Marriott’s purchase last week of the Gaylord brand and management contracts for Gaylord’s four massive convention hotels could hold implications for meeting planners who have upcoming meetings at Gaylord properties.
Planners’ concerns surfaced in postings on the Facebook page of Joan Eisenstodt, principal strategist with Eisenstodt Associates in Washington, D.C.
Implications of management change
Eisenstodt initiated the discussion when she wrote that she is “curious to know how many Gaylord contracted groups were told about Marriott management of Gaylord hotels.”
When another planner commented that it might affect “change in management clauses,” Eisenstodt noted that “a change in management clause is not in most contracts and finding another hotel that would be big enough to accommodate (a group) might be difficult.”
Other planners posted comments about their past experiences working with Gaylord, ranging from very positive to very negative.
Eisenstodt herself had praise for Gaylord, including its corporate attorney. “Working with Gaylord on smart and reasonable contracts has been far easier than with Marriott,” she said.
Details of the deal
Marriott paid $210 million to acquire the Gaylord brand and long-term management agreements for its four hotels – Gaylord Opryland in Nashville; Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla.; Gaylord Texan near Dallas; and Gaylord National in National Harbor, Md.
The four properties house about 2 million square feet of meeting and event space, as well as multiple options for recreation, shopping, dining and entertainment.
If approved, the transaction would add about 7,800 rooms to Marriott’s portfolio; Gaylord would continue to own the existing Gaylord hotels.
The transaction is conditioned on Gaylord shareholders approving Gaylord’s reorganizing itself as a real estate investment trust (REIT), effective January 1, 2013.
Gaylord said it will not proceed with an Aurora, Colo., hotel and convention center construction project “in the form it previously anticipated.”