Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, already one of the larger meeting properties in the U.S., will get 400,000 square feet of new meeting and convention space and an adjacent new 400-room all-suite hotel, according to a proposal released Feb. 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 have to turn down almost 2 million room nights. An economic study, conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, states that the expansion will attract 400,000 more conventioneers and will 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 adding a new spa, pool, exercise facility, and entertainment and dining venues.
The expanded property won’t 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. “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.”