Gaylord Palms Resort to Open All-New Crystal River Rapids Water Attraction on March 1 as Part of $158 Million Expansion

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Full Expansion to Include 302 Enhanced Guest Rooms and 96,000 Square Feet of Meeting Space, Expected Later this Year 

Gaylord Palms Resort and Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE:RHP) are pleased to announce that Crystal River Rapids, the thrilling new action river water attraction at Cypress Springs Water Park, will open on March 1, 2021 as part of a $158 million expansion — the largest in the resort’s history.

In addition to the exciting water ride, guests will be able to indulge in mouthwatering American fare at the new Crystal River Refreshments quick service dining location, relax in two spas and enjoy a variety of upgraded pool seating options.

Inspired by spring-fed Florida rivers, Crystal River Rapids takes guests on an exhilarating ride as they twist and turn through speeding currents at three-and-a-half feet per second. As guests race past roaring waterfalls, crumbling limestone walls, and larger-than-life sprinkling leaves, they will encounter thrilling water activations that will immerse them in the nature of Florida. With a state-of-the-art sound system, heated water for year-round enjoyment and alcoves that allow guests to stop and take in the stunning views of Cypress Springs Water Park, this new action river adventure will allow for endless family-fun.

“We can’t wait to debut this elevated attraction to our already thrilling Cypress Springs Water Park,” said Johann Krieger, General Manager of Gaylord Palms. “Everyone can find something they love; whether it’s our relaxing South Beach Pool, the daring drop and racing slides, the multi-level water playground, the FlowRider Surfing Experience or this new action river, there is truly something for every member of the family.”

Additional Crystal River Rapids and outdoor features will include:

  • Crystal River Refreshments – Offering casual grab-and-go dining for lunch and dinner. The menu will feature specialty cocktails and delicious comfort food, including loaded waffle fries, flatbreads, sandwiches and more.
  • Spas – Take a break from the fun and relax in two spas complete with massage jets and 360-degree views of Cypress Springs Water Park.
  • Upgraded Seating – Guests will be able to purchase several upgraded seating options, including:
    • Private Cabanas – The ultimate way to enhance a pool day! Includes extra shade, additional space, comfortable lounge areas, refrigerators, a flat screen TV and more.
    • Day Beds – These comfortable lounge chairs can fit two adults comfortably — with a maximum of four guests per bed – providing a place to lay back, relax and grab some shade.
    • Exclusive Sun Deck Chairs – Those looking for the perfect way to stay cool while lounging in the sun will be able to lay on the sun shelf while overlooking Crystal River Rapids.
    • Premium Pool Seating – To allow for social distancing, occupancy limits will be applied in the new Crystal River Rapids area. Premium pool seats guarantee a spot and provide a front-row view of the pool.

Also opening with Crystal River Rapids is Mangrove Lawn, the new 12,000-square-foot event lawn located right outside the Convention Center. This flexible meeting space will connect to both South Beach Pool and Crystal River Rapids for groups looking to do combination buyouts.

The full resort expansion will be completed later this year, bringing an additional 96,000 square feet of carpeted meeting and pre-function space to the resort’s current 400,000 square feet. 302 guest rooms with an enhanced, modern look, will also be added, in the new Gulf Coast tower adjacent to the resort’s pools. When complete, Gaylord Palms will offer a total of 1,718 sleeping rooms. These additions will continue the resort’s tradition of honoring the rich heritage of the State of Florida from the architectural style and color palette to the unique place names.

Right now, Florida residents can save 15% on overnight stays. For more information, CLICK HERE.

In accordance with Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” practices, the resort provides enhanced cleaning technology, hospital-grade disinfectants, attendants dedicated to sanitizing frequently throughout the day, new social distancing protocols, and hundreds of new cleaning processes to take care of guests while they enjoy the resort’s amenities. In addition, the pool experience has been upgraded to implement new cleanliness and social distancing measures, while balancing the aquatic experience guests have come to love.


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