has grown in the past ;ive years and how that progress has impacted
its meetings market.
The 2013 opening of the Music City Center and Omni Nashville
Hotel created an urban complement to the well-established Gaylord
Opryland’s large group resort offerings.
Further to bene;it groups, many hotels along the Broadway strip
are investing in renovations, and the Westin Nashville is slated to
open behind Music City Center in September, adding 453 rooms and
more than 7,000 square feet of ballroom to the strip. To borrow from
Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come;” groups are lining up
to ;ill each room and square foot available. And although Nashville
has received high acclaim for its blossoming culinary scene from critics including Food & Wine and Food Arts, beyond the boardroom,
groups have many more options than standard evening dine-arounds.
Within walking distance of Broadway, First Tennessee Park, home
of the Nashville Sounds baseball team, opened in 2015. The ballpark
allows groups to make some noise in its 4,000-square-foot Band Box.
The Box features unique activities that extend the competition on the
;ield to your team in the right ;ield lawn playing corn hole or ping
pong. Attendees will work up an appetite for a Tennessee brew and
smokehouse BBQ, just a few of the food and beverage options available. If you’d like longer than a nine-inning home stand for your
group, the First Tennessee Park can also host your corporate event
during the day, accommodating basic audiovisual needs in house.
If the sounds don’t get you on your feet, do not fret—Nashville is
called Music City for a reason. Ivey says, “Nashville sets the standard
ew pastimes are more American than baseball; add beer and
Kentucky Bourbon and you’ve crafted a true American trilogy.
These staples of U.S. heritage can be found in the heartland, folded between the Smokey Mountains and Illinois’ Lake Michigan shoreline. However, outside of the towering skyscrapers and historic hotels
of Chicago, the vast potential of this burgeoning region has been un-derutilized by meeting professionals located outside of its borders.
Oh, what hidden gems we have yet to discover!
While I was taking a road trip through the area last spring, Jason
Aldean’s “Fly Over States” lyrics rang rather true: “You’ll understand
why God made, Why you’d want to plant your stakes, In those ;ly over
states.” The beauty of the land, the generous local hospitality, growing
infrastructure and innovative professionals create an optimal setting
for meeting groups’ daily productivity and valuable networking time.
Although my trip was leisure, I was inspired and could not resist my
instinct to duck into private event spaces and inquire about how these
locations could pose great value, individually or combined.
My tour began in the now-booming center of Tennessee, Nashville, and followed the Northbound 65 pavement through Kentucky,
Indiana and Illinois.
Tennessee: Ride the Sound Waves
Already a favorite for weekend getaways, it is no secret that mod-ern-day Music City is a hot ticket.
In speaking with Deana Ivey, chief marketing of;icer for the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., I learned to what height Nashville