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Gaylord Entertainment
Type Public
Industry Mass media
Founded March 10, 2017
Founders Quenya McField
Headquarters Easley, South Carolina
Area served Worldwide
Key people Quenya McField

(Chairman and CEO)

Products Productions and Movie
Revenue US$ 29.795 billion (2013)

US$ 28.729 billion (2012)

Operating income US$ 6.605 billion (2013)

US$ 5.918 billion (2012)

Net income US$ 3.691 billion (2013)

US$ 2.925 billion (2012)

Total assets US$ 67.994 billion (2013)

US$ 68.089 billion (2012)

Total equity US$ 29.904 billion (2013)

US$ 29.797 billion (2012)

Number of employees 26,000 (Dec 2013)[3]
Subsidiaries Gaylord Television
Gaylord Pictures
Gaylord Records
Divisions Sugarco
Owner Independent

Gaylord Entertainment is a entertainment, and media company.


Gaylord Entertainment came into existence after Edward Gaylord was persuaded by his wife, Thelma, to purchase the Opryland USA properties that had been put up for sale by American General Insurance. The Gaylords took the Opryland businesses, merged them with Gaylord Broadcasting (their existing television station and syndicated program division) and created Opryland USA, Inc. Opryland USA, Inc. became the Gaylord Entertainment Company when the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in the early 1990s. The company flourished as the leader in the "country lifestyle" business under the leadership of E.W. "Bud" Wendell until he retired in 1997.

The Opryland Lodging Group was formed with the opening of the 600 room Opryland Hotel (now named Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center) in November 1977. In addition to catering to guests from the Opryland USA Themepark and Grand Ole Opry, the hotel's first general manager, Jack Vaughn, sought to cater to conventions, a service that Nashville tourism had neglected until then. The hospitality group was a modest, but highly successful division of the Opryland USA properties of Gaylord Entertainment from the hotel's opening through the 1996 expansion of the hotel's almost 3,000 rooms and subsequent announcement of future Opryland Hotels in Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C..

In 1997, in partnership with the Nashville Predators (NHL) hockey team (of which Gaylord Entertainment owned a minority share), the company purchased the naming rights to Nashville's new downtown arena, which became known as the Gaylord Entertainment Center. The agreement − originally signed for 20 years at a cost of $80 million − was canceled in 2005, but the name remained on the arena until 2007. Gaylord also divested its ownership share of the franchise.

New management in the early 2000s believed that Gaylord Entertainment's future lie solely in the management of the hospitality arm of the company. With the exception of the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, General Jackson Showboat, Wildhorse Saloon, and WSM radio in Nashville, all non-hotel businesses were abandoned or sold.

The hotels division was rebranded as "Gaylord Hotels" in 2000, with the company positioning it as a premium brand. The three previously-announced additional hotels were built. Three other hotels were planned for the areas of San Diego, Phoenix and Denver but were never built. Two other hotel properties were announced as acquisitions; however those were abandoned as well. Ten years after stating that the company's future was in the hospitality and convention business, the same management team reversed course, stating the company could not succeed in managing its hotels.

The company sold the Gaylord Hotels brand to Marriott International in the spring of 2012, completing its transition from a media conglomerate that once owned cable networks, theme parks, television and radio stations, restaurants, giant retail chains, newspapers, sports teams, Internet portals, record companies, as well as film, television, and animation studios into a simple real estate holding company. As a result of the sale, the company lost the rights to use the Gaylord name, resulting in the change to Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.

In the 1990s, Gaylord Entertainment was Tennessee's second largest private employer; as of 2015, Ryman Hospitality now employs fewer than 100 full-time workers