Gaylord Opryland Closed by Flooding in Nashville

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Nashville, TN – The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center was closed indefinitely this week due to flooding caused when the Cumberland River breached its levees and overflowed its banks.

Gaylord said in a statement that it was “likely” the hotel would be closed for several months. Company representatives were contacting organizers of meetings scheduled at the resort for the next 90 days out, and said efforts would be made to relocate their events to other Gaylord properties if necessary. By the end of the week Gaylord expects to have a more complete assessment of the damage and how long the venue might be closed.

Guests were evacuated from Gaylord Opryland late on May 2. Many spent the night in an emergency shelter. Torrential rains over the weekend caused widespread flooding in the Nashville area, including the city’s downtown.

The situation prompted Gaylord Entertainment to withdraw the financial guidance portion of its First Quarter Earnings Report issued May 3. “It is likely that financial results for Gaylord Opryland and thus Gaylord Entertainment will be impacted for the next two quarters,” Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Gaylord Entertainment, said in the report. “While it is too early to determine how long the hotel will be closed, it is reasonable to conclude that the hotel will likely be closed for several months.”

The flood ruined what had been a solid quarter for Gaylord. The company reported its earnings were up 2.1% to $216.7 million, and noted that advance group bookings had increased and were “roughly in line with historical pre-recession levels.”

Gaylord Opryland was built in 1977 and has 2,881 rooms, 263,000 square feet of exhibit space and 600,000 square feet of meeting space, the most of the company’s four venues.

Reach Colin Reed at (615) 316-6000 or creed@gaylordentertainment.com; Jamie Murdock, vice president, national accounts, at (615) 889-1000 or jmurdock@gaylordhotels.com