Organizers of the annual, four-day Comic-Con confab today will announce the July convention’s staying in San Diego for at least five years instead of moving to another city partly to find better hotel rates.
The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Thursday report lays to rest the heated competition over the 40-year-old, celebrity-riddled event that generates an estimated $163 million in local spending. The cities of Los Angeles and Anaheim, Calif., tried to woo Comic-Con away from its founding city.
But it’s a bittersweet victory for hotels.
The paper reports that Comic-Con’s organizers decided to stay in San Diego after successfully negotiating contracts with the 64 convention-blog hotels that committed them to setting “prescribed, discounted rates” through 2015.
“Concerns had arisen in recent years that some local hotels took undue advantage of the enormously popular event by charging excessively high rates, especially in downtown where rooms sell out quickly,” the paper says.
Over the years, the once-small event has evolved into a much-hyped, pop culture extravaganza where attendees come dressed as Superman and other characters and they’re likely to see movie stars talk about their new movies.
The competition over Comic-Con grew so heated with Los Angeles and Anaheim that all three competing cities created Facebook pages to demonstrate how many fans Comic-Con had in their respective city, the paper says.
At one point, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders intervened to make sure local hoteliers “were willing to do everything they could to best their Southern California competitors,” the story says.