Hotels are holding up new Comic-Con agreement

The only obstacle preventing Comic-Con International from committing to remaining in San Diego through 2018 is area hotels.

According to Voice of San Diego, some hoteliers are resisting an amended contract that would ensure the same number of discounted rooms in the convention block at the same rates for the next two years.Last year, the site says, hotels committed 56,600 discounted room nights. However, Comic-Con, which attracts more than 130,000 attendees annually, could fill twice that.

“We’re negotiating with select hotels to keep room block and discounted rates and that seems to be holding things up,” Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer confirmed in a statement to Voice of San Diego. All of the hotels contacted by the site insisted they weren't the ones dragging their feet.

As recently as last week the expectation had been that convention organizers would announce a new deal with San Diego officials by the time this year's event gets under way on July 9. Comic-Con's current contract with the San Diego Convention Center expires next year.

Comic-Con long ago outgrew the convention center, and has been wooed in recent years by Los Angeles and Anaheim, California, both of which offer significantly larger venues. The Hilton San Diego Bayfront has helped to alleviate some of the space problems by providing rent-free conference space.

A permanent solution to the space woes, the planned $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, was torpedoed in August when a California appeals court ruled the hotel tax devised to pay for it was unconstitutional. The project would’ve added 740,000 square feet of exhibit space, a five-acre rooftop park, a waterfront promenade with retail shops and restaurants, and a second, 500-room tower to the adjacent Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

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