Indy hotel rooms booked up ahead of Sunday’s Colts vs. Broncos game

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– They’re calling it the “Peyton effect.”

Indianapolis tourism officials say virtually all 9,000 downtown hotel rooms are booked ahead of Sunday night’s game between the Colts and the Broncos.

Lucas Oil Stadium has often been called “The house that Peyton built,” and his return to Lucas Oil is shaping up to be the biggest game played there since Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl.  And hotel managers are once again saying “thank you” to number 18.

“Yeah, we hope he has a great game,” said Phil Ray, manager of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. “Until the Colts pull out a win again in the 4th quarter. He can throw for four touchdowns and 300 yards, but we want to beat him at the end.”

This weekend was already expected to be busy, as the Convention Center is hosting a $20 million Do-It-Best convention.

But Chris Gahl, of Visit Indy, says the “Peyton effect” is clearly boosting the hotel numbers.

“Last year, this same Sunday, our hotels enjoyed a 57 percent occupancy,” Gahl said. “Now, fast forward a year and we’re at a virtual sellout, virtually 100 percent occupancy in the downtown.”

Ray told Fox59 the rooms have been selling out for this weekend ever since the NFL schedule was announced back in April.

The high demand for rooms is pushing prices up as well. A typical room at the Downtown Marriott, which would normally go for $189 is going for $300 this weekend.

While tourism officials didn’t want to speculate on how much money the weekend will generate for the city, Gahl said it will be in the seven figures.

“Because if somebody is spending the night in a hotel, they’re dining out at a restaurant, they’re renting a car and thus, that’s tourism.”