the gaylord kitchen tour that opened my eyes

behind the scenes kitchen tour

When I was in Nashville a few weeks ago for The Special Event conference, I had the opportunity to go on a behind the scenes tour of the Gaylord Opryland Catering Kitchens. I love behind the scenes anything, but especially things related to hospitality. Even though I’ve been a planner for years and I know more about hospitality than the average person, I love every opportunity I get to see “back of house.” So naturally, I jumped at the chance to see the kitchens.

I was one of the few planners on the tour – mostly it seemed to be catering professionals from other (smaller) hotels or banquet facilities. Many of them ooh’d and ahh’d at the sheer scale of the Gaylord operation since it was noticeably bigger than their own. Several asked questions about procedures or logistics that I didn’t really understand, comparing their protocol to the Gaylord’s.

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gaylord opryland in nashville – meeting rooms and resort

gaylord opryland in nashville

Last week I had a brief trip to Nashville for a conference. I stayed two nights at the Gaylord Opryland. You can read my thoughts on the sleeping rooms here. Since I was there for a conference I got to see a lot of the meeting space.

The Gaylord Opryland is a resort and convention center. The convention center is part of the main building – there is no need to go outside (which is good, because it was too cold to leave).

The convention center is huge – 600,000 square feet of meeting space, most of it in huge ballrooms. I would say that overall, the space was rather functional. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting about it – the hallways and pre-function space had a subtle plantation feel, but otherwise it felt very similar to the Hyatt Regency Orlando (formerly the Peabody) – just massively large!

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gaylord opryland in nashville – sleeping rooms and lobby

gaylord opryland in nashville

Last week I got to go to Nashville for a conference (attending, not planning). When I originally registered I thought, January seems like an okay time to go to Nashville. Well turns out this conference coincided with the Polar Vortex and it was NINE DEGREES when I stepped off of the plane in Nashville. Nine!

The good news was that I was staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, which is basically a mini city, not a bad place to be if it’s way too cold to venture outside. The bad news is that since it was so cold I didn’t leave the hotel at all, so I didn’t really get a chance to see Nashville at all. Oh well, I’ll just have to go back!

I am going to divide my review of the Gaylord into at least two parts – today I’m going to focus on the sleeping rooms.

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