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TheStreet Open House

Gaylord Entertainment Company Concludes Strategic Review; Agrees To Sell Gaylord Hotels Brand And Management Company To Marriott International; Will Reorganize As A Real Estate Investment Trust

Upon consummation of the transaction, Gaylord Hotels will join the Marriott portfolio of brands. Terms of the management agreement call for Marriott to manage the four one-of-a-kind properties under the Gaylord Hotels flag. Marriott will receive a management contract with an initial 35 year term, 2% base management fee, and an incentive fee linked to improvement in hotel profitability.

Reed continued, “We are thrilled to be aligning with Marriott, an organization that consistently receives the industry’s highest praise among group customers and meeting planners. With their expansive sales force and unique benefits such as the Marriott Rewards program, we also expect that they will be able to drive additional transient demand at our properties. This relationship ensures that the commitment to a distinctive guest experience that is the hallmark of the Gaylord brand will continue in force. Importantly, Marriott shares our belief that employees are our greatest asset, a trademark of our business and a driving force behind our accomplishments to date.”

Gaylord recently commissioned a survey of over 400 meeting planners to evaluate hotel company managers in the meetings business. Marriott International ranked as the undisputed top brand in terms of loyalty programs, pricing structure, meeting space, sales process, accommodations, and destinations.

Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer, said, “We’re delighted to be able to make this announcement today, and look forward to adding the Gaylord brand to our portfolio. We have long admired Gaylord, both for the hotels they have created and for their superb job in hosting major meetings and events. We also have great respect for Gaylord's commitment to their people. We will continue to focus on building careers for Gaylord's "STARS", whom we will welcome to the Marriott family. Working with the Gaylord brand, the existing four hotels and a Gaylord team that provides outstanding customer service, we are convinced there is tremendous upside potential for growing hotel revenues and profits and developing careers."

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