REIT Conversion with 18% Special Dividend Yield

Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. (NYSE: RHP) declared a special dividend of $6.84 a share, marking another step towards the hospitality-and-entertainment company’s conversion into a real estate investment trust.  The dividend is payable to stockholders of record as of Nov. 13. The company plans to pay the dividend on Dec. 21.

The special dividend equates to a dividend yield of 18.14%.

Ryman, formerly known as Gaylord Entertainment, owns four massive conference resorts and had previously disclosed plans to offer a special dividend as part of its conversion to a REIT. In May, Gaylord Entertainment agreed to sell its brand and management operations to Marriott International Inc. (MAR) for $210 million, following a strategic review of its business.

Shareholders will have the option to receive the dividend in the form of cash or shares of common stock, with the total amount of cash payable to shareholders limited to about $61.9 million.

“The special dividend brings us one step closer to completing our conversion to a REIT effective January 1, 2013,” said Colin Reed, chairman, CEO and president of Ryman Hospitality Properties.  “We believe the REIT structure will support our strategic direction and the tax efficiency of the REIT structure will provide a benefit to our shareholders.”