit for less than $50.

$799 "Topless" Coffee Table in Cherry with Dark Brown Fabric.

“Topless” Coffee Table in Cherry with Dark Brown Fabric.


There are only these two tables (one for each shown) and the first person to purchase them gets them!

If you have any questions about these tables, email GameTableClint@gmail.com.


Cup Holders!

Cup holders have definitely been the single most requested option for our tables, and we’re happy we can now announce cup holder options on our most popular tables*!


Dining Game Table: Add Six Cup Holders for $150!

Cup Holders Inset Into the Edge

This new design adds cup holders inset into the playing edge of the Dining Game Table, the Streamer, and Tablezilla. Each cup holder has a black aluminum insert for easy removal and cleaning (we suggest hand washing and drying). Each is three inches deep with a three and a quarter inch interior diameter. That means they can easily hold up to 24 ounce cans and bottles (and a few larger ones depending on their design).

We have 3-D renders of what the new tables will look like. The cup holders are spaced to provide the most play area between them while not being placed in the middle of the GM or host’s area (at the ends of the tables).

Same Sleek Design With the Table Top On!

One thing we wanted was for the tables with the cup holders to look exactly the same with the top on as those without cup holders. The top completely covers the cup holders, so with it on, your dining table still looks like your dining table. You don’t have to worry about external slide-outs making the table look odd or keeping track of separate attachable parts which may break down over time.

Tablezilla Game Table: Add 8 Cup Holders for $200!

Tablezilla Game Table: Add 8 Cup Holders for $200!

$150–$200 to Add Cup Holders to Your Order!

We also wanted to stick with our goals of simple quality at an affordable price. You can add six cup holders to the Dining Game Table or Streamer for just $150 or eight cup holders to Tablezilla for $200. That’s just $25 per cup holder!

Now, like our other designs, we have to be able to factory produce them, so there isn’t an option to add them individually. Plus, we think it’s a lot more fun to tell your friends, “You get a cup holder! And you get a cup holder! And you get a cup holder!” and so on. We also can’t offer different colors on the cup holders. There are some different reasons, but primarily, we had to go with a color the supplier could stock in enough quantity for our use which would also work with all of our table finishes. Within those criteria, black was the only way to go.

Streamer Game Table: Add Six Cup Holders for $150!

Streamer Game Table: Add Six Cup Holders for $150!

Still 16 Weeks’ Production Time!

Adding cup holders to a table has no impact of production time; it’s the same 16 week average production time as any other table.

New Website Design

As an added bonus, we redesigned the website so you can find every option for each game table on one page–cupholders (if the design allows for it*), chairs, side tables/benches, and even our popular leather coasters!

Please Share

We’re super excited to make this announcement, but we need your help to get the word out about it. Please share this on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Tumblr, forums, or anywhere else you hang out with like-minded gamers! If you are with a blog or news agency and want more information, contact gametableClint@gmail.com for an interview. Thank you!

*The Coffee Game Table and Kitchen Game Table edges are too narrow to allow for adding cup holders without compromising their construction.

Booking a Hotel Room for DragonCon 2017!

The hardest part about going to DragonCon is getting a hotel room, so instead of a post-con report here are my tips for getting a hotel room at *any* large convention (but especially DragonCon).

For DragonCon in particular, mark your calendar for October 1st

Free up your morning so you have time to call–and if you finish early you have some time to yourself! Arrange for time away from work, for someone else to ferry the kids around, or even someone else to walk the dog. This begins around 8 am and is your *best day* to fight the other thousands of people doing the same thing. Actually…make that 7 am Eastern.

Our booth at DragonCon 2016! L–R: Kitchen in Elm, Coffee Tables and Benches in Cherry, and Dining Game Table in Sagamore Hill.

Our booth at DragonCon 2016! L–R: Kitchen Game Table in Elm, Coffee Game Tables and Benches in Cherry, and Dining Game Table in Sagamore Hill. Table tops are displayed behind the Coffee Game Tables.

Research Nearby Hotels

Do your homework. Look through all the downtown Atlanta hotels and research what rooms they have. For example, Clint and I are not comfortable sleeping in double beds. I check for a room with two queens or a King with pull-out sofa to accommodate our family of 4.

We also prefer a hotel with breakfast included. Even a hot Hampton Inn breakfast gets tiring on day 3 of the con, but it sure beats wasting time in the Starbucks line. You can still eat at other local restaurants, but it’s nice to have a failsafe measure if you’re short on time.

Be aware many hotels charge a deposit. It can be anything from $100 to the entire expected stay! It’s a good idea to call the hotel and ask about their expected procedure. And ask about cancellation procedures. Most give you a complete refund, but some do not! Don’t assume. Ask before you book.

Did you find a good hotel with rooms already available for the convention–this goes for any convention–during the dates you want and at a price you are willing to pay? TAKE IT. Usually they will let you rebook that same room at the cheaper rate once the convention block becomes available. Don’t count on it, though, so be prepared to pay that higher rate if need be. Think of it as a security blanket.

If you find yourself frequenting a particular line of hotels, sign up for their rewards program and use it. You may need to state “I am a Silver Awards member. Is that the best you can do?” You don’t have to be mean, but it may make the difference between staying next door or walking 8 blocks. You’ll be grateful you at least tried!

Once you’ve figured out your choicest hotel, look for another one. And a backup after that, and one more. I suggest having at least four or five hotels on your list, complete with contact numbers to their front desk, before game day: October 1st. The national hotline is usually not as much help as the actual hotel’s reservation staff on site.

Why October 1st?

DragonCon’s hotels range the gamut on how to get a room. Many of the host hotels let the people staying there this year book their room for next year before they leave the con, a full year in advance! But most wait until October 1st. So now you know what you’re up against: thousands of cosplayers angry because they’ll have to edit their wardrobe. It’s hard to work on a great outfit all year long and then decide it’s too heavy to lug five blocks.

Staying in a host hotel has challenges (especially getting an elevator) but it’s a great idea if you can. Not only are you central to the best events and parties, both official and impromptu, but you get access to the 24-hour DragonConTV. If you end up stuck in the hotel room due an ankle sprain (but those boots really made the outfit!), at least you have something interesting to watch. At this point it looks like the only host hotel with rooms available is the Marriot Marquis (they go on sale Oct. 5th). Here’s the DragonCon Hotels page. 

After the Booking

There may be times when your hotel room booking gets lost, or the hotel overbooks, or they tried to put all four of you in a single double bed. The best advice is to respect the hotel employees. They don’t like the situation any better than you do, and they have the authority to try and make it right most of the time.

Be sure you have confirmation details “in print” (email is fine) or in hand when you check in. Room type, room rate–everything, not just the confirmation number. As long as you have the details to point to, regardless of what’s showing on their screen at the moment, they will try to help you.

Enjoy the convention!

I hope this helps you make a game plan for the big day and snag the hotel room of your choice!