Nashville Mayor Karl Dean wants to give certain hotel tax funds to Gaylord Entertainment Co. to help rebuild the flooded Grand Ole Opry House.
Special Section: Flood Recovery | Video: Hotel Tax Funds Considered For Opry Rebuilding
Dean said Thursday that the proposal, if approved by the Metro Council, would redirect funds gathered through a 1 percent hotel tax that was being set aside for a planned expansion of Gaylord's Hotel and Convention Center. Gaylord owns the Opry as well.
After the May flood, Gaylord asked for assistance from the city to use those funds to reimburse the cost of rebuilding the iconic country music theater.
Gaylord officials estimate damage to the Opry House is $20 million. The tax generated from the Gaylord hotel is about $1.2 million per year, and the legislation would allow Gaylord to receive that money for 15 years.
Gaylord would have to submit a detailed, itemized report of flood-related repairs to be eligible to receive the funds.
Dean also said he'll ask Metro Council for $200,000 for the Convention & Visitors Bureau to market and advertise the Music Valley area to promote the Opry House's October reopening.
"The Grand Ole Opry is Nashvilles most well known and iconic tourist attraction, and the operation of the Opry House has a substantial impact on the bottom lines of many businesses in Nashvilles hospitality and tourism industry, especially in the Music Valley area, Dean said in a news release. This legislation will help get the doors of the Opry House back open without using a dime of general tax dollars."