I have been involved with convention fandom since 1989. That’s nearly 30 years of going to conventions as well as running them. The biggest I ever attended was DragonCon and I continued my patronage of that convention until I started having multiple kids and focusing on that part of my life. Through those years, I have seen the princes gradually go up but not overly expensive. At the start, I think I paid $30 to go to Dragon and in the early 2000s, I was paying $45 or so. But now, the prices are insane.
At the same time, that convention I was involved in raised its prices to nearly twice the price I set it at. My goal was to keep it inexpensive and worth the price of admission. However, that went out the window after they pushed me out. When they asked my advice, I told them they need to drop the prices. The committee they elected into place immediately shot that down because other local cons had hire prices. That makes no sense. Don’t you want to lower your prices if the competition is higher? Of course, we are dealing with people that have no clue about the free market and how it works.
But in reality, I think there is a more sinister and conspiratorial reason for it. If I want to attend DragonCon now, it’s going to cost me $300 to $400 to bring all 5 of us. And That’s way outside the budget of a family. And you look at the attendees of the DragonCon in the past, they were all either single people or couples with no children – all of whom resent the presence of families and children at “their” event. All of whom resent the push to make things like Dragon*Con family-friendly.
I think that’s the main push to raise all the prices. To price out the families. Sadly, that’s exactly what they are doing.