Gaylord Entertainment today announced a new strategic alliance with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. to expand Gaylord Hotels’ family-friendly leisure offerings and boost hotel revenue.
Through the deal, characters from DreamWorks Animation franchises such as “Shrek” and “Madagascar” will make live appearances at all Gaylord Hotels’ properties and be integrated into existing holiday and summer offerings. Gaylord also will offer live interactive events featuring DreamWorks characters, including character breakfasts, poolside activities, new food and beverage offerings, private birthday parties and parades.
Gaylord CEO Colin Reed said the move should help draw "tens of thousands" of new stays, especially during what are traditionally down periods for the company's hotels.
"The reality is groups like to travel during certain times of the year. Groups comes from January to June and from September to Thanksgiving. There are soft periods in our business. Twenty to 25 percent of the year are fairly empty," he said.
The move should draw more family travelers to the company's properties, he said. The company will begin offering vacation packages featuring “DreamWorks Experience at Gaylord Hotels” beginning in November.
“We are honored to form such an exciting alliance with one of the most visionary entertainment companies in the world to bring the iconic DreamWorks Animation characters to life for our leisure hotel guests,” Reed said. “We have been looking for a significant way to expand our leisure offerings for some time, and this program with DreamWorks Animation will allow us to offer unique experiences that will enthrall our customers."
DreamWorks already has an alliance with cruise-ship operator Royal Caribbean. Reed said there is an "ongoing dialogue" to create "seamless packages" from Gaylord to the cruise ships.