Big Conventions Call Music City Center Home - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Big Conventions Call Music City Center Home

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by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - More than 10,000 attendees of the Summer NAMM show will soon start to arrive in Nashville. One hotel has spent millions in anticipation of their arrival.

The National Association of Music Merchants will hold its summer convention at Music City Center. It is the largest convention to be held in the recently opened facility.

Organizers said the convention is a perfect fit for Nashville.

"It's all the major companies, new companies, start-up companies, and it's their opportunity to come here and meet musicians," said musician Rick Monroe.

Summer NAMM, at one point moved out of Nashville, but returned last year. The show has grown over the years and needed a facility the size of Music City Center.

"I mean this is Music City, and I think having it here, and them keeping it here, and it growing big, it should, this should be the NAMM to be at," Monroe said.

The first major convention at Music City Center coincides with the grand re-opening of a landmark Nashville hotel.

For the last six months, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel underwent $17 million in renovations. Almost every area of the hotel was remodeled with a contemporary look.

"Our timing was strategic. We wanted to align ourselves with the opening of the Music City Center," said general manager Tony Phillips.

The remodel took the business traveler into consideration. Most seating areas in the new lobby area are equipped with power outlets and USB ports.

The hotel also opened up a new-concept bar and restaurant called Mason's. The bar area is larger to accommodate larger crowds.

Phillips said you can already see the impact of the renovation and the opening of Music City Center opening.

The hotel was sold out this week, and July has traditionally been a slow month at Loews Vanderbilt, and that increase in reservations made does not show any sign of slowing down.

"We had a strategy meeting earlier today where we talked about a Music City Center, city-wide group, for 2015 that we're negotiating terms on. So both near, as in this week, and long term, it seems to already be happening," Phillips said.

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel has 340 guest rooms and has been a fixture on Nashville's West End for the last 30 years.

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