By the end of the May 1-2 weekend, rainfall in Nashville had far exceeded the usual total for the month, flooding the area and closing many businesses. Just as quickly, however, almost all hotels and attractions were back up and running.
The main exception was the 2,881-room Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center, which remains shut indefinitely. About 1,500 guests and employees at the venue had to be evacuated after the Cumberland River jumped a 100-year flood line and rushed into the property. At press time, the venue still was undergoing damage assessment.
Opryland, which had 181,600 group room nights booked over the coming months, transferred meetings to other Gaylord properties, other Nashville hotels and other cities. Experient, a third-party event-management company, helped relocate affected events, including the Romance Writers of America's annual conference, which was set to bring 2,000 people to Opryland in July. That gathering has been moved to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando.
In town, "the hospitality industry is, remarkably, relatively unscathed," said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. "If you are thinking of bringing a meeting here or have one already booked, call us and check with us before you make a decision. The rumor mill has been quite rampant."
Some music venues in the city remain closed, including the Grand Ole Opry, which moved all shows to other venues because the stage was underwater for several days, and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The Music Valley Wax Museum was destroyed.