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Gaylord Pulls Plug on Mesa Resort

By Kristena Hansen for Phoenix Business Journal

It’s official — Gaylord Entertainment Co. announced that it’s getting out of the development business — or, rather, business entirely — which means, as many feared, it won’t be building Mesa’s long-awaited resort and conference center at the master planned Eastmark development.

The resort project planned for Mesa includes a large convention space, a championship 18-hole golf course and retail shops. Illustration courtesy of Gaylord Entertainment

Mesa officials and DMB Associates Inc., developer of Eastmark, which is located on the former General Motors Proving Grounds, have been on the edge of their seats since May when the Nashville-based hotel company divulged preliminary plans to sell its Gaylord Hotels brand and rights, reorganize as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, and exit the resort-development industry.

The final blow to the highly-anticipated $800-million Gaylord resort was dealt on September 25th when company shareholders voted in favor of those plans, which will ultimately dismantle the hotel operator by October 1.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said the contract allows Gaylord to hand over the rights to (a voter-approved) tax-incentive package to its successor — whomever that ends up being.

Read more at Phoenix Business Journal