NamesCon Should Recommend Alternative Hotels

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I just started to do some research on my flight and hotel for NamesCon in Austin. After a date change was announced, NamesCon Global 2020 will be held from January 29-February 1, 2020. Conference organizers also announced a special conference discount is available for the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown (not to be confused with the similarly named Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark):

“The Omni Austin Hotel Downtown is giving attendees a special NamesCon rate—$200 off their average price— from January 27-February 1, so you’ve got leeway to arrive a bit early and enjoy Austin before getting down to business at NamesCon. Book soon, though, since this block of accommodations will fill up quickly!”

I looked up the hotel rates on the NamesCon website, and for someone who arrives on January 28 and leaves on February 1, the cost will be just a bit more than $1,050 after taxes for the least expensive room at the hotel for four nights. Last year for NamesCon, I paid a total of $754 for my entire trip ($626 package cost plus $168 resort fees). This included non-stop airfare from Boston to Las Vegas and four nights at the MGM. Including the relatively inexpensive non-stop airfare on JetBlue, the cost for me to attend will be about $500 more expensive this year than last year. I am sure others will probably see an even larger price increase.

It would be helpful if NamesCon offers some alternative hotel recommendations for people who are on a budget and don’t know Austin very well. The city is quite large, and without knowing the layout or traffic situation, someone might end up paying a lot of money for Ubers or cabs to get to their desired locations if they book a hotel room in the wrong part of Austin.

I have never been to Austin, and others who haven’t might find it helpful to know of alternative hotels in the vicinity. I am most likely traveling with my family, and it looks like VRBO has some very good options in the area for those who want larger accommodations.

There’s something to be said about staying at the conference hotel. It tends to be more convenient and it is always great running into people who I might miss otherwise. Some people prefer to save money over the convenience of a conference hotel, and it would be great for NamesCon to offer up some more affordable alternatives so more people can attend.

5 COMMENTS

  1. >offers some alternative hotel recommendations for people who are on a budget

    It’s downtown Austin – there are 15 hotels within 15 minutes walk of the Omni [ which IMHO is a nice enough place to stay ].

    I’ll almost never stay at the recommended hotels at any event which isn’t a walled garden – they’re usually picked based on commissions they pay over any other criteria, and better deals (and fitting with corporate policies etc) can usually be found close by

    The nominal amount of socialising you miss out on is counteracted by being able to take people to better bars and saving money.

    However yes, for most of us that travel to events, Austin is much more expensive – from the UK, just the 2020 flight is more than the entire trip to NC in Vegas back in Jan !

  2. I’ve stayed at the Residence, Driskill, Fairmont, Hilton, Omni and several B&Bs in Austin – when all you’re doing is sleeping there, every one of those is more than adequate, with my preference being places that are more like home (so AirBNB and the Residence) so i can get some serious work done before and after the events

    Based on NC Global this year, in the 2-and-a-half days of the actual event, I was in my room for just over 12 hours in total !

  3. I don’t think NamesCon would or should recommend alternative hotels, because they have a room block they need to sell out so they aren’t on the hook. That said, I’m happy to give my thoughts having lived there for two decades.

    Before thinking about areas, you should know that the weather is hard to predict for this time in Austin. It could be sunny and 70 degrees or it could be chilly with rain or even a bit of ice. But nothing as bad as Boston that time of year 🙂

    The areas closest to the Omni are downtown (where the Omni is located), South Congress aka SoCo, and the Eastside.

    Downtown is ideal given the location of the event and all of the things to do. But I looked a couple of weeks ago and didn’t find anything notably cheaper than the conference rate at the Omni. Given that you’re bringing your family, you might find a decent suite deal at a couple of the hotels that will better accommodate your need. There are also some HomeAway/AirBnB options, but most of the condos don’t allow them.

    South Congress is a fun and fairly safe area. You take the Congress Ave bridge north to the city and it’s very close by. Just don’t go too far down South Congress.

    That leaves the Eastside, which is everything east of I-35. You’ll find a lot of AirBnB options here but not many hotels. I’d be careful about this area. Yes, you can walk between this area and the Omni, but there’s still a lot of crime in this area despite big changes there over the past decade. Probably OK for most people, but I’d be cautious about staying there with my family if they want to walk between there and downtown at night.

  4. Have a conference in a camp like the Burning Man, aka Nudist camp.
    All naked and nothing to hide.

    Save your money Elliot …go take a trip to Florida or Hawaii!! or to AZ( cheaper)

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