Tag Archives: hotel

Updates for WisCon 44

Reservations for both hotels and memberships for WisCon 44 are now open! Our amazing guests of honor are:

Yoon Ha Lee

Yoon Ha Lee’s debut novel from Solaris Books, NINEFOX GAMBIT, won the Locus Award for best first novel and was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Clarke awards.  Its sequel, RAVEN STRATAGEM, was a finalist for the Hugo.  He has also written a middle grade space opera, DRAGON PEARL, from Disney-Hyperion.  He lives in Louisiana with his family and an extremely lazy cat, and has not yet been eaten by gators.

Rebecca Roanhorse

Rebecca Roanhorse is a Nebula and Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her short fiction has also been a finalist for the Sturgeon, Locus and World Fantasy awards. Her novel Trail of Lightning (Book 1 in the Sixth World series) was selected as an Amazon, B&N, and NRP Best Books of 2018, among others, and is a Nebula and Hugo award finalist for 2019. Storm of Locusts, the second novel in the Sixth World series, was recently released to critical acclaim. She lives with her husband, daughter and dogs in Northern New Mexico.

Note on Hotel Offerings

We wanted to draw attention to a slight change in our Governor’s Club booking. Beginning WisCon 44, we will no longer be offering rooms for four people on the Governor’s Club level. Rooms for three people (including a rollaway bed) will still be available for WisCon 44.

We know that this is a change! We will continue to work with the awesome folks at the Concourse Hotel to advocate for our membership while respecting the needs of the hotel.
Thanks and we’ll see you next year!

Discounted rooms on the 6th floor available for WisCon 42

Jess Adams

WisCon is pleased to offer a limited number of discounted rooms on the sixth floor of the Concourse Hotel.  Because there are so few discounted rooms available — this year we have 5 — we’re offering them via a lottery.

The discount applies to specific rooms (all of them are double rooms with 2 queen beds) on the sixth floor of the Concourse.  This is the floor where many parties happen in the evening and also where the safer spaces and the Con Suite are.  This means that there’s more noise generated by foot traffic, elevators, and so on. If you are someone who needs a very quiet room with not many people passing by at all hours, then the discounted rooms may not be a good fit for you.

How can you enter the lottery for a room?

We are accepting requests April 6-20 (closing at 11:59pm Central Time). After the request window closes, we will get in touch to let you know if your request is filled.

To request to be entered into the drawing for a discount, send an email to affordability@wiscon.net, with the subject line: ROOM RATE DISCOUNT.  Include the following details:

  • The name your reservation will be under
  • Your arrival and departure dates
  • The number of people in your party
  • Any accessibility needs you have.
  • The best email address to contact you.

See you at WisCon!

Hotel Info for This Year

Now that you’ve signed up for your panels, time to figure out where you’re going to sleep! It’s a very busy weekend in Madison and the hotel is filling up fast: currently the only way to book a room at the Concourse is through the WisCon room block. That means once our block is full, there won’t be any more rooms. So act fast!

You can reserve a room at the Concourse, our convention hotel, by:

  • Visiting the Concourse’s front desk
  • Using the Concourse’s special reservations link for WisCon
  • Calling the Concourse: 1-800-356-8293 — Make sure you mention WisCon when making your reservation.

All the information about the hotel and room reservations is at http://wiscon.net/hotel/.

We get a great discount on rooms, with a single room starting at $117, and a Governor’s Club room starting at $199. The Governor’s Club rooms are on the top three floors of the hotel and include access to a private lounge with free continental breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, coffee, and drinks. If you can afford it, consider checking in on the Thursday before the convention and enjoying the whole day on Friday. The last day to get these rates is April 26, or whenever the room block fills up.

If money is tight, you still have options. The most important one is the WisCon Affordability 6th floor room discount. You can enter the lottery to receive one room night FREE by emailing Affordability. More information is on this page. The deadline to enter is April 20.

If you’re a regular WisCon attendee thinking about long-term affordability, the Concourse has a rewards program: Points can be redeemed for gift cards, upgrades, and even free nights! Just ask at the front desk or check out the application at the bottom of this page.

Now is a good time to mention that the Concourse will also be selling food discount cards during the convention. The card is $10.00 and can be purchased at the hotel front desk. The discount is good for 20% off at CIRC Restaurant, The Bar, and room service. And it’s reusable for the duration of the convention, even if you’re not staying at the hotel.

WisCon has been held at the Concourse Hotel since 1995 and we have a great relationship with the hotel management and staff. You can read all about the hotel on their website.

Get Into the Guts of Convention Planning on Our Hotel Team

Have you ever thought about how crucial WisCon’s Hotel team is to the convention? Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you don’t know what the Hotel Department is or what they do. Would you like to learn? It just so happens we’re looking for a few understudies!

You might have already guessed that they interact with our hotel—it’s right there in the name. The Hotel team keeps in touch with the Madison Concourse Hotel, our venue, throughout the year (and not just because they get to be friends during the convention, though that’s true, too).

Details? The members of our Hotel team get the updates on remodeling and other changes happening at the Concourse, keep tabs on reservations in WisCon’s room block, and double-check that our programming will fit into the available space. They confirm which rooms will hold the Safer Spaces, the Quiet Space, the parties, papers, panels, and workshops, and sort out which rooms need what audio/visual equipment when. They work closely with the Concourse to put together the diagrams of how each program room will be set up, when those setups need to change, and whether or not we need to rent more chairs, tables, or microphones. They tell the hotel when to expect our deliveries, meet our moving truck, and make sure that everyone involved—volunteers, convention members, contractors, and hotel staff—is able to have a great time throughout Memorial Day weekend.

How crucial is the Hotel team? Without them we wouldn’t have rooms to sleep in during the convention. Or anywhere to have panels. And no one would be able to hear the panelists, since they wouldn’t have microphones. Or chairs. Or tables. And we couldn’t all chill in the Con Suite because all of our kitchen equipment would still be in storage.

Want to be part of making all of these practical details happen? We’re currently looking for at least two additional Hotel team members, no prior experience needed. We will teach you all of the mysteries of who gets a “lanyard of power,” what our contracts say, how to read BEOs, and, incidentally, what BEO stands for.

Members of the Hotel team do not need to be local to Madison, since we work via email, chatrooms, shared documents, and conference calls. Folks on the team are automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of your registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $22 of your $55 membership back after the con ends.
To apply to join the Hotel team, please email personnel@sf3.org.

Open now — memberships & hotel rooms for WisCon 42

Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning for WisCon 42!  As always, WisCon will happen over the U.S.’s Memorial Day weekend — May 25-28.  And we’ll again be at the beautiful Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin.

WisCon 42 Registration

Memberships are now available for WisCon 42!  The news this year is that after holding off raising our membership rate for as long as we could, for 2017 we’re increasing the cost of our adult membership to $55.  All other membership prices remain the same.

How to register

  • Online:  Log into (or create!  it’s free!) your WisCon account at account.wiscon.net.  You can pay immediately via PayPal, or you can choose to mail a check or to pay at the convention.
  • In person:  Stop by our Registration desk (2nd floor) and register in person.

Membership prices

  • Adult (18+): $55
  • Teen (ages 13-17): $20
  • Youth (ages 7-12): $20
  • Former WisCon Guests of Honor: Free
  • Child Care (age 0-6) $1 per child. We need to know in advance how many children to expect, so if you plan to use WisCon’s childcare at all, you should register for it ahead of time! Please fill in the age of each child to be enrolled in childcare. Please read the childcare information page for full details.

The Dessert Salon

You can also purchase tickets to our Sunday night Dessert Salon through our registration system or in person at the Registration desk.

Our Dessert Salon is our fancy-ish Sunday night event, happening right before the Guest of Honor Speeches.  There are decadent desserts created for us by the Concourse’s pastry chef and lots of conversation with all the friends you met during the weekend.

Because the Dessert Salon is intended to be a fancy-ish event the price reflects that.  Money that we bring in from the salon not only covers the cost of the event but goes to support WisCon in many ways, including such things as our accessibility and affordability initiatives.

However!  We also want everyone who wants to join us have the chance, and so Dessert Salon tickets are available on a sliding scale!

Our recommended cost is $25 per ticket.  This is a little more than the base cost of the event to WisCon.

The sliding scale is $15-$50 — accommodating those who have a tight budget and those who may have some extra cash on hand and would like to support the salon and WisCon.

Concourse Hotel Reservations

Reservations at the Concourse Hotel open at 9am on Sunday.  There are 3 ways to make your reservation this weekend:

  1. At the Concourse front desk.  At 9am on Sunday there will be a reservation agent at the desk to assist you.
  2. Online using the Concourse’s reservation system.
  3. Calling the Concourse: 1-800-356-8293

The cutoff date to reserve a room in our discounted room block is April 26 (end of day — 11:59pm).

Concourse level

  • $117/single
  • $127/double
  • $137/triple
  • $147/quad

Governor’s Club

  • $199/single
  • $209/double
  • $219/triple
  • $229/quad

Updates on — Registration & Childcare, Dessert Salon tickets, and hotel cancellation policy

WisCon is less than two weeks away!  Here are some updates and upcoming deadlines you’ll want to know about as Memorial Day weekend draws ever nearer.

Pre-con registration closes Monday, May 15 (11:59pm Central Time)

Want to make sure you have a pre-printed badge waiting for you at the convention?  Online registration is still open!  You can pay right away via PayPal.

Did you know you can register now online and then pay in person at the Registration Desk?  You can!  This is a good option if you want to ensure that you’re registered and have a printed badge, but would rather pay in cash.

We do cap membership at 1,000, and we make no guarantees that memberships will be available at the door, but this year chances look pretty good for at-the-door memberships.

WisCon's registration desk, staffed by 2 volunteers
The Registration Desk at WisCon 40, staffed by the friendly Sheree (left) and Lenore (right).

Single-day memberships

Want to try out WisCon without committing to a full membership?  In town for only a day?  We offer — for purchase at the door only! — single-day memberships at the following rates:

  • Friday: $0
  • Saturday: $25
  • Sunday: $25
  • Monday: $0

Yes, Friday and Monday are FREE!


WisCon offers Childcare at a cost of only $1 for children ages 0-6 — but you do need to register them in advance!  Childcare registration closes on Monday, May 15, along with online registration.  You can register your child for Childcare by logging into your WisCon account and using the registration system.

Dessert Salon tickets

The Dessert Salon is capped at 400 tickets, and we have sold out!  If you’d like to be added to the wait list, please email: registration@wiscon.net

Hotel cancellation policy

Huge news for reservations at the Concourse hotel — we now have a 24-hour cancellation policy!  Our room block with the Concourse used to come with a full week cancellation policy, but that’s been changed starting this year.  If you need to cancel your Concourse reservation, you can now do so with only 24 hours’ notice before your reservation begins.  If you wait too long to cancel your reservation, you will incur a cancellation fee.

If you need to reach the Concourse, call: 1-800-356-8293

If you have questions for our hotel liaisons, email: rooms@wiscon.net

See you soon!!  🙂

6th Floor Discounted Rooms

Being able to stay in a room in the Concourse Hotel is one of the pleasures of WisCon — and also one of the biggest financial barriers to attending the convention.  As part of our commitment to affordability, each year WisCon is able to provide a limited number of rooms with discounted rates.  We hope that offering this discount can help just a few more people get to WisCon by making your stay a bit more affordable.

Though we call it a “discount,” the way it actually works is that WisCon will pick up the tab for the Sunday night of your stay. To be eligible, you must be staying at the Concourse on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.  You may be staying longer, but you must at least be staying on these three nights.

We generally have 5 double rooms (with 2 queen beds) available on the sixth floor, although the number, type, and location of the rooms may vary slightly from year to year depending on what space the convention needs for programming.  Because the number of discounted rooms is very limited, we make these rooms available through a lottery system — details below.

Noise caveat

Because the rooms that are marked as “eligible discounted sleeping rooms” are on the sixth floor, that puts them on the same floor where many of the parties are held in the evenings and also where  the Con Suite is. This means that there’s more noise generated by foot traffic, elevators, and so on. If you are someone who needs a very quiet room with not many people passing by at all hours, then the discounted rooms may not be a good fit for you.

Room lottery

We do not ask specifics of your need for a room — we assume that if you request a discounted room that you need one.  But because we have a limited number of eligible rooms, we offer rooms to members via a lottery. We do track who receives a discounted room and may remove an entry from the lottery drawing if that entrant was awarded a discount the previous year; this caveat is a factor only if we have more requests than rooms available.  (If we do not receive more requests than rooms, then you may receive a discounted room two years in a row.)

We are accepting requests through April 25 (closing at 11:59pm Central Time), which is also the deadline for reservations under the WisCon room block.  After the request window closes, we will get in touch to let you know if your request is filled.

To enter, please complete the Google Form at the link below. Entries are limited to one per party – that means if you have roommates for the booked room, only one of you should apply. If you received funds from the WMAF, you are still eligible for the room rate discount as well! Please don’t self-reject!


Get ready for WisCon 41!

Chris Wallish
SF3 Communications Committee

It’s 9am on the Sunday morning of WisCon, and that means — if you’re ready to starting thinking about WisCon 41, then so are we!

WisCon registration is open for you to buy your membership!  Memberships remain $50 for adult memberships for another year.

The Concourse reservation system is available for you to book your room.  If you’re at the Concourse today, there’s also a reservations agent at the front desk who can help you book your room.

Idea submission is open!  Sometimes your best programming ideas for next year’s WisCon happen during this year’s convention.  This year we’re also opening Guest of Honor nominations at the same time!

Hotel reminder — Concourse Hotel’s 7-day cancellation policy


WisCon is just 13 days away — and if you have a hotel reservation that you don’t need, now is the time to contact the Concourse to cancel it!

The Concourse’s cancellation policy is:  A reservation must be canceled by 4pm Central Time 7 days prior to arrival, otherwise you’ll be charged 1 night.

If you do need to cancel your reservation, call the Concourse at 1-800-356-8293.

The Concourse does keep a waitlist of reservations who booked at a higher rate and would like to move into the WisCon room block, so canceling your reservation could help another WisCon member save money.

If you’d prefer to transfer your unneeded reservation to another member, you can often connect with someone who needs a room by dropping a note in one of the communities mentioned on our Hotel page under “Want roommates?” or by posting to the WisCon hashtags (#WisCon, #WisCon40) on Twitter.

Hotel update #2 — Room block filled, overflow block still available

Hotel Liaison

We are 51 days away from the start of the best weekend of the year and our hotel block has filled up — but don’t despair!

The Concourse has an overflow block that is a slightly higher room rate than regular block: $145 single on the Concourse level and $225 single on the Governor’s Club level.  Overflow reservations will automatically move into the regular, lower-priced room block if there are any cancellations before April 25. Beyond that, there may also be some regular-priced rooms available. You can also ask to see if there are any Governor’s Club rooms still available in our regular room block, though be aware that all Governor’s Club rooms have a single king-sized bed. This might accommodate 4 if you’re very, very friendly. Happily, they also have room for a twin-sized (single) cot.

If the hotel does fill up or you desperately need a lower-priced room, you can check the fan-run communities on Dreamwidth and LiveJournal or the WisCon-Talk Google Group. As the con gets nearer, people often offer up reservations they can no longer use. The deadline for the regular block and the overflow block is April 25, but you can transfer rooms to other guests at any time while keeping the rate in effect when you originally made your reservation. Simply call the hotel to tell them you are transferring your reservation and give them the name of the person you wish to transfer it to. That person will then need to call to give the hotel their credit card information. Voila!

If you have a reservation that you don’t need, now is the time to call the hotel to release it back to the room block or offer it up on one of online venues listed above. Our hotel page also has an up-to-date list and a map of other hotels some of which offer shuttle service downtown for easy access.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, drop us a line at rooms@wiscon.net. See you soon(ish)!

Hotel update — Do you need a room? We have rooms!

Hotel Liaison

As of this writing, we are 72 days away from the start of the pre-convention meeting with hotel staff (not that I’m counting…) and we still have rooms available in our hotel block at the Concourse.

Yes! We still definitely have rooms in our block at the Concourse. Ignore any rumors to the contrary! (As of our Feb. 26 update from the Concourse, there are also Governor’s Club rooms available, too.) The easiest way to book a room in our block to get our room rate is using our reservation link right here, but if that gives you any sass — it doesn’t connect or it claims there are no rooms remaining — then you can go ahead and call the Concourse directly and they’ll take care of everything (because we do still, really!, have rooms available!). Their toll-free number is 1-800-356-8293.

The WisCon group rate is available through April 25!

If you have reservations for more rooms than you can use, please contact the hotel to release whatever you don’t need. If the room block fills up, you can also transfer the reservation to another member. If you visit the LiveJournal community, the Dreamwidth community, and the WisCon Talk Google group people often post queries and offers for rooms as the days count down.

If you find that you need to cancel your reservation closer to the convention, we ask that you do so at least seven days prior to your scheduled check-in. It is the Concourse’s policy to charge one room night plus tax for stays canceled without a seven-day notice.

There are a limited number of cribs available for the use of our guests for a relatively nominal fee. As well as cots — also for a nominal fee — that are surprisingly comfortable and can, if properly situated, turn one bed in the room into a MEGABED. This is probably more exciting to me than it is to you.

(Did you know you can also rent a piano at the Concourse? Fee does not include pianist, but if you pay me enough I’ll play “Chopsticks” and “Heart And Soul.” In fact, I will keep playing them until enough people pay me to stop. Jackpot!)

If you have any hotel-related questions (or wish to book me for your piano bar party!), you can contact me at rooms@wiscon.net!

Hotel Information

Room reservations are now open for WisCon in 2023 at the Concourse in Madison, Wisconsin!

  • contact:  hotel@wiscon.net
  • Rooms at our special discounted rate are available until midnight CST on April 25th, 2023.

You can reserve a room at the Concourse for Memorial Day Weekend in 2023 by:

The Concourse has two types of rooms; Governor’s Club is a little fancier and includes access to the Governor’s Club lounge.

Concourse Premier:
  • $155/single
  • $165/double
  • $175/triple
  • $185/quad

Governor’s Club:
  • $249/single
  • $269/double
  • $289/triple with up to one rollaway bed

Sixth Floor Discounted Rooms

WisCon makes a limited number of rooms eligible for one free night during the convention. Read more details in the Affordability section of the website, here.

Want roommates?

Try looking online at the Wiscon Dreamwidth Community for room share or room transfer opportunities.

The Concourse hotel is accessible to those with disabilities. For detailed information on accessibility, please see our Access page. All hotel rooms in Wisconsin are smoke-free by law. Check-in time is 3 pm; check-out time is 11 am.

The Concourse has an underground parking garage, but it is not free; currently, overnight guests pay $15.00 a night, and day users can pay up to $17.00 a day. A much less expensive public parking ramp is available just across the street from the Concourse.

Other places to stay nearby

Information on Local Restaurants

To help WisCon members find places to eat near the Concourse hotel, we have assembled a guide to local restaurants with information about:

  • overall price (on a scale of 1: least expensive to 5: most expensive)
  • hours over Memorial Day weekend (for 2023)
  • type of cuisine
  • address
  • table vs. counter service
  • wifi access
  • availability of vegetarian options
  • is alcohol served?
  • exclusion of ingredients that are common allergens
  • takeout and delivery availability
  • reservations recommended?
  • website URL
  • phone number
  • availability of outdoor seating
  • accessibility notes, where available

This document is available as a PDF: Restaurant Info (May 2023)