The General Services Administration conference spending brouhaha has severely chilled the already cool meeting climate for government agencies of all stripes and could lead to stiff spending limits being imposed. A drop in agency meetings was a big reason for the weaker performance of Gaylord Entertainment's National resort in 2011. HotelNewsNow.com has the latest on the impact of the GSA scandal.
Reza Sheybani, founder and principal of Bethesda, Maryland-based Conference Planning International, who has 30 years experience in government meeting planning, has had three major meetings cancel so far — in Washington, Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina. “They all said, ‘Everything is being put on hold,’” Sheybani said, adding that Las Vegas is the major victim of the chilling effect. “You can’t even mention Las Vegas as a government meeting destination anymore. And I think that for the next year or two, the impact of all this is going to be serious.”
A silver lining: If Sin City is out completely for a while as a destination, Gaylord's properties outside D.C. and in Nashville, Orlando and Dallas could benefit.