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Subject: Gen Con: How much $ to go? rss

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KRAMPUS
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After reading all the reports from this year, I'm seriously considering going to Gen Con 2013. This will be my first major convention.

Taking into account travel (from the Mid-Atlantic region), room costs, food costs, admission and event tickets, $ to spend in the dealers room, etc., how much $ will I need to cover it all?

I want to have a great con experience, so I don't want to do it "on the cheap", but being a college student, I'll need to start budgeting now if I want to save enough $ to cover everything.

Also, is the VIG package worth it? Does anyone know how much that costs?

Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Vaxt
 
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Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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I don't know your travel costs but here is a rough estimate on costs.

Badge $70
Tickets $20 - 30
Hotel $250 (assuming four people splitting a room near the convention center)
Dealers Hall $200 - $500
Food $100 - $150

The experience: Priceless
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Bill Gallagher
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Torrance
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The GenCon Web site has a lot of that information. To summarize:

Room: Figure $130-$160 a night (plus tax). Obviously, quad occupancy would cut the cost to a reasonable level for a (starving) college student.

Flight: Check the major travel Web sites two or three months ahead of time. If Southwest is an option, check their site as well.

Admission: 2012 cost for advance ticket was $70 for full convention. VIG pass was $540. Add 6% tax to both.

Event tickets: It depends on the length of the event. They're $2 for each two hours (or fraction) of the event length. Some events will incur an extra cost (e.g. True Dungeon, sealed deck CCGs).

Food: THere are many options in the immediate area, including fast food.

Exhibit hall: Assume full retail price, especially for new releases.
 
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Pete Lane
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Golden Valley
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Well, the badge is $70-ish, but you can pay for that early. Hotel is usually around $190 a night, but if you go in with friends that will knock things down. I know a couple of friends who stayed at a KOA and drove in and it saved them a ton of money. We were four guys driving from Minneapolis and we each filled the tank once and shared driving, and parking was split too. Food you can do on the cheap if you bring a cooler and fill it with PB&J, a 12 pack of pop, and veggies. But meals can be had all over for under $10 a person, but it's just not going to be healthy as you COULD make it for more.

And everything else is what you make of it. I am a Magic player so I spent a ton on tournaments, but also "made some of that money back" because I was able to win prizes. I only bought two board games, but one could easily go without buying any really and just play in events.

So yeah, it adds up, but providing you have some friends to share costs, it'll make some amazing memories.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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Did $70 cover open gaming?
 
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Todd Warnken
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davedanger wrote:
Did $70 cover open gaming?


It would allow you to game at an open table which can be hard to find. It does not cover the game library. The library costs $4 for the early session (open until 6) and $6 for the evening session (6 to close).
 
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Justin Gortner
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Mundane wrote:
The experience: Priceless


The most important line is above. Assuming the trip is within your budget, if you like games even a little, the experience is goose-bump-inducing. It really is outstanding and nothing like any other con in the country.

Regarding the VIG package it is most definitely not worth it. I bought the VIG badge one year and wound up demanding, and getting, a full refund. It's hundreds more for very little.

J
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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Mundane wrote:
davedanger wrote:
Did $70 cover open gaming?


It would allow you to game at an open table which can be hard to find. It does not cover the game library. The library costs $4 for the early session (open until 6) and $6 for the evening session (6 to close).

Sigh. Didn't ask about the library.
Why hard to find? Last I read 6 small rooms were set aside. Where exactly, per the book, could you open game without extra fees in the con (not the hotels)?
 
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Pete Lane
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There were open tables in all of the food court areas. My friends and I sat and played most of Friday evening in the balcony overlooking the big food court by the Marriot overpass. Every table was filled, and no one gave a sniff to any of us!
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