Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gaylord's Chief Operating Officer Resigns

I send along this post courtesy of the Tennessean, as anything that involves the parent company of the Grand Ole Opry is important news to be aware of, as at some point, it does have an impact on the Opry.

Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment Co. announced Wednesday its chief operating officer is leaving his role as part of the company's efforts to reduce costs. John Caparella, chief operating officer, was instrumental to building the company's culture and developing the Gaylord Hotel brand into a destination for convention and leisure guests, Gaylord said.

"John's departure has given us the opportunity to move forward with our ongoing effort to streamline our management structure while taking advantage of the strength of our existing executives," said Gaylord's chairman and CEO Colin V. Reed in a statement.

David Kloeppel, the company's president and chief financial officer, will now oversee Gaylord's operations, sales, marketing, development and information technology. Mark Fioravanti, the company's treasurer is being promoted to chief financial officer, the company said.

Gaylord, which reported a $3.4 million profit in the first quarter, has taken a cautious stance toward the future, delaying its expansions at Gaylord Opryland, Gaylord Texas and Gaylord Palms.

A couple of comments: You can start to see the effects of the expanded board of directors as one of the missions of the new directors was to cut costs and to improve stockholder value. Also, Gaylord is concerned about their Nashville convention business. They would like to expand the convention facilities at the Opryland hotel and to add more rooms and exhibition space. But, at the same time, Nashville is building a new state of the art convention center, to be located South of the Country Music Hall of Fame in downtown Nashville. A number of hotels are being added in this area also. This will be a direct competitor to Gaylord and also effect their plans on the additional property that they own on the other side of Briley Parkway. On a final note, it is good to see that Gaylord turned a profit to start the year.

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