Gaylord Entertainment Company (NYSE: GET) today announced the organizational structure of the newly formed real estate investment trust (REIT) Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. The Company intends to elect to be taxed as a REIT for federal income tax purposes on Jan. 1, 2013.
The Company’s decision to reorganize as a REIT and sell the Gaylord Hotels brand and the rights to manage its four Gaylord hotels, Nashville area attractions and Radisson hotel to Marriott International, Inc. was initially announced on May 31, 2012. The plan was formally approved by approximately 74 percent of the Company’s outstanding shares earlier today at the Company’s special shareholder meeting. Ryman Hospitality Properties will be publically traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol RHP as of Oct.1, 2012, following the merger of Gaylord Entertainment Company into Ryman Hospitality Properties. After the merger, Gaylord Entertainment Company will cease to exist. Marriott is scheduled to assume management duties at Gaylord’s four resort properties on Oct. 1, 2012.
Ryman Hospitatlity Management
Ryman Hospitality Properties will be led by current Gaylord chairman and CEO Colin Reed. The Company’s management team will also include Mark Fioravanti as executive vice president and chief financial officer, Carter Todd as executive vice president and general counsel, Patrick Chaffin as senior vice president of asset management, Bennett Westbrook as senior vice president of investments, design and construction, and Steve Buchanan will be senior vice president of media and entertainment.
In the coming months, the newly formed REIT will work with the Human Resources Committee of the Board as well as appropriate consultants to review the organizational structure and design a compensation plan for executives that reflects the leaner and more efficient cost structure associated with a REIT. The results of the plan will be disclosed as appropriate.
As a result of the evolving needs and focus of the Company as it transitions to the REIT structure and transfers the operations of its properties to Marriott, several members of the Gaylord management team will be departing, including David Kloeppel, Gaylord’s president and chief operating officer. Mr. Kloeppel’s departure is effective as of Nov. 1, 2012.