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Subject: The Origins 2018 FAQs Post rss

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Shaun Morris
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Origins Game Fair 2018 is June 13 - 17

And so we begin anew as GAMA recently announced Hotel Blocks are set to release in September. With that, I bring to you all the latest rendition of the Origins FAQ Post.

With the block release preparations for Origins will officially begin and with them will come a multitude of questions from first time attendees and veterans alike.

As previous versions of the Origins FAQs thread have reached 20+ pages, I've created this thread in order to keep the answers on or near the front page. I will monitor the thread and post additional questions and answers as they appear in the subsequent pages to the relevant subject below.

Essentially, I intend for this post to serve as both an unofficial FAQ for Origins as well as a place for attendees to talk to each other about any and all things Origins related. There will be a number of additional Origins related Geeklists being posted in the coming weeks and months, such as the Flea Market, Math Trade, Volunteer Opportunities, and "Geek" Organized Game Events. I will be posting links to those lists here as well as relevant information about what you will find at the link.

Feel free to chime in and add any other information you think pertinent.

DISCLAIMER: This thread is not all encompassing and while I did make an effort to ensure accuracy of information, I am in no way, shape, or form associated with GAMA outside of my badge purchase, and as such some information may not be entirely accurate. That said, much of the information contained herein is drawn from official sources, Columbus residents with knowledge of the area, and other Origins attendees. Please see the Origins Game Fair website for official information.

Here's to another great year at Origins!!

EDIT: As time permits I'll add the relevant information under the appropriate heading. I think it's pretty much done for now. As more information arises, I'll update the various sections.

EDIT 2: Please do not hesitate to let me know if any of the information you see below is inaccurate. I strive to make this FAQ as helpful and informative as possible.
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General Information

(1) - 2015 - 2017 Event Grids and Site Books https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B59Z_7bDFZNIUE9zcDJR... (Courtesy of user Greyson)

(2) - 2016 FAQs Thread Origins 2016 Guidance

(3) - 2017 FAQs Thread The Origins 2017 FAQs Post

(4) - 2018 Event Submissions Per Origins' Website, Event Submissions will begin September 1 and close April 2.

(5) - 2018 Origins Theme Origins has announced that this year's theme will by "Mystery". Per their announcement you should expect "a high level of fun with activities and events that may require some sleuthing skills."

(6) - 2018 Event List is LIVE!!
http://originsgamefair.com/events/

If anyone has the 2017 Site Book and/or Event Grid I'd be glad to add that to this list.
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Lodging Information

HOTEL BLOCKS ARE OPEN
GAMA now includes the approximate distance in walking and driving time to get to the convention center from the various hotels on their website.

Hyatt Regency Columbus - 350 North High Street
The Hyatt is generally considered the host hotel and is connected to the Convention Center. The Hyatt is the best hotel for those most interested in playing RPG's as the RPG's are right outside of the hotel's Big Bar on 2. Essentially, it's the hotel with the most convenient proximity to RPG Gaming Events.

Hilton Downtown Columbus - 401 North High Street (Connected via sky bridge)

Hampton Inn & Suites - 501 North High Street (2 minute walk)
The Hampton Inn is across the street from the main entrance to the convention center and the shortest walk for getting to the Exhibit Hall and Open Gaming Area. It also puts you closer to the North Market and Barley's. If you're primary interest is board games, this hotel is probably your best bet. As an added bonus the Hampton also provides free breakfast!

Crowne Plaza - 33 East Nationwide Blvd. (2 minute walk)

Holiday Inn - 175 East Town Street (15 minute walk / 6 minute drive)

Courtyard Marriot - 35 West Spring Street (5 minute walk)

Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel - 50 North Third Street (10 minute walk / 4 minute drive)

Residence Inn Marriott - 36 East Gay Street (8 minute walk / 2 minute drive)

Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square - 75 East State Street (15 minute walk / 6 minute drive)

Double Tree by Hilton - 50 South Front Street (15 minute walk / 6 minute drive)

The three principle hotels are The Hilton, The Hyatt, and The Hampton Inn.
Hilton and Hyatt are attached to the Greater Columbus Convention Center. However, the Hyatt is the primary convention hotel as it is truly attached whereas the Hilton is attached via a skywalk that crosses N. High Street. The Hampton is directly across the street from the main entrance.

Last year every hotel listed above sold out. The Hyatt and The Hilton tend to sell out within the first week if not sooner.

It appears that Origins has added a few hotels and also dropped The Meridien. I did not include The Drury because the block sells out before it's ever released, indicating that The Drury gives attendees the option of reserving their rooms for the next year at checkout.

Other information that attendees may find helpful:
- A suggestion came to my inbox today that many may find useful. There are plenty of options available in Columbus through AirBnB. For those who are unaware, AirBnB "is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms." You can search their availability through www.airbnb.com.

- If you're on a budget and you are intending to drive to the convention, you can stay at a hotel in one of the surrounding cities about 10-15 minutes away for considerably less than what you would pay to stay at a hotel in Columbus proper.

- The convention center stretches N-S along High St, which is a major road up and down the middle of Columbus.

- There are plenty of hotels north of downtown right along High St (or within 1 block), especially near the Ohio St campus, and they'll be cheaper than downtown.

- You don't need to drive to the convention center. The #2 bus is one of the busiest bus routes in Columbus because it runs alongside the campus, and it runs every 10 minutes or so between 6am - 10pm, and makes 2-3 stops on High St, right next to (or directly across High St from) the convention center.

- Many attendees stay just North of campus, around High & 17th St and then just "hop the deuce" to get to/from Origins. They don't pay for parking at their hotel, and they spend about $8 in bus fare for the weekend or bum an occasional ride back from a local.

Source: Much of the information above was provided by user (and Columbus/Origins veteran) "bayonetbrant" in the 2016 FAQs Post.
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Shaun Morris
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Badges and Ribbons

Please note, that as of 08/08/2017 the listed prices are based on the Origins 2017 pricing. I will update pricing information as necessary once GAMA updates their site. If you notice a change, let me know.

The question usually arises as to what ribbons you need as an attendee. The only thing you absolutely HAVE TO PURCHASE is the Origins Convention Badge. You will not be allowed in the exhibit hall, Open Gaming Hall, or any other official Origins Event without an Origins Badge.

Badges are $60 for Full Show, $25 for 1 Day, $45 for 2 Day. Children under 9 years of age are free. There are discounts for Military, Clubs, and Educators, as well as the Family Pass. Please see the link for further details: http://originsgamefair.com/registration/

Board Room – $20 - The Board Room has been hosted every year since 2007 by CABS – The Columbus Area Boardgame Society. CABS brings nearly their entire library of 700+ games to Origins and gives all those who have a ribbon access to that library. It’s a great way to play new games or if you own a game that you’d like to play but don’t want to haul your copy to Origins you can use their copy. However, the Board Room will be cordoned off to restrict access to those with a Board Room Ribbon only. Another advantage of the Board Room Ribbon is that it offers a much larger area to play games. There is almost always table space available, so even if you don’t use the library the Board Room gives you a great deal of space to play any games you bring with you or purchase at the convention. Finally, Rio Grande Games typically donates a BUNCH of games to the Board Room to be raffled off to those who purchased a ribbon and made use of the room. CABS makes NO MONEY from the sale of ribbons. They are not even reimbursed their expenses for trucking their library to the convention center. The only thing they receive are free badges for the CABS volunteers. The number of tables available in the Board Room is directly determined by the number of Board Room Ribbons sold. While I highly recommend you purchase a Board Room Ribbon, it is not required to enjoy open gaming elsewhere throughout the convention and attached Hyatt Regency Hotel. For an up to date listing of the CABS Library follow the link to their site: http://www.buckeyeboardgamers.org/library

Origins After Dark – $10 - Gives holders access to more adult themed gaming events at Origins. This is for events like Cards Against Humanity, Ultimate Werewolf, and Two Rooms and a Boom amongst others. These events start at 6pm after the Exhibit Hall closes and are restricted to attendees 18+ years old. I bought this ticket in 2016 but never used it. By the time I finished gaming in the Board Room every night all I wanted to do was get some sleep. However, if you’re someone who can’t get enough games, is 18 or over, and a night owl, this ribbon might be for you.

Mayfair – $20 - Grants access to the Mayfair Games Room. I didn’t get this ribbon and don’t know much about it so if anyone knows anything about this particular ribbon, please chime in so I can lend some more information.

Rio Grande – Free ribbon that grants access to the Rio Grande Games Room. This one is only available at the show. Again, I don’t know much about this ribbon so anyone that does, feel free to chime in. A user who volunteers in the Rio Grande Room every year but wishes to remain anonymous has advised the Rio Grande Ribbon is always free and is officially open Thursday through Saturday from 10am to 10pm.

Upper Deck – $20 - Grants access to the Upper Deck area. Again, I don’t know much about this ribbon so anyone that does, feel free to chime in.

Amtgard – $20 - Grants unlimited play in Amtgard events. Again, I don’t know much about this ribbon so anyone that does, feel free to chime in.

Puffing Billy – $20 - Allows entry to train games run by the Train Gamers Association. Almost any game with trains is eligible - 18xx, Ticket to Ride, Steam/Age of Steam, Express, Santa Fe, Empire Builder and so on. There are plaques offered for the best overall Train Game player (across multiple categories) as well as plaques for the best 18xx player, Ticket to Ride player, Empire Builder genre player and so on. (Information provided by user Yuglooc).

Deception Room (previously Werewolf) – $20 - Grants access to all Deception Room events, including “Are You A Werewolf” events. Again, I don’t know much about this ribbon so anyone that does, feel free to chime in.

Generics and Ticketed Events – Ticketed Events are purchased prior to arriving at Origins and are sponsored events. Many of these events will be Learn to Play, RPG Games, LARP Events, Giant Kings of Tokyo, and a whole host of other things going on. The Origins Event Grid last year had something like 700 ticketed events occurring. Ticketed Events are nonrefundable but are useful for events that sell out quickly such as the aforementioned Giant Kings of Tokyo. Generics can be purchased prior to arrival or any time during the convention. Generics cost and are worth $2 each, which is the minimum cost for any ticketed event. If there is an open spot at a ticketed event, generics can be used to purchase said spot. Generics can be returned for Cash at the convention but must be redeemed before Origins ends on Sunday, June 17, 2018. Please note also that Generics CANNOT be purchased by attendees with the Family Day Pass wristband.
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Dining Information

Columbus has an abundance of food options, far too many to list them all here. I’m only going to list some of the most popular and convenient locations. If anyone feels I would be doing a disservice by not listing a particular option please let me know and I will add it.

Big Bar on 2 (Located on Second Floor Hyatt) - Big Bar on 2 is one of 2 unofficial Origins hangout spots. Last year Origins hosted their Origins Lounge at Big Bar on 2. The Origins Lounge allowed attendees to play Origins Awards nominated games after Exhibit Hall Hours.

Barley’s (Located at 467 N. High St. Across from the Convention Center) – Barley’s is the second of the unofficial Origins hangouts. Last year they gave our Origins branded pint glasses with the presentation of a coupon from the Origins Coupon Book. http://barleysbrewing.com/

North Market (Located at 59 Spruce St.) – North Market is about 2 blocks away from the convention center in the same direction as Barley’s. I never made to North Market last year but I understand that with over 30 vendors there are some awesome restaurants over there. http://www.northmarket.com/

A good point brought up my user Yuglooc, is that the North Market closes sometime around 7pm. As such if you wish to check out what is one of the staples of Origins and indeed Columbus, you'll want to go early.

Pastaria (Located at the North Market) - Per fellow Geek, ngwilliam, the Pastaria is fantastic. I was looking over their website and this place is going to be a must try for my this year. Check them out at: http://www.pastarianorthmarket.com/

Food Court (Located downstairs in the convention center past Java’s Cyber Expresso Bar) – For a quick, convenient option. This area was under construction last year and operating with shortened hours. That said most everything I saw down there was fast and short order food. There were Chinese, Thai, and Indian food options as well as pizza and burgers. I tried the Thai food and it was pretty decent while my cousin tried the Indian food and thought the same. You’re not going to get 5-star restaurant quality food but for what it is it’s actually quite good.

Java’s Cyber Expresso Bar – (Located downstairs in the convention center) – As you exit the Big Bar on 2 you’ll come into a large atrium type area with a set of stairs at the base of which is Java’s. They’re a little pricey but the coffee they serve is top notch in my opinion. I drink my coffee black and found their coffee to be very smooth and low acid. You can also get all kinds of other concoctions as well including frappuccinos and other specialty drinks.

Brewcadia - (Located upstairs above Barley's - Recommended by a fellow Geek, Brewcadia has 40 beers on draft and over 40 different games to choose from including both classic arcade games such as Space Invaders and Mortal Kombat and slightly smaller selection of board games including Pandemic and Lords of Waterdeep, amongst others. You can learn more about Brewcadia at their website: http://barleysbrewcadia.com/

Gordon Biersch - (Located a few block from the Convention Center on 401 N. Front St.) - Another Geek recommendation, Gordon Biersch is a national chain but with a pretty good reputation for both food and beer. The main website for the Columbus location seems to be down but their menu page seems to work just fine so if you'd like to peruse their menu: http://menu.gordonbiersch.com/columbus-menu/

Bareburger - (Located next door to Barley's at 463 N. High St.) - Yet another Geek recommendation (Keep 'em coming!) Bareburger is a national chain with 44 locations, specializing in organic, all natural burgers. Per their website they use produce that is pesticide and GMO free, poultry and eggs that are cage free, grass-fed and humanely raised beef, natural flavors in their drinks, and fair trade coffee and dessert. Urban Spoon has a menu up and their prices aren't bad. If you'd like to learn more about them follow the link: https://bareburger.com/
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Shaun Morris
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Families

For those bringing small children to the convention, Origins has a family room featuring games and events for families. Please note if you are considering leaving your child in the Family Room, the room is NOT supervised.

Origins also provides CritterCare for children aged 5 through 12. CritterCare operates as an onsite daycare center wherein parents can leave their children in a supervised and restricted area. CritterCare provides children with games, crafts, books, and toys. Please note, there is a charge associated with this service. Please see the Origins website for details on cost and hours.

In addition, there is also a dedicated Nursing Room to provide parents a quiet area to nurse infants. And finally there is the Quiet Room which is provided as a general service for those looking to escape the noise and bustle of the convention. It is also intended as an area where you can calm an overstimulated child or feed an infant.

Origins sells a Family Day Pass, a 1 Day Pass available for Sunday only. It is $25 and grants access for up to 2 adults and 4 children (under 18). The pass gives access to all non-ticketed events such as Entry to the Exhibit Hall and Participation in Open Gaming.
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What are you bringing? What are you playing? Geeklist

It's live folks!! Tahnks to DaveyJJ for putting this list together!

Origins 2018 - What are you bringing? What are you playing?

This is a Geeklist of games being hosted by fellow Origins attendees. Sign-Up is typically first come first served, with an entry fee being generally unheard of (I've seen it happen once, back in 2016). The list usually goes live around February/March.

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Origins Virtual Flea Market

Just what it sounds like, a flea market for fellow BGG Members attending Origins Game Fair to buy and sell their games.

The official Origins Virtual Flea Market is live!!
Origins Virtual Flea Market 2018

There is a Columbus Area Flea Market currently going that you can check out: Columbus, Ohio Virtual Flea Market (Now including Origins drop off and pick up)

Last year's Flea Market ended up hosting 1,700+ games for sale. You can browse that list here: Origins Virtual Flea Market 2017

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Math Trade

For those unfamiliar with what a Math Trade is please see the dedicated forum here: MATH TRADES for Dummies

Simply put it’s just like a regular trade except that due to the sheer volume of games being traded a computer program is used to facilitate the trades.

And the 2018 Orgins Math Trade is LIVE!!
Origins 2018 No Ship Math Trade (Columbus, OH: June 16) - Open!
Origins 2018 No Ship Math Trade Submission List
Origins 2018 No Ship Math Trade Wishlist
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Origins Game Fair Preview

I'm a bit late posting it but the Origins Game Fair Preview is live:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geekpreview/11/origins-game-fair-2...
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Transportation & Parking Information

The Greater Columbus Convention Center has a rather handy map posted on their website showing parking garages/lots and the approximate walking distance for each. Check out the link below!

https://www.columbusconventions.com/directionsandmaps.php
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Miscellaneous Event Information

Origins Film Festival
For anyone looking to check out some movies at Origins you have the option of attending the Origins Film Festival which you find out more about by visiting their site here: http://www.originsfilmfestival.com/

True Dungeon
For those of you interested in True Dungeon at Origins you can find out more here: http://truedungeon.com/origins-game-fair

Wiz Kids Fan Appreciation
Wiz Kids continues to host their annual fan appreciation event at Origins. For more information follow the link: https://wizkids.com/2017/05/11/save-the-date-wizkids-fan-app...

The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast Meetup/Party
For all you Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast fans they host an annual event at Origins Game Fair, though they don't seem to have updated their site with the details. Apparently it's listed in the Events Sheet, so it is likely sold out at this time. All the same you can check out the Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast's description of the event here: http://www.thesecretcabal.com/Meetups-and-Events

Pre-Con Gaming
Item for Geeklist "Origins 2018 - What are you bringing? What are you playing?"

IELLO Pre-Con Party

For anyone interested in the IELLO VIP night for Origins this year, tickets are available, $60.00 a piece:
https://www.picatic.com/ielloorigins2018

From IELLO
This is an event for our fans to help kick off Origins 2018! We'll be playing awesome, new games all night long!

We're playing games all night and we'd love for you to join us!

This is an event for our fans to help kick off Origins Game Fair 2018! We'll be playing our most popular games, as well as awesome prototypes of our upcoming games. Each attendee will receive a goodie bag before leaving (every good party should have a goodie bag, right?!) with the following games:

Raids
Rent-A-Hero
Sticky Chameleons
King of Tokyo: Lolibot promo character

Your $60 ticket will also include beverages and snacks to chow down on! We hope you bring an appetite for food, as well as games!

Thank you to Tabletop Game Cafe for hosting us and Origins Game Fair (come visit us in Booth #301) for supporting the event! We can’t wait to see you there!
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Shaun Morris
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Volunteer Opportunities

There are any number of Volunteer opportunities at Origins. The Origins site has a specific tab dedicated to how you can volunteer with GAMA but many of the publishers are also looking for extra help. Volunteering, aside from being a really fun time, also offers lots of other perks as well, such as the ability to get into the exhibitor area early and purchase those hard to get games. The publishers also offer all kinds of incentives as well which vary depending on the publisher. You can check out last year's Geeklist for some examples. Origins and GenCon Vendor Volunteer Help Wanted 2017. You can also check out the 2016 list for more additional information Origins 2016 Vendor Volunteer Help Wanted List

A 2018 Volunteer Opportunities Geeklist does not appear to be forthcoming. For those interested I've gone out to try to find some of the volunteer opportunities available at the convention but this list will be far from complete. If you know other, please inbox me.

Origins: http://originsgamefair.com/volunteersgms/volunteers/
Chip Theory Games: https://chiptheorygamesblog.com/volunteer-with-us-at-origins...
True Dungeon: https://truedungeon.com/volunteer
Academy Games: https://www.academygames.com/blogs/news/academy-games-want-y...
Plan B Games: Plan B Games is looking for volunteers for Origins 2018

Other publishers and companies that I know rely heavily on volunteer work but whom I cannot find information for regarding volunteer opportunities:
Formal Ferret Games
Stronghold Games
Red Raven Games
Cool Stuff, Inc.
Alderac Entertainment Group
Cryptozoic
Passport Game Studios
Mayday Games

Really, just reach out to your favorite publishers or gaming companies and ask if they need volunteers to help out. Many offer perks such as credits toward games, free rooms, free admittance, t-shirts, and lots of other goodies.
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Everything Else

Grogheads – The War College has been folded into the wider seminar programs already run by Origins. However, a separate group known as the Grogheads run a great many seminars and events. GrogHeads also run (and sometimes teach) all manner of wargames on behalf of companies that are in the exhibit hall. Previous conventions had everything from GMT's Liberty or Death, to Flying Pig's Night of Man and Old School Tactical, to Proving Ground's minis games. Including the Command Post Wargames, Grogheads had over 50 events spread across 4-1/2 days. They have also added a kids-specific wargaming program.

The Grogheads have posted a more detailed outline and explanation of the events they are hosting this year. I highly encourage you to follow the link to their site: http://grogheads.com/featured-posts/18217

If you'd like to know more, please see the following: Re: The Origins 2017 FAQs Post. You might also be interested in checking out the following links for further information:

Lively Forum Discussion - http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=19848.0
General Information About Grogheads - http://grogheads.com/about-us

Please note, the content manager, BayonetBrant is an active member of the BGG Community. You will see quite a few posts from him throughout this thread and he is a fount of knowledge and information.
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Bill Gallagher
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Comments regarding hotels:

1. The Drury is likely already sold out, as I believe they started taking reservations right after the 2017 convention.

2. The Hampton Inn will likely sell out very quickly as well. yes, it's the closest hotel to the convention center - note that access may be difficult during thunderstorms and during the Pride parade on Saturday.

3. The Joseph is a pricey option - expect to pay upwards of $250 a night there.

4. I'll confirm that many of the RPGs are in the Hyatt Regency conference rooms - not quite "right outside the Big Bar on 2", but close enough.
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William Chew
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Just a reminder since tomorrow is September 1st. The hotel block probably goes live at midnight even though gama hasn't updated their webpage.
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MonkeyKnifeFight wrote:
Just a reminder since tomorrow is September 1st. The hotel block probably goes live at midnight even though gama hasn't updated their webpage.


So this evening I spoke with a knowledgable person in the hotel industry downtown who said that they knew the inventory had been pulled, but did not think a contract had been formalized that would offer them as there was no block established yet in the system. When I mentioned that GAMA had said "hotels will be available in September" they were taken aback and said "likely toward the end of the month then and unfortunately we're not allowed to give further details other than their best guess was that contracts were still being signed and that is usually a month before the block is available."
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I wouldn't anticipate a block release tomorrow. There was no email blast to notify of the date. There's nothing on their Facebook. And their website still shows "coming soon". As disorganized as GAMA can be, an unannounced hotel release would be absolutely insane. The amount of complaints they would get would be obscene. I can't imagine they'd release without some notice.
 
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Well the Hyatt block is available at least. Not sure about their other dealings.
 
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MonkeyKnifeFight wrote:
Well the Hyatt block is available at least. Not sure about their other dealings.


I don't think it's supposed to be available yet considering Origins' website still says "coming soon". This does not bode well for Origins this year.
 
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MonkeyKnifeFight wrote:
Well the Hyatt block is available at least. Not sure about their other dealings.


Is it the GAMA block that is available or other rooms outside of that block? I can get a room at the Hampton, but I'm paying out of block prices currently.
 
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Curt Frantz
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I got my Hyatt room at $149/night which is definitely the discounted rate. She knew exactly what I was talking about when I referenced Origins 2018.
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tribefan07 wrote:
I got my Hyatt room at $149/night which is definitely the discounted rate. She knew exactly what I was talking about when I referenced Origins 2018.


Just called and got my room booked too for $149. Just say it is for Origins 2018.
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Grayson
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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"A bloody nose, empty pockets, rented car with a trunk full of guns... Check out time is sundown in Las Vegas, but it only rises once..."
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Fox by Kyle Ferrin for the game Root (gif by BeckyTokens)
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igknight wrote:
tribefan07 wrote:
I got my Hyatt room at $149/night which is definitely the discounted rate. She knew exactly what I was talking about when I referenced Origins 2018.


Just called and got my room booked too for $149. Just say it is for Origins 2018.


Have to call; the rooms have been removed from inventory. I wonder if it's someone wasn't briefed about the block.
 
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William Chew
United States
Concord Township
Ohio
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I get the feeling Origins and the Hyatt are always set up with the block to go live sept 1. They have been doing that probably forever and it just was t publicized. GAMA probably thought they would just not worry about changing it since they won't touch the website until Wednesday. But I always like to make sure I get my room so I keep an eye on when stuff is available every year.
 
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