NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Country music’s most famous brand is coming to New York City. Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE:RHP) today unveiled its plans for Opry City Stage, the Grand Ole Opry’s first “home away from home,” a four-level entertainment complex on historic Broadway in Times Square.
Set to open in April 2017, Opry City Stage will share the best of Nashville food and music, including live entertainment, simulcast performances from the Grand Ole Opry House and more in a two-floor bar and restaurant space. A world-class listening room and private event space will occupy the fourth floor, and the ground level will hold the complex’s retail area featuring many of Nashville’s signature brands.
“For 91 years the Grand Ole Opry has connected country music fans with their favorite artists through live performances, radio and more recently, digital technology,” said Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties. “Opry City Stage is all about taking the diverse sounds that originate in Nashville to other markets so that fans have another way to discover new artists and connect with the music they love. We believe that once our Opry City Stage guests get a taste for all the Grand Ole Opry and Nashville have to offer, they are going to want to visit Music City and experience it for themselves.”
The fourth-floor listening room will feature an array of programming, including curated performances from Music City’s famed songwriting epicenter, the Bluebird Cafe, made possible by a licensing agreement between Ryman Hospitality Properties and the Nashville Songwriters Association International. The relationship extends beyond the Times Square property to include future venues, touring products, sponsorships, and ecommerce opportunities.
“We are tremendously excited that two of the most compelling entertainment brands in Nashville—the Grand Ole Opry and the Bluebird Cafe—are embarking on this partnership to share our unique styles of entertainment in New York City and beyond,” said Erika Wollam Nichols, president and general manager, Bluebird Cafe, Inc. “The Opry and Bluebird have each developed a wide base of loyal fans who are wildly passionate about and respectful of the music, both in our longtime homes of Nashville as well as when we have stepped outside our Nashville footprints for special shows on the road. Our songwriting community is part of what makes Nashville so great, and we simply can’t wait to entertain rooms full of New York City listeners, introducing them to Nashville and New York-based writers alike.”
Opry City Stage Times Square will be opened by a joint venture partnership with New York City-based SPK Hospitality Group LLC.
Reed continued, “The Opry has always enjoyed a warm welcome in New York City, and we believe Opry City Stage will appeal to both New Yorkers and tourists who will now be able to hear authentic country music in one of the world’s most famous entertainment centers. With its millions of annual visitors from around the world, Times Square is a logical place to debut the Opry City Stage concept, which we believe can be expanded to other tourist-focused markets in the near future.”
About Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.
Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP) is a REIT for federal income tax purposes, specializing in group-oriented, destination hotel assets in urban and resort markets. The Company’s owned assets include a network of four upscale, meetings-focused resorts totaling 7,805 rooms that are managed by lodging operator Marriott International, Inc. under the Gaylord Hotels brand. Other owned assets managed by Marriott International, Inc. include Gaylord Springs Golf Links, the Wildhorse Saloon, the General Jackson Showboat, The Inn at Opryland, a 303-room overflow hotel adjacent to Gaylord Opryland and AC Hotel Washington, DC at National Harbor, a 192-room hotel near Gaylord National. The Company also owns and operates media and entertainment assets, including the Grand Ole Opry (opry.com), the legendary weekly showcase of country music’s finest performers for 91 years; the Ryman Auditorium, the storied former home of the Grand Ole Opry located in downtown Nashville; and 650 AM WSM, the Opry’s radio home. For additional information about Ryman Hospitality Properties, visit www.rymanhp.com.
About The Bluebird Cafe
Opened in 1982, the Bluebird Cafe is one of the most famous listening rooms in the world. Focusing on songwriters and the original music they create, the 90-seat venue has gained worldwide recognition as an intimate performance space where both up and coming songwriters and chart-topping hitmakers perform “in the round”, sharing their songs and stories behind those songs. The Bluebird is known for jump starting people’s careers including Kathy Mattea, T. Graham Brown, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift and of course, Garth Brooks’ legendary performance that secured his record deal with Capitol Records. Over 70,000 people attend a show in the tiny venue annually; many of them as a result of seeing the Bluebird in the Foo Fighters' documentary, Sonic Highways, the feature film, The Thing Called Love or most recently on the hit drama, Nashville. Over the years, the Bluebird Cafe has been featured in publications such as Southwest Spirit, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times and Rolling Stone where the venue was voted one of the Top 10 Best Clubs in America.