Gaylord Entertainment CEO Colin Reed this morning told analysts and investors the company will soon decide whether to surround its Opryland Resort & Convention Center complex with a new levee that would hold back a 500-year flood.
During a conference call discussing his company's third-quarter results, Reed said his team has been in regular talks with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as local officials to draw up long-range water protection plans for the Pennington Bend area. At the same time, Gaylord has been drawing up plans for a 500-year levee around its hotel and the adjacent Grand Ole Opry.
"The broader discussion is moving slowly," Reed said, but talks "about protecting Opryland and the Opry House are moving at a much more rapid pace."
Gaylord's board will meet tomorrow to get an update on those plans, which have been priced out at between $7 million and $10 million. Reed said that, if the broader community planning process doesn't pick up the pace "in two, three, four months," Gaylord may move on its own.
“We believe it’s doable and we believe FEMA will support it,” Reed said of the project.