Matt Potter 10:28 p.m., March 6
Chula Vista and Gaylord, Now Separated, Singing the Blues
Chula Vista has declared itself in a fiscal emergency. This means it is bleeding so much it could ask the voters for a sales tax increase. The city is considering a layoff of 130 employees, and closing of faciities such as the city pool. Meanwhile, Gaylord Entertainment is experiencing weakness at its facilities. This is the company that wanted a $300 million subsidy to build a $1 billion hotel and convention center on the Chula Vista bayfront. After many fits and starts, the marriage appears to be over, but you never know when it will appear back on the table. Gaylord reported that in November, same-store revenue at its corporate resorts dropped 5.4 percent. The preliminary drop for December is 4.8 percent. Same-store revenue reflects sales in facilities that have been open at least a year. The company's newest convention center facility in Maryland, opened in 2008, is operating at a mere 56 percent occupancy rate. Gaylord's stock is at $13.12 today, down 3 percent, but it has been as low as $5.27 this year. The high is $36.27 over the last year. The company is very heavily leveraged.