NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. announced that three entertainment vehicles were informed that their memberships were being made inactive.
According to NCVC President Butch Spyridon, the businesses are The Nashville Tractor, Honky Tonk Party Express and Upstage Party Bus.
Spyridon said the business owners were told on September 8 that their memberships were made inactive, either by "refunding the annual membership dues they had paid or not renewing their annual membership, which happened to be currently up for renewal."
Read Spyridon's full statement below:
"The NCVC informed three entertainment vehicles on Sept. 8 that their memberships were being made inactive, either by refunding the annual membership dues they had paid or not renewing their annual membership, which happened to be currently up for renewal," Spyridon said. "At a time when the NCVC is working to regulate this category of party buses and tractors, we did not feel it was right to keep their membership payment. In the interest of fairness and not appearing hypocritical, our board felt this was an appropriate measure. We hope to work with these companies again in the future."
The so-called "transpotainment" industry has come under fire recently as community members and organizations have called for more regulation. The industry has become a staple in downtown Nashville.
In July, a 22-year-old man fell from a party bus and was run over by the vehicle. Since then, Metro Councilmember Freddie O'Connell filed a bill which would "seek to bring larger vehicles - party buses, tractors, hot tubs - into regulatory parity with other vehicles - golf carts, pedal carriages - under the jurisdiction of Metro's Transportation Licensing Commission."
The bill also proposes to limit open containers in unenclosed vehicles, as well as licensing or permits to serve alcohol.
Some business owners in the industry have also voiced support for more regulation.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the party buses would no longer be allowed to operate. The NCVC membership does not affect the companies’ ability to operate. The story has been corrected, and we apologize for the error.