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KHS&S Endows Florida Hotel with Authentic Themed Delights

KHS&S Contractors, a national specialty contractor located Orlando, Fla., has brought its theming expertise to Gaylord Entertainment’s latest project, Gaylord PalmsTM Resort & Convention Center (formerly the Opryland Hotel Florida), a mega-resort combining the nationally known reputation of Opryland Nashville with the comfort of Southern living under three spectacular glass domes.



Reflecting the history, culture, wildlife, water and architecture of the Sunshine State, Gaylord sets a new standard for resort theming as visitors will actually experience the beauty and charm of Florida’s magical landscapes situated in three distinct atrium areas – the Grand, Key West and the Everglades.



Scheduled to officially open on Feb. 2, 2002, at 2:02 p.m., the project is, according to KHS&S Senior Project Executive Fred Ayers, both unique and challenging. With 230,000 square feet of exteriors, and 48,000 square feet of themed
interiors, Ayers explains, “Our crews are
continuously working to provide an aesthetically
pleasing form amidst many
variables including uneven planes, multi-
elevations and ornate architectural
features.” Ayers adds that the sheer magnitude
of the job is reflected in the detail
and support work required by the building—
from more than a half-mile of
balustrade to $1 million of scaffolding
for worker access.



Capturing the Essence



Working with architectural firm HBG
Hnedak Bobo Group, KHS&S developed
renderings and working drawings
for the project’s interior themed façades
and features in all three atrium areas.
KHS&S captured the “bohemian” spirit
of Florida’s southern tip paradise with exacting realism by replicating the “ginger
bread’ characteristics of Key West
architecture, including multiple lasercut
balustrades, colorful shutters and
clapboard siding.



Other Key West building features include
a 4,700 square foot seafood restaurant’s
gabled roof, partially covered by
corrugated steel obtained from an
Orlando man’s dilapidated barn, and a
1,300 square foot pie shanty’s Victorianstyle
metal shingles roof reminiscent of
the 1920s. To complete the look, both
facades were painted in tropical blue and
yellow and covered with a wash coat to
produce the “weathered” effect so typical
of Key West structures.



Just minutes away from Key West,
KHS&S crews were achieving the same
kind of dead-ringer detail in the Grand
Atrium, recreating the old-style historical
ambiance of St. Augustine. Reminiscent
of one of this fort city’s most
notable structures—Flagler College—
the four-level Emerald Plaza façade
depicts 14 over-sized windows built out
of wood and framed with more than
200 wooden quoins, designed to look
like stones and six arched entrances
flanked by 10 columns, consisting of
GFRG and painted to look like stone.



In a creative solution to cover a duct
opening in the center of this facade,
KHS&S artists achieved a Spanish tile
effect by utilizing a computer art design
to laser cut 20 pieces of quarter-inch 3 -
by-3 steel plates. One of the highlights
of the area is a dome constructed out of
cut plywood, measured to the radius of
the structure, and covered with copper.


Tally Ho!



In addition to the facades, KHS&S
crews also constructed and accessorized
one of the resort’s most notable theming
features—a 65by-26, two-masted
ketch, home to the Key West area’s
liquor and oyster bar as well as an historical
centerpiece.



KHS&S constructed the boat atop 65
cubic yards of concrete, first building
the frame consisting of 30 ribs, each
one-half inch in diameter and rolled to
specified dimensions. Crews then covered
the frame with stainless steel lath to
form the boat’s hull, resulting in 3,000
square feet of surface area. The hull’s
outer layer consists of stucco, which was
painted over in blue, and its top will be
covered with wood decking, laid down
as planks.



The sailing vessel showcases such nautical
antiques as a brass forestay and cage
lamps, dated around 1944, off the
U.S.S. Adroit, a minesweeper in World
War II, and brackets off another ship sitting
in the Savannah River since 1924.


Other accessories include cleats from the
Sailing Deck on the Savannah River
dating back to the 1800s and an anchor
chain thought to be more than 100
years old. The pieces were collected by
Jim Bath, of Seven Seas Trading Company,
and Karen Pennington, Ayers
daughter and a boat enthusiast, both of
Wilmington, N.C. Responsible for creating
the concept for the vessel’s rigging,
sails and masts, Pennington, of Design
Consultants, submitted numerous
sketches, drawings and photographs
before partnering with Bath to secure
the pieces.



“It was an interesting project for two
ship lovers to work on,” said Ayers.
“Basically, once they knew what they
needed, they started visiting different
shipyards where old vessels were being
stripped. Their efforts resulted in an
amazing collection.”



In addition to the
antiques, Ayers
says other features
of the ketch were
custom-crafted to
complete the
authentic effect.
Both masts, one
58 feet and the
other 60 feet,
were cut out of
Southern pine
trees and lathered
with Danish Oil
Finish, the natural oil of the tree. A colleague
of Bath’s hand-made the ratlines,
a rope tapestry attached to the mast and
the railing, used when sailors need to
climb to the top of the mast for repairs.



Pennington also chose to import some
pieces, including one of the most visible
features of the vessel—18 portholes
spaced around the boat’s hull. Having
found a brass model in an antique shop
in North Carolina, Pennington secured
18 replicas through the store, which
imports the adornments from France.
Modeled after the portholes of an ocean
liner, the fixtures were fitted with
obscure glass and lit from behind.



The ketch joins the company of two
other vessels constructed by KHS&S—
a 155-ft. ocean freighter at Desert Passage
in Las Vegas, Nev., and a four-story
riverboat at MGM Studios in Orlando,
Fla.

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