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Tickets & Hotels

Notes on how to register for CodeMash.

Contact for help.

Buy Tickets Here

Note: The Kalahari is now sold out.

It’s that time of year again, where we try to jam as many people into the Kalahari as possible. We are providing a lot of details, so please read this through carefully. Due to the nature of this post, we have engaged our snark filter. It took us weeks to find it in the bunker storeroom, but we think it is fully functional.

Our goals:

  • Provide the best content and experience we can, for the best value.
  • Sell all the tickets as fast as possible – The sooner we sell all the tickets, the easier it is to finalize the planning around materials (hoodies, etc.) and food/space planning. Also, it diminishes the amount of freaking out about if we are going to meet our budget goals or not.
  • Simplify as much as we can, where we can – We are all volunteers. We need things simple, as CodeMash has grown quite a bit. We also want things simple for the attendees.
  • Fill as many hotel room nights as possible – Our contract with the Kalahari is a very good setup for us. The basic concept is that we get the physical space for free as long as we meet minimums for food spend and sold room nights. We need to maximize the room nights as much as possible for this reason, and because nerds like to maximize the use of a limited resource.
  • Keep everything as fair as possible – We have tried to block loopholes, such as the first person to call in reserving ten hotel rooms. This is a similar process to what we did with tickets years ago.
  • Transparency – There is a lot of moving parts behind the scenes. We looked at many options on how to handle the hotel situation, and this is the best we could come up with. We will learn and improve each year, as we’ve proven with other aspects of CodeMash. If you have questions or want to know why we didn’t do something else, please let us know. We are happy to be transparent and share with you what our thoughts are on the subject. But this is how it is going down this year.
  • Tl;DR– This is just like 2016.

Keep in mind that we have about 2,500 people at CodeMash, but there are only about 500 rooms available. No matter what we do, not everyone will fit. We’ve done a few things to help with the ticket process, and avoid the hotel hunger games of two years ago.

Here are some things you should be aware of while registering for CodeMash:
1. The tickets can’t sell out. It is very unlikely that we sell out of CodeMash tickets. We felt that a sell out meant that there are people who wanted to come to CodeMash, but didn’t get to, so we increased the number of tickets. Keep an eye on the google group. As we get closer, many people suddenly can’t go and look to sell their ticket at face value through the group. You can then transfer your ticket to someone else through Eventbrite.

1.333333333. ALL tickets will go on sale at the same time, October 3rd, 6:05pm EDT (aka Ohio time). Why so late in the day? We have day jobs, and we need to be at the wheel during the flood. We recommend you ‘work’ late, and hold a ticket buying party. This includes attendees, alumni, sponsor tickets, etc.

1.5 Alumni Tickets – The old method of having alumni tickets was to make sure that awesome people from the prior year could get a ticket in a sell out situation. Since we don’t have sellout situations anymore (at least we don’t think so), we’ve dropped the alumni ticket pool. This will also greatly simplify the ticket process. Fewer pools to manage, no more I didn’t get my code emails, and a smoother running ship. Which Ticket to Buy– All attendees must have the two day base ticket. This covers Thursday and Friday. It costs $300. You can only buy one base ticket per transaction in Eventbrite.

If you want to attend the precompilers you will need to upgrade your base ticket by buying an upgrade. This adds on Tuesday and Wednesday, and also costs $300. Upgrade tickets are available at any time, and do not sell out. Only the base tickets sell out. You can buy both the base ticket and the upgrade at the same time. KidzMash Tickets – KidzMash is our family program. It is free, but are only available to people accompanying a CodeMash ticket holder. KidzMash runs all four days of CodeMash. We had over 750 kids registered in 2015. See for more details. To avoid the rush, KidzMash tickets will open up in November, after attendee tickets. There isn’t a limit to KidzMash tickets. We will let attendees know when the KidzMash tickets have opened.

Two. Kalahari hotel registration is going to be like last year. When you buy your ticket, you can choose to grab a place in line to wait for a room. We will walk down that line making reservations for people.

    1. Like all large conferences, we use several hotels to get everyone a place to sleep. All official hotels are on the shuttle loop, making getting around easy. Most of the official hotels are cheaper than the Kalahari.
    2. If you opt-in to grab a place in line, you will need to provide the following: Name, phone, email, address, and preferred room type (you can choose “any type” as well).
    3. Four-day ticket holders will have Kalahari hotel priority. This is to help us maximize the use of the hotel, and to help us meet our room night goal for our contract.
    4. The hotel will then make reservations for each attendee, in the order of ticket length and the ticket purchase timestamp, until they run out of rooms.
    5. The hotel team will try to get you into a room, following this process:
      1. Going from least available rooms to most for each room type you selected.
      2. If none of your preferred room types are available, they will put you in the least expensive room type that is still available.
    6. Each attendee can reserve one room. No room combinations allowed. The name on the room (the person in the room) must match the name on the CodeMash ticket. The room reservation must be at least as many nights, as you have days on your ticket. An example, a four day ticket must have at least four nights on the reservation.
    7. They will then send you an email with the tentative room reservation details. You must watch for this email. We expect to send these around October 10th but will send out a note when we are sure. They will come from the Kalahari, so check your spam filters.
    8. Once all of the tentative reservations are made, CodeMash will send a notification to ALL attendees. This will free people up to make arrangements with our other official hotels. If you want to pass on the Kalahari, you don’t have to wait for this step.
    9. We urge people not to abuse our official hotel partners by booking a backup room and then cancelling when you get into the Kalahari. It plays havoc with the whole system. It causes a disturbance in the force.
    10. Once you receive your tentative room reservation email, you must call back within five days to confirm the booking, and to provide a credit card for the deposit. If you don’t respond within five calendar days, for any reason, the room will be released to the next person in line. NO EXCUSES OR AMOUNT OF WHINING WILL CHANGE THIS. To be fair to everyone we have to do this as quickly as possible, so people can make arrangements at the other hotels. The reservation phone line is open 24/7.
    11. If you cancel/refund your CodeMash ticket, you will need to cancel your Kalahari reservation. This is to avoid shenanigans, and people working the system. We are trying to keep it fair to everyone so we can avoid the denial of service phone call attack on Wisconsin. You will be responsible for any hotel related cancellation fees.
    12. People are welcome to look for roommates on the google group.

2.12121212 What are the Kalahari room types and prices? ROH is hotel speak for ‘Run of House’. A run of house room is your typical two queen beds style hotel room. There are several different “two queen beds” room types. They are all lumped into this category. Room layouts and details are available on the Kalahari web site, The rates below are for conference nights only. Additional nights are non-discounted.

  • ROH (2 queen beds):
    • $141 Sun-Thu / $179 Fri / $229 Sat
  • ROH (2 queen Beds w/ sofa sleeper):
    • $141 Sun-Thu / $179 Fri / $229 Sat
  • Whirlpool Suite:
    • $178 Sun-Thu / $209 Fri / $259 Sat
  • Lodge:
    • $178 Sun-Thu / $209 Fri / $259 Sat
  • 2 room Family Suite:
    • $218 Sun-Thu / $249 Fri / $329 Sat
  • African Queen:
    • $228 Sun-Thu / $269 Fri / $349 Sat
  • Village suites/Combination suites are actually three/two rooms, so we can’t allow them this year. That would be taking rooms away from two other attendees in line. If you and some friends get the right room types, you can then call to ask them to be merged (late October). If they are mergeable, then the hotel is happy to work it out.

Two Point Four. Official Hotels. There are several overflow hotels that are ‘official.’ The CodeMash Shuttle will connect these ‘official’ hotels with the Kalahari and the Conference Space. Shuttle times will be posted in each hotel, on the site, and in the conference area. The shuttles will run continuously during mornings and evenings. They function in an on-call manner the rest of the day. They are available for use by CodeMash families as well. There is an official shuttle tracking app that you can use, and signage will be available in each hotel lobby.

Anyone staying in an offsite hotel gets a Kalahari waterpark wristband, including anyone staying with them. The CodeMash attendee can pick them up at the CodeMash registration booth at any time.

Unless otherwise noted, the group code for all official hotels is “CodeMash”. Prices do not include taxes, tips, bribes, or any unknown hidden fees.

You can stay at any hotel you would like, but only the following four are on the official shuttle loop.

Hotels valid for four day and two day ticket holders of CodeMash

Name/Address Price Phone Number
Great Wolf Lodge 4600 Milan Rd Sandusky, OH  44870-5840 Group Code: CodeMash2017

$94+$5 resort fee

The resort fee is higher when you reserve, but $25 will be adjusted off of the rate prior to guest check in.

(866) 965-9653

Fairfield Inn & Suites Sandusky 6220 Milan Rd. Sandusky, OH  44870-9000

Group Code: CodeMash 2017


(419) 621-9500

Hotels valid for 2 day ticket holders

Name/Address Price Phone Number

Best Western Hotel & Suites Plus

6011 Milan Rd. Sandusky, Ohio 44870

Group Code: CodeMash


(419) 627-9595 option “0″
Comfort Inn Sandusky

5909 Milan Rd. Sandusky, Ohio 44870

Discount SOLD OUT.

Regular priced rooms still available.

Group Code: CodeMash


(419) 621.0200 option “0”


3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286. Stay tuned to the CodeMash Group on Google ( or the CodeMash homepage ( for more details. Make sure to follow @CodeMash on Twitter, too.

n. DIRECTIONS – You can find directions to the Kalahari Lodge at

n+1. EVENT CHECK-IN– You can check in after 6pm on the evening before your ticket starts. The check-in desk will be open in the conference area of the Kalahari during all event hours, as well as Monday evening (9 January), starting around 6pm, for those checking in for the Tuesday PreCompiler.

7. EVENT SCHEDULE – If you bought the upgrade ticket, Precompiler Day 1 starts on Tuesday, 10 January at 7:00am. The pre-event Day Lightning Talks for all attendees will happen on 11 January at 7:00pm (Wednesday evening) in the main dining room. These are entertaining and not to be missed. The CodeMash session schedule and breakfast will commence on Thursday, 12 January at 7:00am.

9. REFUND/CANCELLATION POLICY – Unavoidable events happen and we understand that. You have 30 days from the time of the ticket purchase to receive a full refund. It became too hard on the all volunteer staff to provide refunds after this time because of credit card restrictions. Losing out on CodeMash would be a really awful thing, so we’re happy to offer a Send A Geek In My Place policy (see below). Instructions for asking for a refund –

X. SENDING A GEEK IN MY PLACE – Things happen. You need to send someone using your hard earned ticket. We understand. Please follow these instructions to change the name on your ticket: It is allowed to sell someone your ticket, but only at face value. We are not responsible or liable for any third-party ticket sales.
11 base 10. CONTACTING US FOR ASSISTANCE – Need help with your registration? Looking for a good shark? Have questions about the conference? Contact Please remember that CodeMash is volunteer run, and we have day jobs. We WILL respond to your email, but it might take a day or two. If time is an issue, we will always make it right.
Some common questions:

–              “I clicked the link before 10/3 @ 6:05 PM EDT and it said there aren’t any tickets. Are you sold out?”

o             No. By definition, if the sale hasn’t started, we can’t be sold out. The ticket list will show there aren’t available until the sale date, BECAUSE THERE AREN’T ANY AVAILABLE UNTIL THE SALE DATE. Once the magic minute approaches, the unicorns will unlock all of the reserved tickets.

–              “What do you get when you put root beer in a square glass?”

o             Beer.

Now that you have read all of that, please go grab a ticket: