Travel: Gaylord’s Billion Dollar View

by Editorial

When it opens in Spring 2012, RiverView Terrace at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center will offer a dramatic setting for weddings and events.
By John Arundel

River View Terrace Rendering

“That’s not just any river right there, that’s the Mighty Potomac!” National Harbor founder and developer Milt Peterson exclaimed to me on a warm Spring day back in 2006 when he first put the shovel into the ground for his $3 billion dream, the bustling suburban entertainment-opolis that is now National Harbor. “That’s a billion dollar view right there!”

Hoping to capitalize on that one-of-a-kind sweeping Potomac vista that carries the eye across the river to Belle Haven, Dyke Marsh, Old Town, Alexandria, Nationals Park and The U.S. Capitol further downstream, The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center has announced plans to unveil a new premier outdoor waterfront venue to be named RiverView Terrace, which is slated to open in Spring 2012.

“We are thrilled to see the construction of RiverView Terrace rapidly underway,” said Phil Coffey, Gaylord National’s Senior Vice President and General Manager. “The transformation of one of our prime outdoor areas will allow us to further set the standard for unique events in the Washington region and deliver an unparalleled experience for social gatherings.”

Situated facing west along the Potomac, RiverView Terrace will offer a dramatic setting with impressive nightly sunsets amidst the National Harbor Marina and sweeping views of Alexandria and the Washington monuments in the distance.

The 15,000 square-foot space, which takes the place of the former Colonial Gardens, will accommodate up to 700 guests for a seated dinner or 1,200 guests for a reception.

The newly constructed RiverView Terrace will offer a smooth, flat surface, accompanied by built-in handicapped access and tent anchor points, onsite electrical hook-ups and designated catering staging areas, allowing maximum adaptability for meeting and event planners.

“Guests attending private functions at RiverView Terrace will savor creative, fine-dining cuisine with catering provided by Gaylord National’s award-winning banquet team,” said Gaylord’s Event Planner Rachel Chadderdon.

The versatile open-air space will accommodate a variety of functions and special occasions, from galas to receptions and weddings, as it presents a number of layout options.

Event planners can choose to customize their event by adding upgrades such as full or partial tenting to create ambiance or cover from rain, portable outdoor heaters and fire pits for warmth during the cooler months, twinkle lights that adorn the surrounding landscape and illuminate the terrace after dusk, and Gaylord National’s signature “Kiss Goodnight” – a private fireworks show over the Potomac River.

RiverView Terrace is scheduled to open in April 2012, and will remain open to accommodate private events on a seasonal calendar through October 2012. Event pricing will start at $150 per person.

Paula Lynn Safran, Director of Catering Options at Gaylord National; Larry Guillemette, The Junior Statesmen Foundation; Jennifer Cerasani, Director of Marketing at Gaylord Hotels; and Jim Hipp, Director of Sales at Gaylord National. Courtesy Photo.

Rachel Chadderdon, Director of Local Catering at Gaylord National; Laura Weatherly, Engaging Affairs; Joanna Kaub, Local Catering Manager at Gaylord National; and Amanda Smith, Engaging Affairs. Courtesy Photo.

Julie Hanson, Hanson Productions and Joan Davis, Epic Meetings. Courtesy Photo.

Steven Potts, VP of Conference Management at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Courtesy Photo.

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