What exactly is it about Nashville? Why did this small, country music, boot wearin, ’honky-tonk town get so famous? Why are so many top chefs moving here to open their next hit restaurant? And are the rumors true? Did Justin Timberlake purchase 126 acres of land in a nearby tiny town called Leiper’s Fork? Did Taylor Swift have something to do with the Nashville craze? Or did the city’s southern charm spread like wildfire? What genius things did Nashville do to market our hot city?
Some can trace Nashville’s recent celebrity status to the 2012 premiere of ABC’s (and now CMT’s) hit show, “Nashville.” The show made such an impact (its first episode attracting a whopping 8.93 million viewers) and that was the only the beginning. Back when Nashville was only in pre-production, another huge project was brewing. The city knew that in order to prosper in the future; they would have to build a large convention center downtown. Mayor Karl Dean was elected in 2007, and he made this project his top priority. Officials broke ground in March of 2010, and the 2.1 million square foot facility finally opened in May of 2013. This was the most expensive project in Tennessee history.
Next project was the Omni, a $270 million dollar hotel that holds 800 guest rooms and 80,000 sq. ft of conference space. Once this massive luxury hotel was built, a slew of existing hotels started major renovations. With a new, impressive convention center and a high-end hotel, momentum began to take over the city, drawing out-of-town crowds over 48,000.
Once people started to visit, they fell in love with all that Nashville had to offer. Downtown is compact, making it easy to get around. Plus over the years they have added golf carts, trolley cars, and shuttles to make it fun and easier for visitors to see everything. Having easy access to live music, trendy restaurants, and hip culture are some of the reasons why people find Nashville so attractive…. not to mention how friendly we are! Nashville was named “Readers Choice” Destination of the Year by Travel and Leisure in 2015. Also, we were the number one city for International Travel by Trip Advisor in 2015. It also appeared in 16 destinations for 2016 on Forbes and I am sure we will appear as another hot city for 2017.
The music scene is what really drew me to Nashville. It’s incredible how on any night; you can go to multiple spots and see profound talent. I love it. I vowed to stay only two years but here I am coming up on six years in May. It’s a friendly community and it makes you feel like you are a part of something. And WE are. And it’s exciting. The city is vibrant, authentic and charming. The energy is creative. Nashville does it all. They do the songwriting, the production, and run the business side of recording, performing, and touring. It is a complex business, and Nashville thrives on it. Whether the show Nashville, set the tone for the city, or the city set the tone for the TV show, it made people want to visit and then yearn to move here. I would say building the convention center and releasing an eponymous show at the same time was impeccable timing and a genius way to market the city. Wouldn’t you agree with me, Nashvillians?!