NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 24, 2018 — Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE:RHP), a lodging real estate investment trust ("REIT") specializing in group-oriented, destination hotel assets in urban and resort markets, today announced plans for a $150 million expansion of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Fla.
The planned expansion will add 303 guest rooms to the resort’s current 1,416 room inventory and 90,000 square feet of carpeted meeting and pre-function space. Once complete, the planned expansion will bring the total convention, meeting and pre-function space at Gaylord Palms to approximately 490,000 square feet.
The meeting space addition includes a new 30,000-square-foot ballroom, 30,000 square feet of breakout space and approximately 30,000 square feet of carpeted pre-function space. In addition, the planned expansion will include a new multi-level parking structure and an expansion to the property’s resort pool that will include a new lazy river feature and a new events lawn.
Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryman Hospitality Properties, said, “Gaylord Palms is ideally positioned in one of the most attractive convention and leisure destinations in the country. Much like our recently-completed Gaylord Texan expansion, we believe this expansion will allow us to meet the increasing demand we are seeing from large group customers seeking additional high-quality meeting space in a way that takes full advantage of our existing resort infrastructure.”
Construction on the multi-story parking structure is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018. Construction on the meeting space, rooms expansion and pool enhancements is expected to begin following the completion of the parking structure in the spring of 2019. The planned expansion is expected be completed during the spring of 2021.
The project will be funded with cash on hand and borrowings under the Company’s revolving credit facility. In connection with the project, Osceola County has agreed to extend and modify the terms of the existing Restated Marketing Agreement, put into place with the Company in October of 2003, and to reimburse a portion of the project cost with proceeds of a 1 percent hotel tax special assessment, beginning July of 2018 and continuing for 30 years.
Reed continued, “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with the leadership of Osceola County, which has given our Company the confidence to continue our investment in this market. We would like to thank the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners for their support of this expansion, and we look forward to seeing this project take shape in the years ahead.”