Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center Now Open

GMarriott recently announced that the newest premier American resort, Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, has had its Grand Opening. This resort, and the Gaylord name, has a long and rich history making them experts in the hospitality industry.

The Gaylord and Dickinson families began the Oklahoma Publishing Company, which would become the Gaylord Entertainment Company, in Oklahoma in 1903, before Oklahoma was even recognized as a state.  There was an increasing demand for news in the area and the families recognized that need and decided to capitalize on it.  Soon, radio would enter the lives of every American. The two families saw potential in this field and added on a broadcasting agency to their business.  It was the 2nd radio station in the United States. As the two entrepreneurial families recognized more and more potential during a time of major industrial growth in the US, they continued to expand their businesses to meet those needs.  The radio venture eventually led them to Nashville, the home of country music. One of their radio announcers, George D. Hay, gave birth to the renowned Grand Ole Opry with his country music radio show.

The business venture that would bring Gaylord the greatest amount of success and would thrust his company into the national spotlight was his 1983 purchase of Nashville-based Grand Ole Opry and the Opryland Hotel.  The Opryland Hotel ballooned in size during the 1980s and early 1990s to almost 2,000 rooms, making it one of the largest and most successful hotels in the world.

The success of the Opryland Hotel was in part a reflection of the ability of its managers.  With newfound success, money to invest, and a top-notch management team, Gaylord Entertainment announced two new hotel-development projects:  a 1,500-room Opryland Hotel in Grapevine, Texas, and a 1,400-room Opryland Hotel in Osceola County, near Orlando, Florida. The Texas and Florida Opryland Hotels were the first of several hotels the company planned to establish in the future. While construction was still underway at the two sites, the company announced plans for the $500 million Opryland Hotel Potomac, a 2,000-room hotel and convention center in National Harbor.

Gaylord Rockies Resort Photo
Marriott recently announced that the newest premier American destination, Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, has had its Grand Opening.

Gaylord’s newest enterprise offers and experience like no other previous Gaylord property.  Offering diverse convention, entertainment and lifestyle experiences, it truly celebrates the geographic heritage of the Rockies with regional themes and attractions designed exclusively for the resort.   The resort’s interior design has everything from waterfalls, boulders, native landscaping and even elevators designed to look like old mine shafts, a nod to Colorado’s gold rush history. Guest rooms boast carpets with Aspens and lumberjack plaid print pillows. In the Convention Center, one will find Colorado-inspired details throughout such as ski tracks and snow drifts. “For the past three years, a dedicated group of more than 1,500 individuals has worked tirelessly to bring this massive project to life.  We couldn’t be more excited to officially open our doors and welcome guests to experience all that’s offered at this magnificent property; a destination experience in its own that authentically captures Colorado’s adventurous spirit,” said Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center General Manager Rick Medwedeff.

The resort features 1,501 guest rooms, including 114 upscale suites, and more than 486,000-square-feet of meeting and convention space. Businesses can bring their conference, convention or meeting to life in one of the property’s new indoor or outdoor event rooms, including the 20,000-square-foot Aurora Patio and the 175,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall. The resort also offers eight dining options, a luxurious spa and salon, indoor and outdoor pools, a communal 75-foot TV, and picture-perfect views of the gorgeous landscape.  

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Frugally Traveling the Irish Coast

The Irish Coast lends itself to spectacular sights and experiences that one would think would cost an arm and a leg- not so! Start out at Kai restaurant, in Galway, which is a welcoming, cozy place headed by a New Zealand chef, Jessica Murphy.  Grab a coffee and a scone to fuel up for the day and you are only out a few dollars. Head towards Galway, considered by many the cultural backbone of Ireland to visit the Galway Cathedral. It’s free but paying the suggested donation of 2 euros won’t put you out…it’s a little over 2 American dollars. Explore the charming Galway by foot and when you get hungry, stop at Kai, a welcoming, cozy place headed by a New Zealand chef, Jessica Murphy. A delicious bowl of carrot and miso soup was only 5 euros and came with a thick slice of dense, multigrain bread, that probably would have sufficed as a small meal. Next, head over to the charmingly ramshackle bookshop Bell, Book and Candle and receive a quick lesson in literary history from the owner, Paul Deacy. For about 6 euros you can buy 2 books to read while on vacay. Quay and Shop Streets teem with pedestrians, shops and street musicians- all free entertainment and people watching!  After that, take off for a scenic drive. If you spend any amount of time driving in Ireland, you’ll be spoiled by the number of beautiful old castles you pass, but Dunguaire Castle, in the southeastern corner of Galway Bay, is one of the stateliest. After walking the grounds, it was onto one of the true natural wonders of Ireland: The possibly bewitched Cliffs of Moher. They’re easy enough to find: Just follow the road signs, pull into the big lot and pay the 8-euro admission (4 euros if you book online in advance like all the other tourists). But go beyond the tour buses and continue south, and you’ll notice signs for an alternate parking lot that claims to get you closest to the actual cliffs. It’s slightly tricky, but continue until you find Liscannor Walk and a small private lot, where you’ll pay just 2 euros to park. It’s a manageable uphill walk to the cliffs from there, along a stone wall and past curious cows as you make your way toward the water.  Watch the sunset from there, basking in your financially guilt-free day.

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