Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, one of the larger meeting properties in the U.S., will gain 400,000 square feet of meeting and convention space and a 400-suite hotel, according to a proposal released February 12 by Gaylord Entertainment Co.
Scheduled for completion in 2010, the expanded facility will have 3,281 hotel rooms and more than 1 million square feet of meeting space.
According to a press release, the expansion is needed because of high demand and lack of space, which was causing the property to turn down almost 2 million room nights. A study by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee states that the expansion will attract 400,000 more conventioneers and create more than 1,300 new jobs. The company already is completing a three-year, $125 million capital improvement campaign for the hotel that includes renovating 2,297 rooms and more.
The proposed expansion will not interfere with the Music City Center Coalition, say Gaylord officials. “Our proposal is not an attempt to negatively impact the proposed downtown convention center,” Colin V. Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Gaylord Entertainment, said in a statement.