Gaylord National Resort reopens for guests after yearlong closure

Closed for a year due to the pandemic, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is reopening its doors.

Jennifer Cerasani, director of marketing and public relations for the resort, said that while the facility was closed to the public, there was a lot going on.

“We have just undergone a $64 million total room renovation,” Cerasani said.

Employees at the 1,996-room hotel are known as “stars.” Cerasani was asked if Gaylord National has been able to return to prior staffing levels. She said she couldn’t provide an exact number but that “we can employ up to 2,000 stars depending on the season.”

“What I can tell you is we are well-staffed to create an amazing experience for our guests.”

Like many businesses, Gaylord National is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on mask-wearing. Cerasani said at this point, they will ask visitors who have not been vaccinated to wear masks, while those who have been vaccinated won’t be required to mask up.

Over the past year, Cerasani said, “We’ve done upgrades to our HVAC system,” including the use of hospital-grade disinfectants in air ducts and coils. Cleaning routines have also been boosted, including what Cerasani said were “enhanced cleaning protocols”.

When it first opened in 2004, the complex was projected to generate $308 million in taxes in Prince George’s County from 2008 to 2037.

The Gaylord National Resort hosts large conventions and smaller gatherings, and Cerasani said bookings are already bouncing back from a challenging year.

“Family reunions are extremely popular at the moment. People are ready to come back together.”

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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