Thursday, January 21, 2016

Meeting space, guest rooms part of $120M expansion planned for Gaylord Texan

Nearly nine years after plans were first announced, North Texas’ third-largest hotel will undergo a $120 million expansion.

Nashville real estate investment trust Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. (NYSE: RHP), which owns the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, announced Wednesday plans to add 86,000 square feet of carpeted meeting space and 300 guest rooms to the Grapevine hotel. With the expansion, the Gaylord will have 490,000 square feet of meeting space and 1,811 rooms.

Ryman first announced a proposal to expand the Gaylord in 2007, but shelved the plans in 2008 due to the economic downturn.

The newly-announced project will make the property the second-largest non-gaming convention center hotel in the United States when measured by total self-contained exhibit and meeting space. When measured by number of guest rooms, the Gaylord will surpass the size of North Texas’ second-largest hotel, the Hilton Anatole, which has 1,606 guest rooms.

Expansion of the Gaylord’s meeting space will include adding 30,000 square feet of ballroom, 30,000 square feet of breakout and 26,000 square feet of carpeted pre-function space. Ryman is also planning a $5 million expansion of the hotel’s resort pool complex.

“…We are seeing increased demand for rooms and meeting space across our portfolio. At the same time that we are seeing this increased demand, we are also seeing almost no new competitive supply of this scale under construction for the foreseeable future, outside of the Gaylord Hotels brand,” Colin Reed, Ryman’s chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We view this expansion as a perfect opportunity to cement our unique position in the large group meetings market with a very efficient use of the company’s capital.”

Construction on the project is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year and wrap up in the second quarter of 2018, with the exception of the pool improvements, which will be complete in time for the 2016 summer season.
Cost of the project is estimated at $383,000 per key. Funding will come from Ryman’s revolving credit facility.

An annual $1 million hotel occupancy tax rebate over the next 10 years, for a total of $10 million in incentives, is being extended to the hotel by the city of Grapevine.

“This investment at Gaylord Texan is also a continued investment in Grapevine and its citizens,” Grapevine MayorWilliam Tate said in a statement. “We look forward to its completion and the additional visitors we will welcome to our great city as a result.”

Grapevine’s economic development corporation and the Gaylord did not immediately return calls for additional comment.

To lure large meetings, events and conventions, the Gaylord’s new space will compete with pre-established venues such as the Irving Convention Center and Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, as well as large hotels such as the Anatole and the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Several other convention venues also are under development or construction across North Texas. Verona Villa, a Tuscan-style luxury event center in Frisco, started building in September. The Convention Center at Watters Creek, a 64,500-square-foot convention center and 290 guest-room facility in Allen, is slated to open in 2017.

But with an increase in the number and size of events, Marshall Mills, president and CEO of The Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services, sees plenty of demand for convention space in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Link to full article here

By Korri Kezar for Dallas Business Journal