Category Archives: news

3 areas prepping for nashville growth

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new entrance planned for the nashville international airport

growing pains are all around us. no big surprise since forbes declared nashville #6 best US city for job growth and #28 best place for business. adding to that, the city ranks 15th nationally in the number of fortune 500 companies headquartered here including the likes of HCA, dollar general and tractor supply. our low energy and labor costs have only continued to attract more new business relocations in recent months.

so how do we accommodate for the influx of new people in and out of the city? here’s three things in the works:

1-transit

drivers spend on average 34 hours in nashville traffic annually…although my guess is some even spend 34 hours in traffic a month. in october, mayor megan barry unveiled a $5.2 billion transit plan bringing a combination of 26 miles of light rail, rapid bus, and even an underground tunnel downtown. the light rail will have its own designated lane. there will be 5 main arteries ending downtown at the underground connection that will run under 5th avenue.

the main cost would come from an increase in sales tax that would jump 1 percent in 2023. the mayor is also proposing a hike in hotel tax, rental car tax and business & excise tax.

“it will not be free. it will be an investment in our future and i believe nashvillians will be willing to make the investment when they learn more about this proposal and how it will change the way they live.” -mayor megan barry

the downside: if approved in may 2018, service improvements and improved accuracy on the current bus service as well as new neighborhood transit centers could start next year. for those frustrated in traffic this week looking for relief, the light rail transit (LRT) service, however, would not be active until 2026, starting with gallatin pike in east nashville. the lrt plan would not fully be completed until 2032. Screen_Shot_2017-10-17_at_10.59.29_AM

 

2-airport

the airport saw a 11.2% increase to 13.5 travelers in 2016, making it the fastest growing airport of its size in the nation. with the population of nashville estimated to top over 2.5 million by 2041, a $1.2 billion expansion was announced for the nashville international airport. no local tax dollars will be used. over the course of the next five years, the airport plans to triple their short term parking, add a 288-room on-site hotel and office building, expand concourse d and add a new international facility to name a few changes.  the entire look and feel of the airport is getting a facelift as well, almost complementing the design of the music city convention center with its curved roof line (see above).

 

with the new british airways direct flight to london in may 2018, the airport hopes to open up new global market opportunities in the future. also, if approved next year, the city’s transit plan includes a light rail line as part of the new airport design.

3-hotels

13.9 million visitors , a record number, came to nashville in 2016, up from 13.4 million in 2015. it was also a banner year for the hospitality world since we sold the most hotel rooms ever.

annual visitation is up 45% in the past 10 years so the need is greater than ever to continue to grow the city’s hotel options. more than 100 hotels are in some sort of development in the city currently, outpacing cities like los angeles, chicago, atlanta and dc. according to STR hotel market data this summer, actually only 3 cities in the country have more lined up: new york, houston, and dallas.

among the notable hotel developments in the works for nashville, virgin hotel nashville broke ground in september at 1 music square west. the 240-room, 200,000 square foot hotel will come with restaurants, a bar and a rooftop lounge + pool, being delivered in 2019.

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virgin hotel nashville-coming 2019

dream hotel will be another prominent addition to the hospitality community. the 169-downloadroom hotel is a four-building development essentially rejuvenating a huge portion of printer’s alley downtown. printer’s alley is steeped in history dating back to the civil war era. there will be 6 new dining and nightlife venues on the street level and restorations of two of the main buildings has collaboration efforts from earl swensson architects with meyer davis laying out the interior.

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the upcoming w hotel | 316 12th avenue south

 

plans for the upcoming W hotel in the gulch were revised and approved this summer, increased from 250 rooms to 350 rooms. the plan also calls for a rooftop bar, music venue and amenity deck. there will be a restaurant space on the corner of 12th and laurel (caddy corner to fin+pearl) as well as 12th and pine (near the turnip truck).

 

 

 

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who chucked the first catfish on the arena ice?

it started with a local rock band and their managers in the fall of 2003. i sat down with scott knabe this week for a quick five minutes, five questions to hear the story.

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scott (left) with his brother matt were a part of the first catfish tossed onto the ice…and maybe the second and third.

1) why the catfish?

i co-managed my brother matt’s band, ligion, with bob wolf, owner of wolfy’s bar on broadway at the time. bob’s best friend was the owner of the team then, so we learned the game through him. in 2003, we talked about starting a tradition. at that time, there were painted catfish sculptures on the corners throughout town as part of an art installation. bob suggested we use that as inspiration and start throwing catfish on the ice like they do in detroit with the octopus. a preds exec gave us two sets of tickets to each game. one set within seven rows of the glass then another 20 rows up. we would wrap up the catfish and put them down our pants. as soon as we would score we’d take them out and throw them on the ice as quickly as possible. then we’d run up the aisle to the bathroom, clean up and go to the other seats. 

2) how did you guys get it in there? 

we would put them in our pants. this was before skinny jeans so much easier to disguise. 

3) when was this? 

the first catfish recorded to be thrown on the ice was by the band’s guitar player seth warrum and band friend lisa reese. the game was october 30, 2003, a win against the red wings. lisa actually got thrown out of the game that night.

4) in an unrelated topic, isn’t it crazy that mtv’s show catfish lasted five seasons, longer than classics like gilligan’s island and star trek? 

crazy! people love catfish!  looking back, the catfish has been a nashville staple for 15 years, with t-shirts, pins, the works. quite a bit longer than the infamous “3 hour tour.” 

5) touchè. okay, last question, was it just the one toss or have there been others over the years? 

we did it for about a year and half. each game, the ligion band guys would rotate on who would throw the catfish. if we were on the road, we would have friends volunteer to fill in for us.

we had an incident where the ice girl accidentally sliced one in half with her skate. A bloody mess that caused a delay in the game. the preds exec thought we should probably stop doing it because we didn’t want to cause a penalty for the team. about 5 years later, someone else threw a catfish out on the ice and i was a proud poppa!

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your nashville summer movies cheat sheet

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movies in the park kicks off june 1 with sing!

zoovies at the park, brought to you by the nashville zoo and southern icee, has paddington this friday may 26. with inflatables, games, crafts, music, and after-hours access to the carousel and the soaring eagle zip line, it promises all the family fun you can handle.  activities begin at 6pm and movies start at sunset.  members get in free or it’s $6 for non-members after 6pm.

june 23- shrek

september 1- zootopia

the 23rd year of movies in the park kicks off next thursday june 1. sponsored by the nashville scene with the support of the metropolitan board of parks & recreation and recognized as one of nashville’s best annual events, movies in the park is every thursday in june at elmington park:

the-secret-life-of-pets-56378a2078351june 1 sing!

june 8 rogue one

june 15 the secret life of pets

june 22 back to the future

games and give aways start at 5:00.  the movie typically starts at sundown (roughly around 8:00).  a long train of food trucks will be there as well so bring a blanket and plan to settle in for the evening under the stars.

on friday june 16,  movies at the schermerhorn celebrates more than 20 years of inspired animation and great music with the whole family in a one-of-a-kind concert experience from dreamworks. laugh and sing along as you relive all of your favorite movie clips on a stunning, 70-foot HD screen while your nashville symphony performs the iconic scores from these hit films:

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  • how to train your dragon
  • kung fu panda
  • madagascar
  • shrek

the event is friday june 16 at 7pm and tickets start at $17. later this summer with the nashville symphony, you can also catch the steven spielberg classic ET (june 30) or la la land (july 6 & 7), winner of 6 academy® awards last year.

 

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nashville film fest in full swing this weekend

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california typewriter

the 48th annual nashville film festival kicks off today. you will no doubt recognize familiar faces like tom hanks, aisha tyler and bruce dern in the mix. with over 300 films this year and 18 world premieres, the event continues to expand, providing exposure for the indie voices everywhere.

the films represent 27 nations and every inhabited continent and were selected from over 1,240 feature submissions. a jury of industry professionals select the winning films that will take home up to $20,000 in cash and prizes.  also, there are more tennessee-based films than ever before.e9229c8d-85fb-481b-a665-cab6ea4de2a8

“the films present a wide view of the world from contemporary issues to historic dramas; from deeply intimate personal dramas to wide open epics,” said artistic director, brian owens. “diversity is really on display in these films.”

the nashvilel film festival is the oldest running and largest film festival in the south and one of the oldest in the country. the festival is mixing it up this year and the location will be hollywood 27 regal cinema. the 48th annual nashville film festival opens april 20 and conclude april 29. for tickets, click here.

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nashville: a more family-friendly playground?

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seattle’s great wheel at sunset © ispeaknashville

as the #1 bachelorette destination in the country, nashville has no shortage of party options when they descend on our city every weekend but recently an influx of new family-friendly concepts are being dreamed up for the city. last week, it was announced that the metro nashville sports authority has begun early conversations with a hospitality company called icon attractions LLC, to look into building a ferris wheel attraction downtown on the river. a lot of fiery hoops to jump through first before it becomes a reality but this is just one in many idea being discussed lately. here are four others:

2-top golf

TopGolf-Arena1topgolf revealed last january plans for making nashville their first location in tennessee. sitting on a 13-acre lot next to the jefferson street bridge in east nashville, the three-level topgolf will have 102 climate-controlled hitting bays (which can host up to six people at a time). in addition to that, the venue will offer 3,000 square feet of private event space, a 7,900 square foot concert venue and an extensive menu and bar with 230 high-definition flat-screen televisions. projected opening is late summer 2017. | 500 cowan street

3-waterpark talks (again)

the days of the opryland theme park are all but fleeting memories these days on the east side of town but in january, ryman hospitality officials announced to the nashville business journal plans for a $90 million indoor/outdoor water theme park. soundwaves waterpark will include a 45 foot slide tower, a lazy river, wave pool, child’s play area, restaurants and an adults-only pool.

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4-polercoaster

urlorlando-based thrillcorp is considering nashville for a vertical rollercoaster. in addition to the 600-foot high “polercoaster” attraction, the structure would also allow for an observation deck, ziplining, and even a restaurant. the company can build on half an acre of land with a cost of roughly $50 million. location is still tbd and the company is still raising money for the investment.

5-indoor drive-in theater

 a concept that is a little more concrete at this point is the august moon drive-in, slated for downtown summer 2018 if everything goes as planned. reported to variety magazine in february, the 40,000 square foot, air-supported indoor drive-in theater comes complete with a simulated starry sky, seating in modified 1960s classic cars and food service & full bar. august-moon-renderingthe venue will have multiple dining areas including a “private tree house” event space as well as a separate lounge for live music. the theater is touting to have the largest non-imax screen in north america and the space will lend itself to live interactive performers from stage before and after a film as well. they will show first-run films and classics. | james robertson parkway + i-24 near the nissan stadium

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