Gaylord Hotels Partners With DreamWorks


Gaylord Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation are partnering to expand Gaylord Hotels' family-friendly leisure offerings to feature the DreamWorks Experience.

As part of the four-year deal, Gaylord plans to offer unique leisure experiences for its guests featuring DreamWorks Animation's characters at the four Gaylord properties, Gaylord Entertainment CMO Rich Maradik tells Marketing Daily.

The live interactive experiences, starting in November, will include character breakfasts, newly themed Christmastime events, poolside activities in the summer, imaginative food-and-beverage offerings, private birthday parties, festive parades, merchandise and various themed entertainment.

Gaylord Hotels (which is owned by Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment) plans to feature live appearances by characters from current DreamWorks Animation franchises, including "Shrek," "Kung Fu Panda," and "Madagascar," as well as other future films and characters from the studio. Vacation packages featuring the "DreamWorks Experience at Gaylord Hotels" go on sale in July 2011.



This program is part of Gaylord's focus on increasing the leisure side of its business and driving revenue through entertainment attractions throughout the year, Maradik says. The offering will help increase traffic during periods when group/convention business is traditionally slower.

Gaylord will use CRM data to market directly to past guests using email, direct mail and social media, Maradik says. Marketing to potential new guests will be "very targeted with direct and some general media buying" including print, billboard, radio, online, and local TV, he adds.

Gaylord Hotels include Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tenn.; Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla. near Orlando; and Gaylord Texan on Lake Grapevine near Dallas, Texas, and Gaylord National on the Potomac in National Harbor, Md.

The partnership came about after a meeting in fourth-quarter 2010, Maranik says. DreamWorks already has a similar alliance with the Royal Caribbean Cruise line, and Gaylord was interested in doing it "in an even bigger, better way on land," Maradik says.

Even though the resort group is very group/convention focused, it's not possible to do more than 55-60% of annual bookings to groups. "That leaves us with 40-45% of our occupancy to fill," Maradik says, which is through family and leisure guests.

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