NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (RHP) (the “Company”) announced today that it has selected Vanderbilt University Medical Center (“VUMC”), a leader in medical research and one of the top-ranked academic medical centers in the United States, as its official wellness advisor during the phased reopening of its businesses.
Under the terms of the agreement, VUMC will provide support to the Company as it implements operating procedures, plans and training materials developed as part of a multi-phase health safety operations strategy for its Entertainment assets and its Gaylord Hotels network.
The Company will consult with VUMC and local health officials as it moves between phases. A panel of VUMC clinical subject matter experts specializing in infectious disease control will provide counsel for on-site preparations, advise on the development of training and educational materials for employees, and oversee re-opening activities similar to the model VUMC is implementing in its own hospitals and clinics today.
Colin Reed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ryman Hospitality Properties, said, “In the early stages of this crisis, we sought the advice of local health experts as we made proactive decisions to temporarily suspend operations at most of our businesses. Safety continues to be our top priority as we prepare to reopen our assets, and that is why we have elected to formalize our partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. We want to make certain our teams have direct access to the nation’s foremost experts on infectious disease control so our stakeholders can feel confident that our approach to health and safety is best-in-class during this rapidly-evolving situation.”
In addition to the subject matter expert panel, VUMC and the Company will establish a joint steering committee comprised of VUMC’s senior administrative and clinical leaders and the Company’s key executives and leaders. The committee will oversee the collaboration and recommend modifications to policies, procedures and protocols affecting employee and guest safety based on the latest available research.
Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said, “Ryman Hospitality Properties is one of the most well-regarded and innovative brands in the hospitality and entertainment industry. This agreement, which allows our experts to work alongside their teams to incorporate best practices in infection prevention from the healthcare industry into Ryman’s daily operations, demonstrates their commitment to the safety and well-being of their employees and clientele. We believe this relationship will set the standard for wellness initiatives among our industries as we adopt new ways to support business in the COVID-19 era.”
The Company began a phased reopening of its Entertainment assets in mid-May and expects to reopen its Gaylord Hotels assets in stages beginning in mid-to-late June.
Reed continued, “As we begin our phased approach to reopening, we believe this relationship with VUMC will provide an added layer to our already stringent standards that will allow us the flexibility to tailor our plans to meet the unique needs of each of our businesses during this time. We are examining every step of our guest and employee experience to ensure we have the proper protocols in place as guests return to our businesses.”
About Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.
Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (RHP) is a leading lodging and hospitality real estate investment trust that specializes in upscale convention center resorts and country music entertainment experiences. The Company’s core holdings* include a network of five of the top 10 largest non-gaming convention center hotels in the United States based on total indoor meeting space. These convention center resorts operate under the Gaylord Hotels brand and are managed by Marriott International. The Company also owns two adjacent ancillary hotels and a small number of attractions managed by Marriott International for a combined total of 10,110 rooms and more than 2.7 million square feet of total indoor and outdoor meeting space in top convention and leisure destinations across the country. The Company’s Entertainment segment includes a growing collection of iconic and emerging country music brands, including the Grand Ole Opry; Ryman Auditorium, WSM 650 AM; Ole Red and Circle, a country lifestyle media network the Company owns in a joint-venture partnership with Gray Television. For more details about Circle and how to watch Saturday’s Grand Ole Opry, please visit circleplus.com. The Company operates its Entertainment segment as part of a taxable REIT subsidiary.
*The Company is the sole owner of Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center; Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center; Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center; and Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. It is the majority owner and managing member of the joint venture that owns Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center.
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and is one of the largest comprehensive research, teaching and patient care health systems in the Southeast. The most heavily utilized quaternary, referral healthcare facility in the Mid-South, VUMC’s sees over 2.3 million patient visits per year in over 150 locations, discharging 66,000 inpatients and performing 67,000 surgical operations. The medical center is the largest non-governmental employer of Middle Tennessee citizens, with more than 25,000 staff, including nearly 3,000 physicians, advanced practice nurses and scientists appointed to the Vanderbilt University faculty. For more information and the latest news follow VUMC on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and in the VUMC Reporter.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements as to the Company’s beliefs and expectations of the outcome of future events that are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Examples of these statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the anticipated impact of COVID-19 on travel, transient and group demand, the anticipated impact of COVID-19 on our results of operations, the amount of cancellation and attrition fees, cost containment efforts, and our plans to assess the reopening of our Gaylord Hotels properties. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the effects of COVID-19, including on the demand for travel, transient and group business (including government-imposed restrictions), and levels of consumer confidence in the safety of travel and group gatherings as a result of COVID-19; the length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States; the pace of recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic; our ability to implement cost containment strategies; and the adverse effects of COVID-19 on our business or the market price of our common stock. Other factors that could cause results to differ are described in the filings made from time to time by the Company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and include the risk factors and other risks and uncertainties described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and subsequent filings. Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements made by it to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof or the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Investor Relations Contacts:
Mark Fioravanti, President & Chief Financial Officer
Shannon Sullivan, Vice President Corporate and Brand Communications
Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.
Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.
Todd Siefert, Senior Vice President Corporate Finance & Treasurer
Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.
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