Big Group Bookings Are Down, And Gaylord Hotels Is Left Wondering Why

Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is considered the flagship of the Gaylord brand, which includes four such hotels now run by Marriott International. Credit: Gaylord

Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is considered the flagship of the Gaylord brand, which includes four such hotels now run by Marriott International. Credit: Gaylord

The owner of Gaylord Hotels is looking for big groups — groups willing to book more than 1,000 rooms at a time. Ryman Hospitality says that segment of the market is soft right now, and is one of the reasons the company saw revenue and profits decrease in the second quarter, compared to a year ago.

Ryman Hospitality CEO Colin Reed says the sequester is causing government reservations to go down, but much more seems afoot.  Conventioneers are arriving later and leaving earlier.  And meeting planners are struggling to accurately estimate attendance.

We are now in the June/July attrition rates are sort of running, sort of, at where we were running in the later part of  2008, when the world was falling apart. And that is a little troubling obviously.

Reed says it has not been a smooth transition to having Marriott run the day-to-day operations of its hotels.  He says Marriott has agreed to hire more salespeople to focus on attracting large groups.

In the meantime, Reed says the company is working to cuts costs, including leasing space at the company’s headquarters off Briley Parkway.

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