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Faced With Giant Cleanup Bill, Gaylord Cuts Opryland Jobs

NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Faced with a cleanup bill for its flood-damaged Nashville properties that might top $225 million, Gaylord Entertainment has announced that it was necessary to slash 1,743 jobs at its Opryland hotel.

Gaylord had been paying Opryland employees full wages and benefits since the flood but after determining the timeline associated with re-opening their resort, but that came to an end on June 12th. Affected employees were provided with 2 weeks additional pay as well as payment for unused vaction time. Gaylord said that they will also continue to offer affected employees health benefits at the same cost as current employees until September. In the meantime, Gaylord Opryland will continue to employ 919 employees throughout the restoration process.

"We are deeply sorry to have to make this incredibly difficult decision, as our employees are and have always been the driving force behind the success of our business," said Colin V. Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Gaylord Entertainment. "The cost of this disaster has meant that we have to balance the future of our business and our fiduciary duty to our shareholders with the duty we have to our employees. We are grateful for everything our employees have done to make Gaylord Opryland a wonderful place to work and visit, and thank them for the courage and commitment they have shown over the last month. Our people are what make Gaylord so different from every other hospitality business out there."

Gaylord has also said that they expect to incur a non-cash write-off in connection with the damages to some of their assets and to see "a significantly lower level" of income throughout the remainder of the fiscal year as a result of the flooding, however they were quick to re-assure investors that between available borrowings, income from other properties and cash-on-hand, they were sufficiently capitalized.

Gaylord has already re-opened one of their Nashville properties, The Wildhorse Saloon and General Jackson Showboat were re-opened on June 5th to snare some of the business bump from the CMAs. Gaylord is projecting that the Grand Ole Opry House will re-open on October 1st and Gaylord Opryland is slated to re-open on November 15. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers