Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP) is a hotel, resort, entertainment, and media company named after National Historic Landmark, the Ryman Auditorium built as a tabernacle by Captain Thomas G. Ryman in 1892, and later was the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74. The hospitality group was founded by Edward Gaylord. Prior to its public ownership, it was previously a subsidiary of the Oklahoma City-based Oklahoma Publishing Company, which was formerly owned by the Gaylord family for 71 years until 2011. The OPUBCO company was once the lontime publisher of the Daily Oklahoman newspaper. Until 2012, the company was known as Gaylord Entertainment Company, and earlier as Gaylord Broadcasting Company. The company has operated as a real estate investment trust since October 1, 2012. Gaylord Entertainment came into existence after Edward Gaylord was persuaded by his wife, Thelma, to purchase the Opryland USA properties that had been put up for sale by American General Insurance. The Gaylords took the Opryland businesses, merged them with Gaylord Broadcasting (their existing television station and syndicated program division) and created Opryland USA, Inc. Opryland USA, Inc. became the Gaylord Entertainment Company when the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in the early 1990s. The company flourished as the leader in the "country lifestyle" business under the leadership of E.W. "Bud" Wendell until he retired in 1997. The Opryland Lodging Group was formed with the opening of the 600 room Opryland Hotel (now named Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center) in November 1977. In addition to catering to guests from the Opryland USA Themepark and Grand Ole Opry, the hotels first general manager, Jack Vaughn, sought to cater to conventions, a service that Nashville tourism had neglected until then. The hospitality group was a modest, but highly successful division of the Opryland USA properties of Gaylord Entertainment from the hotels opening through the 1996 expansion of the hotels almost 3,000 rooms and subsequent announcement of future Opryland Hotels in Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C..