News for the Hospitality Executive
|NASHVILLE, Tenn. - February 12, 2007 - Gaylord Entertainment
Company (NYSE: GET) today announced a proposed $400 million expansion of
its Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center that will add over 400,000
square feet of convention and meeting space and a new 400 room, luxury
all-suite hotel adjacent to its current facility. With a proposed completion
as early as 2010, Gaylord Opryland will offer convention customers and
meeting planners a total of 3,281 hotel rooms and over 1 million square
feet of convention and meeting space.
“Gaylord Hotels has built a strong employee-based service culture that is recognized by our customers as being the best in our industry. Gaylord Opryland, our flagship hotel, operates at the highest level of occupancy in our system and in 2006, because of our high demand and lack of space, we turned down almost 2 million room nights from customers seeking an all under one roof experience,” said Colin V. Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Gaylord Entertainment.
“Over the past several years, Gaylord Opryland has re-emerged as one of the top five convention properties in the country. We believe that this expansion is not only necessary but will enable us to take the property to a new level of excellence,” said Reed.
Gaylord Opryland attracts 1.5 million visitors to Nashville annually,
many of whom stay at non-Gaylord hotels in the city. According to an economic
study conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the
University of Tennessee, the completed expansion will bring an additional
400,000 convention attendees and increase annual income in the Nashville
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) by $165.1 million and generate more
than 1,300 new jobs. Additionally, the study finds that annual state and
local tax revenue will increase from $64.0 million to $98.6 million due
to the proposed expansion.
“We have a long-standing commitment to the Nashville community. We believe in this market and know that as our Company grows, Nashville will continue its emergence as one of the most attractive convention and tourist destinations in the country,” said Reed.
To help fund the expansion, Gaylord will seek approval from metropolitan Nashville and the State of Tennessee for the issuance of an $80 million tax-exempt bond, supported entirely from future incremental tax revenues generated by Gaylord Opryland. The plan also includes the creation of a tourist development zone.
“This incentive is necessary to the project financially in order for Gaylord to invest $320 million in private capital,” said Reed. “We have gone to great lengths to propose a financing structure for this project that is based entirely on the future success of the property, above and beyond the tax revenue that is already generated for the community by Gaylord Opryland. Our plan does not put Metro Nashville or the State’s existing tax reserves at risk and will not be a burden to the City’s taxpayers.”
The Company recently reached an understanding with the Music City Center Coalition (MCC). “Our proposal is not an attempt to negatively impact the proposed downtown convention center. In fact, we have coordinated our efforts with the Music City Center leaders in order to structure financing that minimally affects the MCC’s current funding plan,” said Reed.
The proposed Gaylord Opryland expansion is separate from the Company’s plans to develop 105 acres of property in the Pennington Bend area across Briley Parkway from its hotel property. At this time, Gaylord has not made any decisions with regards to the development of the Pennington Bend property.
The Gaylord Opryland expansion would be in addition to the three-year $125 million capital improvement campaign for the hotel. The campaign concludes in 2007 and includes the renovation of 2,297 rooms, the addition of Relache Spa, an indoor pool and exercise facility, and new entertainment and dining venues. The three-year capital campaign combined with today’s proposal would bring Gaylord’s total capital investment in Nashville to nearly $450 million over a five-year period.
About Gaylord Entertainment
|Also See:||The Gaylord Texan, D-FW Area's Third-largest Hotel and Second-largest Convention Center, Lived Up to its Promises After First Year of Operations / March 2005|
|Gaylord Entertainment Co. Reports a Net Loss of $33.9 million for the full year 2005; Plans 500-Room Expansion of Gaylord National / February 2006|
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