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The Courtyard Greatness on the Road Zone at the NFL Experience in Indianapolis yesterday.
We've already told you how Courtyard by Marriott, an official sponsor of the NFL, was turning into a superfan for the Super Bowl XLVI this year but now that the Big Game weekend has officially kicked off we thought we'd check in with Janis Milham, Vice President and Global Brand Manager for Courtyard and get some on-the-scene reports from her.
"It is BUZZING," she said yesterday of the vibe in downtown Indianapolis. "There are people all over the place and it is just the first day. I can only imagine what it would be like on Saturday and Sunday."
Milham was sitting in the sports bar of the JW Marriott but she was about to head over to the NFL Experience at the Indianapolis Convention Center where NFL fans can gawk at the Vince Lombardi Trophy, step into a replica NFL locker room, see how far they can throw a spiral downfield and more. It's also where people can peep at the new Courtyard By Marriott lobbies at the Courtyard Greatness on the Road Zone.
Aside from offering NFL-oriented rewards and experiences for Courtyard guests, some Courtyard hotels would also be holding viewing parties in their lobbies. Courtyard was even holding a contest to send one lucky winner to the Super Bowl.
While that opportunity may have passed for any of you desperate Pat or Giants fans, Courtyard is going Super Bowl crazy all this week.
For starters, Courtyard is giving out an autographed NFL football every day this week on Twitter until the Super Bowl. All you have to do is @CourtyardHotels on Twitter and tweet @courtyardhotels the Twitter pal you’re watching the Super Bowl with (e.g. @USERNAME) and the hashtag #HutHutWin for a chance to win. (Today's football comes from Dhani Jones, a former linebacker for the Bengals. Tomorrow will be Pierre Garcon, wide receiver for the Colts.)
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All week long you've been on the fence about attending Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on February 5, but now you have finally
asked your parents for some extra cash cobbled enough money together to get yourself to the Big Game. Yet the question remains--where do you stay?
There are some options left in Indianapolis but remember, all the good hotels are sold-out so don't expect silk sheets and bubble bath butlers. And actually, a lot of the budget hotels are sold-out too. So you will have to make do with budgety leftovers out in the 'burbs. But the prices are still going to hurt your wallet.
Here's a couple of options with availability. These hotels and their room rates were accurate as of January 27, 2012 but they are definitely subject to change.
So now that we've rounded up some of the not-so-desirable-yet-still-available hotels in the Indianapolis-area for Super Bowl XLVI as well as the team hotels in downtown, let's take a look at one of the Super Bowl packages out there.
This one comes from LivingSocial.com and for $5,500 you will get a ticket to the game, admission to the Maxim tailgate party before the game, four nights at the Hampton Inn Indianapolis East and roundtrip transportation from the hotel to the event.
As always, there's a few things to watch out for. First, the rate that LivingSocial is charging for the package is based on double-occupancy and according to this disclaimer: Double-occupancy purchasers must book their stay with another customer who also buys and books the double-occupancy option. That means it's still going to cost you $5,500 even if you go with a friend. Also, airfare is not included. Living Social also makes the claim that the Hampton Inn stay is based on availability of rooms and that "purchasers may be placed in comparable area accommodations."
We got a question from a reader the other week about the host hotels for the AFC and NFC Champions in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI. While the AFC and NFC champs will be decided next weekend, we got the skinny on where they will stay when they land in Indy.
The AFC champs will hole up at the University Place Conference Center & Hotel while the NFC winners will shack up at the Marriott Downtown. Meanwhile, the city's brand new glistening JW Marriott Hotel will serve as the media center while the Westin Indianapolis will be the NFL Headquarters.
Now, let's take a closer look at the team hotels. The University Hotel is, as its name indicates, a part of Indiana and Purdue Universities. The four-star hotel has modern rooms with 32" flat screen TVs, free internet, desks with ergonomic chairs, crisp duvets and BeeKind toiletries (which are eco-friendly as well.)
Know of a hotel room open that's close to the Lucas Oil Stadium? Let us know!
UPDATE, 1.27.12: It's not too late to get a room for the Super Bowl. Here are some LAST-MINUTE HOTEL OPTIONS.
As with most Super Bowl host cities, the good places are already sold-out. Indeed, the new JW Marriott Indianapolis was sold-out for this Super Bowl before it even opened...last year. And remember when we showed you that every hotel within two miles of the stadium was sold-out a year in advance?
Suffice to say, you will be sleeping on the outskirts of town in a budget brand hotel if you want to see your team take the field. Just be prepared to break out the cash and/or split the cost with three of your friends.
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Over your Green Bay hangover? Good: The booking circus for Super Bowl XLVI—to be played February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis—is underway, with the brand-new J.W. Marriott leading the way. The 1,005-room monster is already sold out for game day, seven months ahead of next season's first snap.
Host venue Lucas Oil Stadium, across the street from the convention center and its many hotels, including the new J-dubs, means fans should have plenty of options within walking distance. But when we plugged game day into our custom hotel rate search gadget to see what's on offer within two miles of the stadium, every hotel was already sold out.
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UPDATE: The hotel has contacted us to explain that it's "33 floors but 34 stories". We're still confused, but that's the official verdict.
The world's largest J.W. Marriott opens today in Indianapolis, diverting a bit of our Super Bowl focus from Dallas toward 2012's host city. Part of a massive, $450-million complex J.W. is just one of many hotels attached to the newly expanded Indiana Convention Center. Alongside it are the Courtyard by Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Indianapolis Downtown and the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, for a total of 2,248 rooms.
Oddly, the hotel can't seem to decide if it's 33 or 34 stories high—both figures are frequently cited—but either way it's the tallest hotel in the state and been dubbed Big Blue by local cabbies departing the surprisingly awesome New Indianapolis Airport.