Ryman Hospitality Properties

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Ryman Hospitality Properties
TypePublic (NYSERHP)
Founder(s)Edward Gaylord
HeadquartersNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Key peopleColin Reed (CEO)
RevenueIncrease US$747,723,000 (2007)
Operating incomeDecrease US$43,182,000 (2007)
Net incomeIncrease US$111,911,000 (2007)
Total assetsDecrease US$2,336,867,000 (2007)
Total equityIncrease US$941,492,000 (2007)
SubsidiariesGrand Ole Opry
  (Redirected from Gaylord Entertainment Company)
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Ryman Hospitality Properties
TypePublic (NYSERHP)
Founder(s)Edward Gaylord
HeadquartersNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Key peopleColin Reed (CEO)
RevenueIncrease US$747,723,000 (2007)
Operating incomeDecrease US$43,182,000 (2007)
Net incomeIncrease US$111,911,000 (2007)
Total assetsDecrease US$2,336,867,000 (2007)
Total equityIncrease US$941,492,000 (2007)
SubsidiariesGrand Ole Opry

Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSERHP) is a hotel, resort, entertainment, and media company that was accumulated by Edward Gaylord. It was previously a subsidiary of the Oklahoma City-based Oklahoma Publishing Company, which is owned by the Gaylord family and publishes the Daily Oklahoman newspaper. Until 2012, the company was known as Gaylord Entertainment Company, and earlier as Gaylord Broadcasting Company. The company is undergoing a reclassification into a real estate investment trust, to be effective January 1, 2013.


Corporate logo as Gaylord Entertainment Company, 2001-2012

Gaylord Entertainment came into existence after Edward Gaylord was persuaded by his wife, Thelma, to purchase the Opryland USA properties that had been put up for sale by American General Insurance. The Gaylords took the Opryland businesses and merged them into Gaylord Broadcasting, their existing television station and syndicated program division. Gaylord Broadcasting became the Gaylord Entertainment Company when the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in the early 1990s. The company flourished as the leader in the "country lifestyle" business under the leadership of E.W. "Bud" Wendell until he retired in 1997.

The Opryland Lodging Group was formed with the opening of the 600 room Opryland Hotel (now named Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center) in November 1977. In addition to catering to guests from the Opryland USA Themepark and Grand Ole Opry, the hotel's first general manager, Jack Vaughn, sought to cater to conventions, a service that Nashville tourism had neglected until then. The hospitality group was a modest, but highly successful division of the Opryland USA properties of Gaylord Entertainment from the hotel's opening through the 1996 expansion of the hotel's almost 3,000 rooms and subsequent announcement of a future Opryland Hotels in Florida, Texas and Washington D.C..

New management in the early 2000s believed that Gaylord Entertainment's future lie solely in the management of the hospitality arm of the company. With the exception of the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, General Jackson Showboat, Wildhorse Saloon, and WSM radio in Nashville, all non-hotel businesses were abandoned or sold. The three previously announced additional hotels were built. Three other hotels were planned for the areas of San Diego, Phoenix and Denver but were never built. Two other hotel properties were announced as acquisitions; however those projects were abandoned as well. Ten years after stating that the company's future was in the hospitality and convention business, the same management team reversed course, stating the company could not succeed in managing its hotels.

The company sold the hotels brand to Marriott International in the spring of 2012, completing its transition from a media conglomerate that once owned cable networks, theme parks, television and radio stations, restaurants, giant retail chains, newspapers, sports teams, Internet portals, record companies and film studios into a simple real estate holding company. The once second largest private employer in Tennessee now employs fewer than 100.

Conversion to Real Estate[edit]

In May 2012, Marriott International agreed to purchase the Gaylord Hotels division and the rights to manage Gaylord's four hotels, the General Jackson Showboat, the Wildhorse Saloon, and Gaylord Springs Golf Links for $210 million in cash. The company changed its name from Gaylord Entertainment to Ryman Hospitality Properties when the deal was finalized in October.[1] According to Chairman and CEO Colin Reed, Ryman will continue to operate and manage the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and WSM radio for the time being, stating that they are "iconic" assets.[2] The conversion cost more than 300 corporate employees their jobs with the company. The purchase came just as the poison pill put forth by the board of directors expired, opening the company up for a hostile takeover.

Robert Rowling, the Texas billionaire who owns TRT Holdings, bought 14 percent of Gaylord stock in early 2008.[3] Later that year, Gaylord rejected Rowling's bid to increase TRT's stake to 30 percent, saying there would be no benefit to the company and also noting TRT's potential conflict of interest, since TRT owns the Omni Hotel chain, which competes with Gaylord for conference and convention business.[4] In management's effort to see the Marriott plan to succeed, the company paid $185 million on August 7, 2012 for almost half of the shares owned by billionaire Robert Rowling and launched an offering to help him dispose of his remaining 5.6 million shares. Rowling had previously opposed the Marriott purchase saying, "The company can go on a diet without having surgery. We would rather see Gaylord maintain the status quo and implement the savings without permanently impairing the value of the Gaylord Properties by encumbering them with the onerous, long term Marriott Agreement."


Facilities owned and operated by Ryman Hospitality Properties include:

Facilities owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties, but managed by Marriott International, include:

Previously owned properties include:

In 1999, Gaylord Entertainment purchased the naming rights to the major downtown arena in Nashville (home of the Nashville Predators). The agreement was terminated in 2005, but the Gaylord Entertainment Center name remained on the building until March 16, 2007. The facility is now known as Bridgestone Arena.

Gaylord Entertainment also produced the long-running comedy/variety series Hee Haw (initially out of the studios of WTVF in Nashville) and distributed the program over their television stations and in syndication.

Broadcast properties[edit]

Ryman Hospitaity's only present broadcast property, as noted above, is WSM (650 AM) in Nashville, a heritage country music station with a 50,000-watt clear-channel signal. Oklahoma Publishing acquired WSM as part of its purchase of the Grand Ole Opry and associated businesses in 1983.[5]

Ryman, while it was a subsidiary of Oklahoma Publishing, owned several television and radio stations. The broadcasting subsidiary was known as the WKY Television System, named after its Oklahoma City flagship stations, until 1975 when it took on the Gaylord Broadcasting Company name.[6] Below are charts of stations formerly owned by Ryman's predecessor companies.

Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.

Note: ** indicates a station built and/or signed-on by Oklahoma Publishing/Gaylord Broadcasting.


AM StationsFM Stations
City of license/MarketStationYears ownedCurrent ownership
(now KNML)
1974–1980owned by Cumulus Media
(now KZRR)
1976–1980owned by Clear Channel Communications
Oklahoma CityWKY–9301928–2002owned by Cumulus Media
WKY-FM–98.91947–1952defunct, went silent in 1952
frequency now used by KYIS
Portland, OregonKYTE–970
(now KUFO)
1977–1983owned by Alpha Broadcasting
(now KXL-FM)
1977–1983owned by Alpha Broadcasting
NashvilleWSM-FM–95.51983–2003owned by Cumulus Media


City of license/MarketStationChannel
Years ownedCurrent affiliation/Owner
Montgomery - Selma, ALWSFA12 (12)1955–1959NBC affiliate owned by Raycom Media
(now KMGH-TV)
7 (7)1953–1954ABC affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Tampa - St. PetersburgWTVT13 (12)1956–1987Fox owned-and-operated (O&O)
New OrleansWVUE8 (28)1977–1987Fox affiliate owned by Louisiana Media Company
Lorain - ClevelandWUAB43 (28)1977–1989MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Raycom Media
Oklahoma CityWKY-TV**
(now KFOR-TV)
4 (27)1949–1976NBC affiliate owned by Local TV
Fort Worth - DallasKTVT11 (19)1971–1999CBS owned-and-operated (O&O)
(now KIAH)
39 (38)1967–1995CW affiliate owned by Tribune Company
Tacoma - SeattleKSTW11 (11)1974–1997CW affiliate owned by CBS Television Stations
MilwaukeeWVTV18 (18)1966–1996CW affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group


  1. ^ "Marriott Completes Acquisition Of Gaylord Hotels Brand And Hotel Management Company". PRnewswire.com. October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ De Lombaerde, Geert (September 25, 2012). "Reformed Gaylord REIT to take Ryman name". Nashville Post. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ [1],"Robert Rowling is the billionaire Dallas doesn't know", August 24, 2008, accessed August 29, 2010
  4. ^ [2]|"Gaylord rejects Omni owner's proposal", December 3, 2008, accessed August 29, 2010
  5. ^ "Opryland changes hands." Broadcasting, July 11, 1983, pg. 24. [3]
  6. ^ "By a new name." Broadcasting, July 7, 1975, pg. 30. [4]

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