Ashanti Blaize, NBCDFW
The Omni Mandalay in Irving is the new home of the NFC Champions -- at least while they're at the big game.
Standing 28 stories high, with 421 rooms and suites, the Omni Mandalay in Irving is the new home of the Packers -- at least while they're at the big game.
“For all intents and purposes, they bought the hotel,” said Omni Mandalay General Manager, Andrew Casperson. “They have all the meeting space, they have all the hotel rooms. It really is their hotel.”
From the Concierge to the hotel bartenders, the Omni team is getting ready for their own Super Bowl.
“We have countdown clocks that actually talk up to the Sunday, but our Super Bowl is going to start Monday,” said Casperson.
All that pre-game prep work will be put to the test in less than two weeks.
“Just a little bit busier,” said concierge Aida Jobe. “A little more high profile, but that’s okay, we’re ready for it.”
The Packers will use every inch of space in the Omni Mandalay, starting with their 5000 square foot ballroom.
“I mean this is enough space in here that whether it's defense or offense or someone else, you could actually run plays in here and it would be pretty fun,” said Casperson.
The lobby lounge just past the entrance will also be put to good use.
“We’re going to build two new stages,” said Casperson. “So we’re going to have entertainment going all the time, so whether it’s a DJ or a two-piece acoustical set, or some type of band or light jazz or something just to create an atmosphere.”
Of course, all the rooms and suites will be occupied as well. Players, coaches, team staff and their families are expected to fill the hotel. One of the best rooms in the house is the Governor’s suite.
“This suite is a little under 2000 square feet,” said Casperson. “So more than enough room to get comfortable while you’re staying with us.”
Casperson says that suite may go to a team owner or executive of the team. The room has everything from a marble fireplace and dining area for two, to flat screen televisions and a balcony with views of Irving.
The players will most likely stay in a king suite —- a little smaller than the Governor’s, but just as luxurious. The concierge, though, will make sure there’s plenty for them to do outside the rooms in North Texas.
“Send them down to the West End, see the JFK memorial, check out Dealey Plaza,” said Jobe. “The arts district, of course, is fabulous as well, so make sure they check that out too. Maybe head over to Fort Worth on the down low. We don’t want to start anything.”
For the Omni Mandalay staff, this is the chance of a lifetime; to serve up a little North Texas hospitality.
“Its going to be something I won’t forget and that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life,” said hotel bartender Cary Handy.
Their hope is the NFC Champions won’t ever forget North Texas.
“Just give them a real good taste of Texas so that they come back for more,” said Jobe.
The Omni Mandalay expects to see Packers representatives in their hotel by Monday. The hotel has actually called in extra staff from Omni’s across the country to make sure everything is ready when the team finally arrives. The Omni Mandalay will be open to the public on the Thursday and Friday before Super Bowl Sunday, but only the team, staff and their families will be allowed inside that Saturday and Sunday of the Super Bowl.