Owner invests in $20M ballroom for D.C.'s Gaylord Convention Center

The owner of the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C., is investing in a $20-million ballroom facility to host large-scale events at its National Harbor site.

The stand-alone ballroom will be located on the Potomac River west of the existing hotel and span 24,000 square feet, with glass on three sides to provide views of the water.

The building, which is expected to open August 2016, will also have 16,000 square feet of meeting space. The decision to add the stand-alone ballroom is in response to demand, said Ryman CEO Colin Reed. The space will also attract a different style of event and allow for a different type of experience than does the typical, subterranean hotel ballroom. It will also allow the hotel to book more events simultaneously, with the new meeting space able to accommodate 400 to 500 people, allowing for small and medium-sized events even as a large convention is being held at the hotel.

Gaylord's existing ballroom, the Potomac Ballroom, is double this space, at more than 50,000 square feet. Still, the new waterfront ballroom will rank among the largest in the region, behind just a few others: the Washington Hilton, the Marriott Marquis D.C. and the Marriott Wardman Park.