by Michael J. Shapiro | May 31, 2012

Marriott International and Gaylord Entertainment Co. have agreed that Marriott will acquire the Gaylord brand and the rights to manage its four hotels. The $210 million deal is subject to the approval of Gaylord shareholders, expected to occur in August. The companies anticipate the deal will close in October. Subject to approval, Gaylord would continue to own the properties and reorganize as a real estate investment trust. For its part, Marriott would expand its portfolio by approximately 7,800 rooms and about 2 million square feet of meeting space. “We are excited to add Gaylord Hotels to our brand portfolio and are thrilled Gaylord Entertainment selected us to manage their properties," said Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson in a statement. "We have long been impressed with the hotels Gaylord has created, as well as their skill in hosting major meetings and events and attracting the family leisure market." Terms of the agreement call for Marriott to manage the hotels under the Gaylord name, under an initial 35-year management contract. Gaylord properties include the 2,881-room Gaylord Opryland in Nashville; 1,406-room Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla.; 1,511-room Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas;  and 2,000-room Gaylord National on the Potomac in National Harbor, Md.