Opryland Hotel, Grand Ole Opry Get Ready to Reopen
There is light at the end of the tunnel for many of Nashville's popular attractions that were so badly damaged in the historic flooding that ravaged Middle Tennessee last month.
It has been announced that the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, which has been closed since May 2, will reopen for business on November 15, just in time for the venue's annual 'A Country Christmas.' According to Pete Weien, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the resort, the company is "committed to returning our property to its known excellence and have already made significant progress" in the restoration efforts. The company will also be making several upgrades to many of the restaurants inside the resort, including the Cascades Lobby and Restaurant, which was under more than 10 feet of water just last month.
A day after the severe flooding, approximately 1500 guests staying at the hotel were evacuated, and even though most of the 2,881 rooms were safe from the severe flooding, 117 rooms have to be completely renovated. The damage to the public areas and power plant was extreme, with the hotel's generators being completely submerged and diesel fuel leaking into the water. Also many of the shops were submerged with not even the doorways visible. The cost to repair and renovate all of Gaylord's Nashville properties will cost upwards of $215 million.
In addition, several of Gaylord's other attractions -- the Grand Ole Opry House, Wildhorse Saloon and General Jackson Showboat -- are also under reconstruction and will be completely restored. In fact, just in time for the CMA Music Festival next week, the Wildhorse Saloon and General Jackson will have their grand reopening this weekend.
The Grand Ole Opry is expected to reopen October 1, 2010. The majority of the ground floor was damaged and items such as the stage, pews, artist dressing rooms and retail store, as well as the mechanical and power systems, stage curtains and in-house production, will all need to be replaced.