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Marriott acquires Gaylord

Marriott International, Inc reports that it has entered into an agreement with Gaylord Entertainment Company to acquire the Gaylord brand and hotel management company for $210 million. The transaction is conditioned on Gaylord Entertainment’s shareholders approving the company’s conversion into a real estate investment trust. If approved, Gaylord will continue to own the existing Gaylord hotels and Marriott will assume management of these properties under long-term agreements. The transaction will add 4 hotels and approximately 7,800 rooms to Marriott’s portfolio. Gaylord Hotels include: the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee; the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida near Orlando; the Gaylord Texan on Lake Grapevine near Dallas, Texas, and the Gaylord National on the Potomac in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. Gaylord Hotels are positioned in the group and family leisure segments with approximately 2 million square feet of meeting and event space. They offer multiple opportunities for recreation, shopping, and dining, as well as entertainment, such as the partnership with DreamWorks. Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer, said: “We have long been impressed with the hotels Gaylord has created, as well as their skill in hosting major meetings and events and attracting the family leisure market. This is a tremendous opportunity to advance growth and opportunity for both Marriott International and the Gaylord hotel brand.” He continued: “Gaylord properties will benefit from Marriott’s economies of scale, including lower costs for central reservations, procurement and other services, plus strong sales, revenue management, marketing and distribution systems, while Marriott will be able to capture even a greater share of the major event market. Gaylord’s ‘everything-in-one-place’ properties are very attractive to group meeting planners. As a new REIT owner, Gaylord Entertainment should benefit from improved hotel profitability associated with Marriott’s ability to generate substantial cost savings and incremental demand.” Robert McCarthy, Marriott International chief operations officer, pointed out that: “Both Marriott and Gaylord have well-defined cultures that revolve around putting people first and we expect Gaylord’s ‘STARs’ and Marriott associates will find significant opportunities for career growth in this combination. Gaylord customers will continue to enjoy the outstanding service for which that brand is known.” Go to http://www.marriott.com or visit http://ir.gaylordentertainment.com for further details.

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