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|Video of Christmas at the Opryland Hotel
|Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, formerly known as Opryland Hotel, is a large hotel and convention center
located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is owned by Gaylord Hotels, a division of Ryman Hospitality Properties (formerly known
as Gaylord Entertainment Company), and operated by Marriott International. It is one of the largest hotels in the world.
The original Opryland Hotel opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1977, on land adjacent to the former Opryland USA
amusement park. The hotel was originally built to support the Grand Ole Opry, a Nashville country music institution.
The hotel at that time had 580 guest rooms and a ballroom. The Magnolia Lobby was designed to resemble
a grand Southern mansion with an impressive staircase and a Tiffany-style chandelier.
In 1983-84 the hotel was expanded, adding over 400 guest rooms and incorporating facilities to meet the demands
of the corporate meeting and convention market. A Garden Conservatory resembling a Victorian garden was added.
This atrium maintained a constant temperature of 71 degrees and housed more than 10,000 plants.
In 1988, 2 acres and 797 guest rooms were added to the hotel. The Cascades Atrium was built, including
a 3.5-story waterfall and more than 8,000 tropical plants. The Cascades Lobby expanded to
24 check-in stations that could check in 580 guests per hour when necessary.
A 4.5-acre expansion completed in 1996 doubled the size of the resort, adding approximately 1,000 guest rooms,
10 meeting rooms, a 289,000-square-foot exhibit hall and a 57,000-square-foot ballroom. The trademark feature
of this addition was the Cajun-themed Delta Atrium, which incorporated a quarter-mile-long indoor river. Flatboats were
introduced to carry guests along the river, and past a water feature that included jets which were choreographed to music.
When the expansion was christened, water samples from more than 1,700 rivers throughout the world (including every
registered river in the United States) were poured into the Delta River. The Old Hickory Steak House, built to
resemble an antebellum-style mansion, was also added.
On October 26, 2001, Opryland Hotel Nashville was rebranded as Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
(or Gaylord Opryland, for short), taking its name from its corporate parent. Company officials at the time stated that the
"Opryland" branding was strong to Nashville (and Texas, initially), but did not fit with projects in other parts of the United
States. According to a 2003 press release, Gaylord Opryland planned to build a 5,000-seat amphitheatre on the site
in the near future, but those plans seem to have been abandoned in favor of a convention center expansion.
On May 2, 2010, a flood devastated Nashville and caused considerable damage to the Opryland Hotel.
Guests were evacuated as the flood waters rose as high as 10 feet in some parts of the hotel. The hotel
underwent renovations and reopened Nov. 15, 2010. Repairs and renovations to the famed hotel
included the addition of five restaurants and restoration of the atriums and guest rooms.
|Christmas at the Opryland Hotel
Pictures by Pat Adams - Click on Pictures to Enlarge