Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc., owners of Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House, has backed out of a $283 million deal to purchase a downtown Austin, Texas development that's anchored by the W Austin hotel and Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater.
On May 22, Ryman Hospitality stated that it terminated it's previous agreement with the Austin-based real estate company Stratus Properties Inc., which owns the area known as block 21.
"In the current capital markets and economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have determined that it is not in the best interest of our shareholders to focus our resources and capital on this project at this time," Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, said in a press release. "We sincerely regret that the current circumstances do not permit us to complete the acquisition. We commend Stratus on their successful development of the Block 21 complex, and we know that it will have continued success when its businesses are able to return to full strength at the end of this global pandemic."
The Moody Theater isn't just an entertainment venue in a major city. Since 2011, it's been home of long-running television series Austin City Limits. The show debuted in 1974 with a pilot episode featuring Willie Nelson. Since then, PBS' long-running music series has exposed talented Texans, country music outlaws and Americana's brightest stars to a national audience.
This article was originally published in December 2019. It was updated on May 28,2020.