Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gaylord Lays Off Several Hundred Nashville Employees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Officials with Gaylord Entertainment have announced plans to layoffs hundreds of workers in Nashville within the next two weeks. The layoffs take effect on Saturday, June 12. The move comes after the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center was forced shut by record flooding in Music City during the first week of May. The hotel, Grand Ole Opry and nearby Opry Mills Mall all received significant flood damage. According to a media release, Gaylord will release 1,743 employees. "We are deeply sorry to have to make this incredibly difficult decision, as our employees are and have always been the driving force behind the success of our business," said Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Gaylord Entertainment. Reed said the company had to consider the future of the business and their financial duty to shareholders. "We are grateful for everything our employees have done to make Gaylord Opryland a wonderful place to work and visit, and thank them for the courage and commitment they have shown over the last month," he said. Gaylord said an assessment of damage shows $215-$225 million in restoration is necessary after record flooding that began with 13.57 inches of rain that fell the first two days in May. Since May 3, Gaylord Opryland employees were being paid their full wages and health benefits. Departing employees will receive two weeks pay and money from any unused vacation days. Healthcare benefits will be available through September at the same cost to employees. Gaylord officials said 919 employees would be retained through the restoration process for reservations, accounting, sales, IT, engineering, horticulture and security. The resort plans to begin rehiring additional staff six to eight weeks before the reopening in November.

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