Julie Howell remembers working 17 to 19 hours a day during last year’s Super Bowl week, leaving the JW Marriott Indianapolis each night exhausted, but walking outside to see a sight that refueled her energy.
“As soon as I went outside to walk to my parking spot, I would see people lined up across the street of the hotel taking photos of the Lombardi trophy on the side of the building,” said Howell, administrative sales and marketing manager. “It just made you excited that everyone was looking at your hotel from all over the world. It made you excited to come back the next day.”
This year’s Super Bowl will be a little different for the hotel because New Orleans will host the game and its festivities. But last year when the New York Giants played against the New England Patriots, Indianapolis was abuzz with Hoosier Hospitality as the city played host to the event for the first time.
But the associates of the hotel weren’t the only ones who had prepped for the big week. Amy McNeely, a senior event manager, remembers a Lego sculpture made by someone in Indiana for display in the hotel that took more than three years and more than 25,000 Legos to complete.
“It was put on display right outside the NFL Media Headquarters so that all the fans could appreciate it,” she said.
Calvin Carie was an event concierge during the Super Bowl and re
members escorting 150 VIPs down two floors and outside to three waiting busses, all the while blocking traffic so the group could get to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a Pacers game the Satur
day night before the Super Bowl.
“It was all executed in under 10 minutes!” he said.
Some of the hotel’s special guests had some special requests. Michael Nickell, a maintenance supervisor at the hotel, remembers helping build a cooktop unit built by the hotel’s engineering department at the request of a celebrity guest. The cooktop was used in the celebrity’s suite to meet their dietary needs.
esides the giant Lombardi Trophy on the JW Marriott Indianapolis, was the incredibly warm wPerhaps the thing that people remember most about the Super Bowl, b
eather. Anne Dunlavy, the director of sales and marketing for the hotel, remember
s standing at the door of the hotel on Super Bowl Sunday, making sure only hotel guests were entering the hotel. While standing outside, she had a guest coming out in a long sleeve t-shirt and shorts to go for a run along the canal.
“I turned to the guest and said, ‘‘Can you believe that it is February in Indianapolis and you are wearing shorts to run outside?’ The guest responded, ‘I can’t even believe I packed them!’“