Opryland plans tuneful celebration for millennium

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Music fans can ring in the next millennium as part of the Grand Celebration 2000 program offered by Opryland Hotel here.

Grand Ole Opry"We anticipate a lot of interest ... from around the country, and especially the motorcoach [market]," said an Opryland spokesman. Although best known as the heart of the country music scene, Opryland's 2000 entertainment lineup will include sounds of the big band era as well as Delta blues and jazz stylings from the region. The four-night program includes accommodations at the Opryland Hotel, with special music, dining and recreational events planned for each day.

Opryland's Grand Celebration 2000 package runs from Dec. 30 to Jan. 3 and kicks off with a reception and a night of dinner and dancing to 1940s-era big band music. The last day of the millennium is celebrated with an international-themed brunch. Entertainment will include Spanish dance troops, circus acts and a mariachi band.

The big night that follows is billed as the New Millennium's Eve and will be set in the property's 4.5-acre Delta garden. Titled Evening in the Delta, the night will proceed with dining, drinking and dancing to jazz, blues and classical music. Dancing in the street and a surprise grand finale at the stroke of midnight should serve to awaken any potential wallflowers.

New Year's Day will be celebrated with a brunch in the hotel's ballroom, which will be stocked with several big-screen televisions for watching the college bowl games. The evening will feature a dinner at the Opryland Hotel and a country music performance.

The last evening of the package includes dinner and a night of entertainment from comedians and ventriloquists as well as free entry into a number of drawings offering packages and certificates for prizes. Tom Monroe, manager of executive meetings and special events products for the company, is confident the millennium program will outperform Opryland's popular annual New Year's packages.

Monroe said that Opryland lends a personal touch to its motorcoach-tour service, which accounts for a large amount of the attraction's revenue. "We get quite a bit of motorcoach business, especially for our Country Christmas," Monroe said. "The motorcoaches come back year after year. For the most part, we do big groups every day, but we handle them each differently. We put someone on each bus to help them get to locations and to their rooms. Let's face it, we're a large hotel, but we provide personal assistance for each of the tour buses," he added.

Monroe said he even gets into the act by boarding tour buses to meet with the tour director and direct clients to their rooms. The hotel also has a location that is dedicated to unloading and tagging the motorcoach luggage.

Opryland Hotel Specialty Sales can assist with group-tour programs and arrange group rates at any of the Opryland USA attractions, including the Grand Ole Opry; the General Jackson showboat; the Ryman Auditorium; the Music City Queen paddle-wheel boat; Springhouse Golf Club; Grand Ole Opry Tours; Opryland USA River Taxis, and the Wildhorse Saloon.

The Specialty Sales department also can arrange private functions at several Nashville landmarks, including Belle Meade Mansion; the Parthenon and the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home); the Country Music Hall of Fame; Cheekwood Mansion, and the Tennessee State Museum.

The Opryland Hotel Convention Center's catering department can coordinate themed packages that include event-specific decorations, entertainment and costumes for service staff.
Opryland USA
Phone: (615) 871-6169
The Opryland Hotel Convention Center
Phone: (615) 889-1000; group sales, (615) 871-5800; catering office, (615) 871-6800

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