Politics

National Tea Party Convention negotiating with Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort for second go-round

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

Tea Partiers may return to Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort, the sprawling venue where earlier this year hundreds of activists and media gathered for the National Tea Party Convention.

“We are currently coordinating details with the Tea Party for a function that would take place in 2011,” Gaylord Opryland resort spokeswoman Kim Kellor said Tuesday.

The announcement comes after a Daily Caller report that the sprawling Nashville resort decided to stop hosting Tea Partiers in their facilities after February’s National Tea Party Convention. Kellor, who would not comment during a previous story Monday, finally dismissed that notion Tuesday.

Kellor would not specifically name the group they’re in negotiations with, even though the function appears to be the second National Tea Party Convention. Convention organizer Judson Phillips said Tuesday that his group is the one negotiating with the resort for another year.

Kellor, who cited company policy for not specifically discussing clients, gently pushed back on the Daily Caller’s story that reported on a conservative activist who says he wanted to hold a conference at the Nashville facility, but was told the resort wouldn’t rent to him because they’ve decided against holding any Tea Party events.

Tennessee activist Bill Hemrick told The Daily Caller that his desire to hold a conservative event at the resort was declined by the resort. On Monday, Kellor would not comment on Hemrick’s allegations, but on Tuesday, she would only say, “We are open to any group,” when asked if the conservative activist was wrong to say they’ve restricted their facilities to exclude Tea Partiers.

Phillips, in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon said The Daily Caller story and its reporter’s phone calls inquiring about the initial report “prompted us to contact Gaylord about our event we are planning for next year.”

“As a result of our conversations, we are starting the negotiations to put our winter 2011 event at the Gaylord Opryland,” Phillips said of speaking with The Daily Caller.

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