The Grand Hyatt Nashville opened October 1, adding a nearly 600-room luxury hotel with 77,000 square feet of meeting space to a city that has exploded with tourism and meetings and conventions development in the last few years.

The new hotel is the first pillar of the new Nashville Yards development, an ambitious 18-acre downtown district that boasts 1,000 residential units, a four-acre AEG-managed entertainment offering, two Amazon corporate towers and the Hyatt-branded Union Station Hotel, located in the original train station of Nashville.

Meetings Today Vice President & Chief Content Director Tyler Davidson interviewed the Grand Hyatt’s director of sales and marketing, Richard Ross, shortly before the opening about the splashy new property, how Hyatt and Nashville are weathering the pandemic, and the explosive growth of Music City, a music mecca that is seriously upping its conventions game.

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Read the transcript below:
[Start transcript]

Tyler Davidson: Hello, and welcome to this Meetings Today Podcast. I'm Tyler Davidson, vice president and chief content director of Meetings Today, and joining us today is Richard Ross, director of sales and marketing for the Grand Hyatt Nashville. Thanks for joining us, Richard.

Richard RossRichard Ross: Thank you, Tyler. Pleasure to be with you today.
(Photo: Richard Ross, Director of Sales & Marketing, Grand Hyatt Nashville)

Tyler: And big, big news for you and your new hotel, which is scheduled to open October 1, really bringing a new offering to Nashville. What are some of the highlights of the property and what do you bring to the market, as far as meetings and conventions, and just hospitality in general, that you think stands out?

Richard: There are several things, and I appreciate the opportunity to share a few of them with you. First and foremost, we're thrilled to bring Grand Hyatt to Nashville as a luxury-forward brand that will elevate the meetings experience for planner and attendee alike here in Music City. Our location in downtown, which provides a gateway to the beloved downtown environment and region of Nashville, is without a doubt one of our highlights.

The hotel itself, with 591 guest rooms, 77,000 square feet of flexible and dynamic meeting space, and a list of amenities that range from seven different food and beverage experiences, our partnership with RnR wellness spa, and in addition to that several outdoor venues, including two rooftop experiences, are all examples of amenities that will surprise and delight our guests when they come to Music City.

Tyler: And I know covering Nashville over the last few years, there's really been a lot of development, a lot going in there—infrastructure, other hotels—and I think availability was always a challenge there. I mean, it certainly does not come up short when it comes to fun things to do and entertainment—it is actually known as Music City—but you're bringing in almost 600 guest rooms and what I believe is the second largest hotel ballroom in the city right down in the action, right?

Richard: That is all true. And to your point, without a doubt, we've been collaborating with our planners, with Hyatt Global salesforce, all of our third-party partners and colleagues here in Nashville, and without a doubt, one thing we hear often is that availability is one of the greatest obstacles to bring meetings and events to Nashville. So in that regard, we without a doubt fill a void, if you will, or create an opportunity for more meetings and conventions to come to Music City, more of our planners will have access, and without a doubt, too, one of the things that excites us is to bring Hyatt loyal customers to the city with a luxury-forward property that is as large and as attractive as ours will be.

Tyler: Yeah, with four floors of meeting space, I believe, right?

Richard: We have three floors; levels, two, three and four, which contain all 77,000 square feet of the space I mentioned earlier.

Tyler: Wow. So you're bringing in a lot of space to the market, too. So, that's nice. And actually, we were speaking earlier, and it's right next to the Nashville Yards development, which will feature two new towers from Amazon?

Richard: That is absolutely correct, and Nashville Yards, which borrows its name from the rich history of the location and the site on which we were actually built, which for over 100 years served as a rail yard and a central gateway to the city, and an integral part of the city's growth and development without a doubt. And, we're really proud and privileged to be part of that history, and take that history and bring it forward through architecture and design.

Nashville Yards Rendering
Photo: Rendering of Nashville Yards.

The Grand Hyatt will be the first pillar of Nashville Yards to come to market, and in the future, as part of this 18-acre environment, we do have the two towers that you mentioned that are part of Amazon's presence here in Nashville; we have over 1,000 residences; a four-acre development that is dedicated to an entertainment corridor in partnership with AEG, which will feature multiple venues that are very, very exciting. In addition to that, a recent announcement that you may have seen in the news is that Nashville Yards has expanded—originally 17 acres, now 18 acres—as we welcome the Union Station Hotel, the original train station of Nashville, by the way, celebrating 120 years in October, into our family.

Tyler: Wow. And then also, you're close to some of the major attractions in Nashville, too, the Country Music Hall of Fame and some of the big arenas there, too, right?

Richard: Absolutely. For those who have been in Nashville, and those who are looking to come here, you may know that Nashville is a collection of celebrated neighborhoods. And we humbly would submit that our 18-acre campus in itself creates its own neighborhood. And that will re-harmonize the entire part of downtown on which Grand Hyatt will open next week. But to your point, too, the very best of Nashville, the most beloved attractions, the most sought-after experiences, are walkable right from our front door.

A view of the Nashville skyline from the roof of the new Grand Hyatt Nashville.
Photo: A view of the Nashville skyline from the roof of the new Grand Hyatt Nashville.

Tyler: Excellent. Of course, I would be remiss without mentioning where we're at right now we're talking on September 25, and all of us have been really pivoting during the COVID pandemic. You guys are set to open October 1, and you're ready to welcome groups and all your meeting space, and speaking with you earlier, and kind of knowing and covering this, Hyatt is really a leader when it comes to safety and sanitation protocols. So maybe kind of highlight some of that and how you're really ahead of the game and can provide a safe atmosphere.

Richard: Without a doubt, and we're excited because Nashville continues its way forward. Nashville really led the way as a community through our city officials, the incredibly rich talent that exists here through universities and health-based organizations and corporations. And they pioneered a program called Good to Go, which is both a certification and resource program through the city that allows businesses as well as guests and residents to feel confident and inspired with their experiences here in Nashville.

And as you mentioned, Hyatt has become a model brand through its Global Care & Cleanliness initiative to bring all the best practices forward and creating tools and resources for properties and teams to ensure that the safety of our teams as well as our guests are without a doubt top priority. And we will be able to model after all of those very best ideas as we develop and implement our service culture here.

Tyler: I know you've got a lot of outdoor space for activations there, so that certainly doesn't hurt in this time, huh?

Richard: That's absolutely true. We have several vibrant rooftop experiences. Level five, which is our lifestyle level, will feature Solstice, an indoor and outdoor dining venue, as well as our rooftop pool and sundeck environment. We also have Luna, which is on level 25, and a rooftop bar experience that caps the building and provides every guest with expansive city views that really are unparalleled.

Roof top pool
Photo: The Grand Hyatt Nashville’s rooftop pool is an ideal space for event activations.

Tyler: Well, great. Well, thanks for joining us, Richard, and good luck on the opening October 1.

Richard: Thank you very much, Tyler, again, a pleasure. And we look forward to seeing all of you here in Music City real soon.

Tyler: I love it. It's one of my favorite places, so hopefully we'll get to shake hands there in person sometime soon.

Richard: I look forward to it. Thank you.

Tyler: And thank you for joining us for this Meetings Today Podcast with Richard Ross and the Grand Hyatt Nashville. My name is Tyler Davidson. I am vice president and chief content director. If you're interested in more of our podcasts, just head on over to MeetingsToday.com. We have a full podcast section with all sorts of interesting broadcasts featuring thought leaders in the meetings and events industry. Thanks for joining us and have a great rest of the day.

[End transcript]

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