The owner of Gaylord hotels says its feeling the effects of deep federal spending cuts, especially in the Washington DC area. Nashville’s Ryman Hospitality Group owns Gaylord National, a 2000 room resort hotel on the Potomac River in Maryland.
In the past, the hotel hosted big meetings for government agencies like NASA and the National Institutes of Health. But with sequestration in effect, many have scrapped their plans for this year.
“As of the end of April of this year, we only had 22,000 total government room nights left on the books for all of Gaylord hotels for the rest of ’13,” Ryman CEO Colin Reed said on an earnings call today. That compares to 54,000 room nights at the same time last year. Reed says even fewer are booked for all of 2014.
Other hotel chains are seeing similar declines in the DC area, says The Washington Post:
“The Washington region has continued to bear the brunt of federal government cutbacks, particularly in Bethesda, Pentagon City and Crystal City, even as hotels outside the region see gains in business and leisure travel.”
“In the past several months, expectations for pretty much all major markets have improved,” said Patrick Scholes, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in New York. “Except for D.C. — it’s the one market where [projections] have softened because of sequestration.”
Overall, Ryman Hospitality says its income slipped seven percent in the first quarter of this year, to $222 million. The company recently converted to a real estate investment trust. While it still owns all of its hotels and resorts, Marriott now handles their day to day operation.