Reported By Jonathan Martin
The restoration of Gaylord Opryland is nearly complete and on schedule to reopen starting Monday after being closed since early May after the devastating flood.
There may be no group more ready for the return of Opryland than the businesses across from it.
(We) can't wait; honestly, we are so excited. We know that when Gaylord Opryland Hotel opens back up, its going to be good for our business, said Kaye Hughes of the Willie Nelson Museum.
The resort has always been a lifeline for businesses on Music Valley Drive. Cooters Place manager Michael Smith considers Monday a huge, early Christmas gift.
It went from almost a nice, booming little valley here to almost a dead stop (after the flood), said Smith.
The iconic hotel's comeback means a six-month hole being plugged in Nashville's hospitality industry. Gaylord Opryland accounts for 20 percent of the city's hotel tax collections and about 12 percent of Nashville's hotel bookings.
We had a lot of clients doubting that we could make it through the end of this calendar year. I'd say masterful handling. They have done everything right, said Butch Spyridon of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
After the remodeling, the hotel has a new lobby layout, restaurant and rooms. Already, 50 percent of hotel rooms have been booked for next year.
If you can survive that kind of summer, I think we can survive anything, said Spyridon.
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