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Country Music Hall of Fame reopens with COVID-19 guidelines in place

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 21:46:17-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It’s been almost six months, but the County Music Hall of Fame reopened to the public Thursday morning.

The museum had the go-ahead from the city of Nashville to reopen in July but intentionally decided to hold off until the city’s transmission rate and new case rate was under control. They now believe that’s the case.

“Not only did we have to watch what was happening in Nashville, we needed to see what our main drive markets and or other visiting markets were doing. So until those markets also had improvement, we also had to think about that,” said Sharon Brawner, a Senior Vice President for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

But keeping the hall closed has come at a cost. “We’ve lost 23 million dollars in the six months we’ve been closed,” said Brawner.

They also had to furlough 101 hourly employees and lay off another 73. Brawner says they’re thrilled to have most of them back on staff. “ Well you can tell by the smile on my face that it’s really big,” she said.

If you’d like to make a visit, the museum is strongly encouraging you to buy tickets ahead of time for a designated time slot but they do accept walk-in visits too. All guests will have to go through a temperature screen before coming inside, wear masks throughout their visit and keep six feet away from others.

“You know we’ve actually found the restrictions to be pretty minimal and it hasn’t impacted our trip at all, we’ve had a great time, said Racquel Abowd, who was visiting with her husband from Nevada.

Brawner takes comfort in the fact that all of these changes won’t have to last forever. “We’ve tried really hard to reimagine and move forward knowing things will be different but the things that used to be will come back,” she said.