Is Nashville Building Too Many Hotels? Not Yet, Says Opryland Owner

The Omni was completed earlier this year as the main convention hotel for the new Music City Center. Completion of the MCC is driving much of the new hotel construction downtown. Credit: rexhammock via Flickr

The Omni was completed earlier this year as the main convention hotel for the new Music City Center. Completion of the MCC is driving much of the new hotel construction downtown. Credit: rexhammock via Flickr

A hotel building binge will add more than 2,000 rooms in downtown Nashville over the next few years. But the biggest owner of rooms in town doesn’t seem too worried about the competition.

The Nashville market has been called “smoking hot” by Tennessee Hospitality Association chief Greg Adkins. An 800-room Omni just opened. Hyatt and Marriott highrises are in the works. More modest projects on West End and the Gulch are nearing completion.

Colin Reed is CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, which owns Opryland and its  2,800 rooms. It’s the largest hotel in the country outside of Disney and Vegas. And Reed doesn’t anticipate having any more trouble filling all those rooms. He sees a rising tide.

“There may be a point in time – two, three, four years from now, whatever – that we’ve put too much supply in the market and the market will rebalance itself. But right now we’re creating a lot of demand, and that is good.”

The hotel industry has been criticized for overbuilding in the good times only to regret it during a slowdown.

Nationally, tourism is up. But according to Smith Travel Research, Nashville is doing even better. Occupancy rates hit 70 percent in September. Average cost per room topped $100 a night.

From Smith Travel for the month of September:

  • Occupancy rates are up 5.0% to 70.1% (national average is +1.2% to 60.5%)
  • Average daily rate is up 7.0% to $102.93 National average is +3.4% to $97.68);
  • Revenue per available room is up 12.4% to $72.18 (national average is +4.7% to $59.12)
Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.