Big news in the international hotel scene: Marriott International has entered into an agreement with Gaylord Entertainment Company to acquire the Gaylord brand and hotel management company for $210 million. The transaction is conditioned on Gaylord Entertainment’s shareholders approving the company’s conversion into a real estate investment trust. If approved, Gaylord will continue to own the existing Gaylord hotels and Marriott will assume management of these properties under long-term agreements. The transaction will add four hotels and approximately 7,800 rooms to Marriott’s portfolio.
The hotels will include include Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee; Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida near Orlando; Gaylord Texan on Lake Grapevine near Dallas, Texas, and Gaylord National on the Potomac in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. The Gaylord name will remain in place, and become one of Marriott's brands.
“We have long been impressed with the hotels Gaylord has created, as well as their skill in hosting major meetings and events and attracting the family leisure market,” Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Gaylord properties will benefit from Marriott’s economies of scale, including lower costs for central reservations, procurement and other services, plus strong sales, revenue management, marketing and distribution systems, while Marriott will be able to capture even a greater share of the major event market.”
Sorenson also believes that there will be more Gaylords developed in the future. "The definition of this brand…makes it a longer-term process than other brands," he said in a conference call with media. "These are big boxes with significant function space. Those are projects which are hard to get off the ground," he added, noting that hotels of that size can take years to develop.