Fontanel owners plan 136-room hotel

The owners of the Fontanel entertainment complex in Whites Creek have unveiled plans to build a 136-room luxury resort-style hotel — along with a banquet facility, pool and retail spaces — to go with their Inn at Fontanel boutique property. Getahn Ward has the story here.

Fontanel Properties pitched those plans to Whites Creek residents Thursday in lieu of pursuing The Lodge at Fontanel, a Holiday Inn resort with 150 rooms and a conference facility/events center. In putting that resort concept on indefinite hold, they cited rising construction costs and challenges with the targeted site in the woods near Fontanel Mansion on the existing 186-acre campus.

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Wells cuts Ryman rating

Veteran Wells Fargo analyst Jeff Donnelly has downgraded his rating on shares of Ryman Hospitality Properties to 'underperform' from 'market perform.' Ryman shares (Ticker: RHP) are off more than 1 percent this morning to right around $53. They're flat year to date.

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Report: Virgin Hotel backer exploring other development options

The Nashville investor behind the Virgin Hotel planned for Music Row is exploring alternative options for the property, according to the Nashville Business Journal.

Plans for the Virgin Hotel were first announced in 2014, with renderings released last January. The Business Journal reports construction executive Dean Chase, who owns the site and is in charge of raising money to build the hotel, is sizing up other development possibilities for the prime spot just off the Music Row roundabout — even though Virgin officials say they're still working to move the project forward.

To be clear, Chase's preference remains doing a deal with Virgin, according to sources. Exploring other options does not preclude the possibility that a Virgin Hotel will wind up appearing on this site, though at best, the hotel now wouldn't open until 2017, which is later than originally stated.

Additional options could include office buildings, apartments or condos. For the full article, click here.

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Ryman board OKs $100M buyback plan

The directors of Ryman Hospitality Properties have voted to set up a share repurchase program for up to $100 million. The plan, which will expire at the end of 2016, will use available cash and borrowings under Ryman’s revolving credit line. The company is not required to buy a particular amount of stock.

Chairman and CEO Colin Reed said the buyback is “part of a capital allocation strategy that we believe is in the best interest of our shareholders and our business. We believe using capital to repurchase our shares at appropriate prices represents a favorable strategic use of capital.”

Shares of Ryman (Ticker: RHP) fell about 1 percent Thursday — before the buyback news — to $52.16. So far in 2015, they’re down slightly.

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