Comic-Con has come and gone, and the good news is, San Diego will host the popular pop-culture convention at least through 2018. But after that, the Con’s future here is unclear, thanks in part to the unwillingness of downtown hotels to reserve large blocks of rooms at discounted rates during the height of tourist season.
“Con attendees don’t always make the ideal tourists, economically speaking,” says WWW Hotel concierge Electro. “Most of their money is aimed at the Con itself, as opposed to San Diego’s other attractions. To give them a discounted rate just doesn’t make sense.”
That’s where the room-rental website RentMomsBasement.com may be able to help. The service, modeled after the popular Airbnb, provides the bare minimum: a spare bedroom, access to a bathroom, and maybe morning coffee. But the price is often a fraction of a traditional hotel, which may account for the site’s 5000% growth in business since its creation in 2013.
“The average Comic-Con attendee doesn’t need much,” says Del Cerro hostess Alice Monroe. “In 2014, I put up my husband’s old Batgirl poster as a way to make the boys feel welcome, and the room rented just hours after I put it online. This year, I invested those profits in a life-sized Darth Vader and doubled my asking price to $100 a night. I had renters within 90 seconds. I’ve heard of other moms putting in mini-fridges and old video-game consoles. But, really, all these guys need is a bed and somewhere to put their swag. They’re here for the Con. They don’t need some fancy suite that’s going to impress some fancy lady, you know?”