Average cost of PAX attendance?

JeffstaJeffsta Registered User regular
I've been thinking about doing PAX for years now and last year I decided that I may finally save up for it. Basically what happened is that I was in the area for a cruise to Alaska around the time of PAX West (unfortunately my schedule didn't give me enough time for actually attending PAX) and I realized immediately that enough is enough. Seriously, there's enough to make a week out of the deal either before or after PAX to save up for and I was always intending on making a week of it should I actually do so both to check out the local scene and cap it off at PAX West. Or more specifically, I would make a family vacation out of it and follow up with PAX West at the end of the week. (Being of a different generation they're not exactly up with the culture, and some of it is kind of a bit off by comparison with even cosplay being a serious disconnect so this would obviously be a personal experience to begin with.)

My only question now (and seeing as the earliest I can save for is to do PAX West) is what the average cost is for one person for the whole weekend, not including the lodging, airfare or anything I'd do prior to PAX (e.g. Space Needle, Pike Place etc.)


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    whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    Badges last year were $57/day. The only thing you have to pay any more money for to do at PAX would be some of the tabletop tournaments like sealed deck Magic which have an entry fee for the cards themselves. Other than that, the badge is all-inclusive.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
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    JeffstaJeffsta Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    Which translates to roughly $240 for the whole weekend, plus they're knocking it down by $20 again for the whole event (based on the costs for PAX East which is coming up, and I literally just checked). My next question is that since I would be in the area for what is otherwise a family vacation as to recommendations for lodging that serves all purposes (doesn't have to be close to PAX, just within reasonable budget and location to transportation, preferably off the rail line between SeaTac and Westlake for convenience, and I'd probably throw in the monorail to Seattle Center for the attractions over there).

    EDIT: Forgot to mention the part about budgeting for lunch, snack breaks etc. Sorry about that!

    EDIT 2: Also forgot to mention that I located everything on Google Maps so I know what's what. Early months still (and barely almost four since West 2019) but then again I'm the kind of person who has a thing about researching things as far in advance as I can do so.

    Jeffsta on
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    JeffstaJeffsta Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    Another update on this topic. I would also like to check on the average lodging at this point (though I probably wouldn't be interested in a room share for personal and logistical reasons, and even if I did I'd have to inform people who probably wouldn't be real in tune with that because of the fact that s**t happens if you get a bad roomie whether it's bad or worse - not to mention they'd have to be booked on the same floor and everything else for reasons that I won't discuss).

    Jeffsta on
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    StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2020
    Here are my expenses for PAX East this past week:

    Lodging: $208/person for four people; includes parking fees for hotel
    Parking: $20/person for four days
    Food: $230; includes snacks and food bought during the two days prior to PAX and day after for traveling. Lunch and snacks were typically bought at the convention center, and I tended to cheat breakfast by eating whatever was leftover from the previous night
    Merch: $175; this is Shit I Do Not Need But Feel I Must Have. Shirts, trinkets, and even a board game. You can easily spend more, but I’ve done this enough times to remember that I have to haul back home everything I bought.
    Travel: We drove this year, which is ill-advised and doesn’t reflect the real cost of a typical PAX. Depending on distance and time of purchase, this can be anywhere from $200 - $500+. Domestic, of course.

    My trip, altogether, was about $700. I do not recommend having the Frugal PAX Experience, as I have done that and it is miserable limiting your food to bagels and simple sandwiches instead of indulging in guilty pleasures, as well as looking at all the expo hall shops knowing you can’t get anything. Not to say you can’t still have fun, but it does dull the experience.

    Sterica on
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    JeffstaJeffsta Registered User regular
    Thanks for the breakdown. While I am ending the subject under circumstance (seeing how the coronavirus situation has basically shut down the competition with MWC, GDC, SXSW and now Emerald City being disbanded for the year) I have more than enough information now to plan for the next available opportunity, but with one notable exception: parking costs. There are three reasons for this:

    1. I would have to give that responsibility to whomever I would be travelling with,
    2. The rental would probably be as much per day as the parking lot, and
    3. I would probably end up riding the metro.

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    FrugusFrugus Photographer MontrealRegistered User regular
    Things will obviously be very different next year when (crossing fingers) we get to congregate again, but for the record...

    According to my PAX expenditures records, my trips usually cost me between 1,200$ 1,500$ USD. I usually travelled there by car with one other person.

    Lodging is where things vary a great deal. The number of nights you will decide to stay will add or remove chunks by the hundreds at a time (not to mention parking fees, WiFi when not included and food). On average I stay about four nights total and my hotel bills average 800$ to 1000$. Also, the closer you are to the event means your nights are going to be more expensive, but that comes with a great deal of convenience. Some will argue that staying further has advantages and that the shuttle service (when available) will mitigate the inconvenience.

    The numbers that surprised me the most for the last three trips are:
    • Spent Way More: The value of Food in Boston seems to be tracking with the fluctuations of Gold and/or Uranium. Every year has been more expensive than the previous one. Do yourself a favour and try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Failing that, food delivery services (uber eats, grub hub, foodler, etc) are your best friend.
    • Spent way less: "Stuff", for the lack of a better term, is less easy to find on special. There was a time when it was easy to find a price you would not beat outside the event (Coolermaster Keyboards, Board games 50% off, etc). Keep some spending money on hand though, because you will very likely find things that are hard to find around where you live (even on Amazon). I used to spend most of my year's budget on Games at PAX East because I would not be able to beat the prices, but now it's more a trip to try and find things I wish I had but can never seem to find or did not know existed until I was there.

    Frugus Eggbeater
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