Last week The Grand Ole Opry, along with its parent company Gaylord Entertainment, were purchased by Marriott International for $210 million. Though Gaylord reportedly will remain in charge of most of the day-to-day operations of the Opry, some fans of the historic country music institution are afraid of what may happen as Gaylord restructures from the entertainment business to a real estate holdings firm owned by a big hotel chain. So Saving Country Music reached out to Marriott to find out what effects if any the new ownership will have on The Grand Ole Opry experience.
“Well first we want to assure everyone that all of us here at Marriott are huge country music fans!” says Marriott representative Nancy Frankenfurter. “We all grew up listening to great country bands like John Denver and The Eagles. And we really like the real country music, with violins and ukeleles and stuff. We are committed to showcasing all the great country music performers from the past like Eddie Rabbitt, Rich & Big, and the Mike Curb Congregational Choir, as well as all the hot up and coming acts, like Kevin Bacon, Jessica Simpson, and Jamie Lynn Spears!”
What changes can Opry goers expect to see?
“As you know we’re really excited about activating synergies between Marroitt Hotels and The Grand Ole Opry,” Frankenfurter explains. “In that spirit, we will be offering all Opry attendees new incentives for attending. All visitors will now receive a complimentary bar of facial soap, travel size bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and a disposable shower cap with every ticket. We pledge to have more ice machines for our guests, and we will be installing heated pools both at The Grand Ole Opry House and Ryman locations. Every seat will have free wi-fi as well, instead of having beverage stands outside of the performance hall, we will now have complimentary wet bars in all the seat backs. And after every Opry performance a hot continental breakfast will be served.”
Continental breakfast? Aren’t most of The Opry performances at night?
“Sure, but any time is a good time for milk at room temperature and a wide selection of refined carbohydrates. And we want to emphasize that this is a “hot” continental breakfast. We will have warm oatmeal and waffle irons set up. Anybody who is familiar with the Marriott hotel experience probably knows that we love to customize our waffle irons for the geographic regions of our hotels. The kiddos love this. For example, in Texas our waffle irons make waffles shaped like Texas. In Orlando and Disney World, they’re shaped like Mickey Mouse. Well for The Grand Ole Opry, we are developing a special iron that will make waffles the shape of Garth Brooks’ enlarged prostate.”
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Eddie Rabbit and Garth Brooks’ enlarged prostate could not be reached for comment.