NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's beginning to look a lot like Music City again as pandemic restrictions are lifted and crowds return downtown.
Rob Mortensen, who is the head of the trade group Hospitality TN, which tracks the industry across the state, predicts record numbers of tourists returning to Nashville this summer. However, he said there's one very important group that may be slower to return.
"We need the business tourists, business conventions to come back. That's about 40% of our business in Tennessee, or in Nashville," Mortensen said. "To fill those rooms we need folks to say 'you know what, we're gonna have conventions again.'"
But Mortensen says those conventions may be a bit smaller and scaled-back, at least in the short term. That's because many big businesses may be reassessing their budgets.
"You've got folks sitting in a room in those corporate offices thinking, 'you know we used to spend a million dollars in conventions, we kinda did it last year a little bit without spending those dollars. Can we keep doing that? Is there something that we can do that maybe, you know, some of the same stuff not all the same stuff?' So I think you're gonna see some of that, I really do."
Mortensen says it will take time for hotels, restaurants and bars to fully rebound, but he believes Nashville will be ready no matter what. Thousands of new hotel rooms will open in the next few years, with more projects being announced almost every week.
What is the rebound?
As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it's getting back to work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or managing the pressure, we're committed to finding solution. In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to rebound.
Find more in the sections below
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Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
State of EducationFind ways to cope with the new normal around schools and celebrate students’ success in the age of Coronavirus.
We're Open Y'allSupport local businesses doing their best to stay open and serve their customers during Covid.