The investment management firm headed up by Mario Gabelli continues to trim its stake in Ryman Hospitality Properties. GAMCO Investors filed papers this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying it now owns 11.1 percent of Ryman, down from 13.5 percent a year ago and 12 percent in the fall.
Gabelli last year opposed the conversion of Gaylord Entertainment into Ryman, which is organized as a real estate investment trust. Shares of Ryman (Ticker: RHP) are up almost 40 percent since the REIT conversion.
City officials and music industry pros this morning unveiled Nashville Dancin', a free concert series that will bring to the riverfront stage four acts for eight Thursday nights this summer. Retailer Dollar General is helping to sponsor the series by underwriting the parking at nearby LP Field.
Morales estimated that the event will draw 10,000 to 15,000 attendees to downtown Nashville each week, having a positive economic impact (approximately $5 million) on the city, particularly the businesses that will benefit from pre- and post-concert activity.
SEE ALSO: The Nashville Dancin' website
The Nashville Convention Center Authority announced today that the Metro Codes Department has issued a certificate of occupancy for the Music City Center — one week before the construction completion deadline of the soon-to-open 2.1-million-square-foot convention facility.
The certificate of occupancy, which certifies compliance with all local and state codes and regulations, was issued following 250 final inspections and approvals by the State of Tennessee and Metro Nashville agencies and departments.
“I applaud the project management team and its crew for finishing construction of the Music City Center ahead of their deadline,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a release. “It is no small feat to finish construction on time, but to do so for a project of this scale is truly remarkable. I look forward to our grand opening festivities on May 19-20 when members of the public can see for themselves the size and beauty of this magnificent building.”
The contracts for architects TVS Design and construction management firm Bell/Clark, a joint venture, specified construction of the SoBro-based center be finished by April 30. With the certificate of occupancy now in place, the project and development, construction, and design leaders can progress with the contractual documentation of substantial completion.
West End Avenue LLC announced Monday that it has completed the topping off for its seven-story Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville/Vanderbilt.
Under construction at 2400 West End Ave., across from Vanderbilt University and on the site once home to Tower Records, the Homewood Suites by Hilton will consist of 192 suites. EBCO General Contractors and Hardaway Construction are overseeing construction. Memphis-based 2400 TN West End Avenue LLC is the developer/owner, while Vista Host of Houston will operate and manage the hotel upon its completion. Vista Host manages two Nashville hotels: Hilton Garden Inn Nashville/Vanderbilt and Home2Suites.
Ryman Hospitality Properties has wrapped up the big refinancing that increases its main debt facility to $1 billion from $925 million and pushes its maturity from August 2015 to April 2017. The new package has more revolving debt — $700 million versus $525 million — and lowers its rate by 25 basis points.
“This refinancing of our bank credit facility, coupled with the recent completion of our senior notes offering, further strengthens our balance sheet and enhances our flexibility to take advantage of strategic growth opportunities moving forward,” said Chairman, President and CEO Colin Reed. “Given the extremely attractive rates at which we were able to complete these transactions, we are confident that the timing was right and that they are in long-term best interest of our Company and our shareholders.”
The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum a $280,000 grant that will fund the digitization of rare and fragile components of the museum's collection. Read more here.
Representatives of the Omni Nashville say they have passed 250,000 room-night bookings for the $250 million facility four months earlier than they had expected. Rooms booked for the October 2015 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics took the hotel past the landmark number. More than 190 meetings and conventions have booked space in the hotel between this fall and 2024.
Discount bus operator Megabus has cancelled service connecting Nashville to both Knoxville and Memphis.
Read more here.
Could the Nashville Film Festival someday be as popular as Sundance or the Toronto Film Festival? Organizers of the upcoming eight-day festival are counting on it and say Nashville’s burgeoning national popularity is helping raise the profile of the 44-year old festival enough that an expansion of the 2014 event will be considered.
NaFF Executive Director Ted Crockett said the 2013 festival — to take place April 18-25 at Regal Green Hills 16 — has a record-high operating budget of $1 million and is expected to pump about $1.3 million into the local economy. He said the festival’s budget includes $500,000 cash and $500,000 of in-kind donations.
“We have more than doubled our budget in 10 years, and we’re now seeing that in order to keep growing we’re going to have to expand by adding locations next year,” Crockett said. “Just like the city of Nashville, we’re getting more and more popular. We used to have to recruit people to come to the festival, but now people call us because they want to be a part of it.”
Though expansion currently is “under discussion,” Crockett said no decision has been made about what venues the festival would use if it expanded or what an expansion would entail. Currently, the main bulk of festival screenings and events take place at the Regal Green Hills 16.
More than 200 films from 50 countries will be screened at NaFF. The festival is a qualifying event for Academy Award short films and, over the years, has attracted celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon.