Company: Gaylord Entertainment, Nashville, TN
Company Description: Gaylord Entertainment is a leading hospitality and entertainment company. Industry-leading brands include Gaylord Hotels, a leader in the meeting and resort hotels industry and the Grand Ole Opry, the legendary music showcase. Our entertainment brands and properties include the Radisson Hotel Opryland, Ryman Auditorium, General Jackson Showboat, Gaylord Springs Golf , Wildhorse Saloon, and WSM-AM.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Hospitality & Leisure
Nomination Title: Gaylord Entertainment Company
Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2011 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
After a rough 2010 with US flooding and weak tourism, 2011 saw increases across the board. Deals with Dollywood, expansion in new locations, and the DreamWorks Experience all contributed positive results.
• Gaylord Entertainment's hotels booked fewer group rooms in the fourth quarter of 2011 - but at higher rates. Gaylord had previously said it would get more aggressive about rates at high-demand times, and the strategy appears to be working.
• Gaylord Entertainment produced its highest level of cash flow ever in 2011 due to record-setting cash flow performances at Gaylord Opryland and Gaylord Texan. Gaylord Palms, despite having nearly 18,000 room nights out of service in the fourth quarter for renovation, drove solid growth in revenue on an occupied room night basis.
• “The fourth quarter also witnessed the introduction of the 'DreamWorks Experience' holiday offerings in our hotels. Given that this was the initial launch of the program, we were encouraged by the results. The DreamWorks offerings generated approximately $7 million in incremental revenue for our hotels across November and December.
• On June 21, 2011, the Company announced its plans to develop a resort and convention hotel in Aurora, Colorado, contingent on the approval of tax incentives for the project under the State of Colorado’s Regional Tourism Act, as well as various other contingencies.
One of the contingencies is to allow local Colorado schools to hold proms in the new hotel.
• On January 19, 2012, the Company entered into a memorandum of understanding for a 50/50 joint venture with the Dollywood Company to develop a family entertainment zone adjacent to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on land that the Company currently owns. Phase one of the project is a yet unnamed approximately $50 million water and snow park, which we believe will be the first of its kind in the U.S. An early 2013 groundbreaking date is expected with the park opening slated for summer 2014.
• Gaylord Entertainment’s planned resort and convention hotel in Mesa, Arizona remains in the early stages of planning, and specific details of the property and budget have not yet been determined.
CEO Reed, “The strong performance of Gaylord Opryland and Gaylord Texan coupled with the group room nights we already have on the books at Gaylord National and the renovations and upgrades we’re making at Gaylord Palms give us confidence heading into 2012. We are well-positioned as it relates to advance group bookings for 2012 and are optimistic about our leisure performance in 2012. This will be the first full year of our DreamWorks Experience offering at each of our properties, the Paradise Springs resort pool at Gaylord Texan, and our repositioned product in Orlando.
“We continue to believe that the successful initiatives we have put in place to manage costs will help drive solid margin performance, and that the strengthening we have seen in group behavior as it relates to outside-the-room spending will create additional revenue and profitability opportunities for us in 2012.
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Gaylord wins tax breaks by saying yes to prom - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_18933086#ixzz1uxoyo7fm
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated organization:
Colin V. Reed became president and chief executive officer of Gaylord Entertainment Company in May 2001. Reed was named in August 2004 by the company's board of directors as chairman and added those responsibilities in May 2005. Since joining Gaylord Entertainment, Reed has successfully led the company's strategic reorganization as a hospitality and entertainment corporation through its Gaylord Hotels and Grand Ole Opry brands. In that time, he has led the company's efforts to divest more than $300 million in non-core assets, strengthened its balance sheet and repositioned Gaylord Entertainment for future growth.