Magazine article The Masthead

Nashville Has Plenty to Brag About

Magazine article The Masthead

Nashville Has Plenty to Brag About

Article excerpt

Growing UP little town in West Tennessee, I wanted nothing to do with Nashville.

All those hillbillies with their gingham dresses and straw hats. That twangy country music. Too many streets that aren't parallel. Too many entertainers missing too many teeth. The only half-way decent thing about Nashville (in my teen-age view) was Vanderbilt, but it catered to rich kids and couldn't win a football game.

I'll bet some of you have the same preconceptions. When I grew up, however, I eventually found myself in the city I had greatly misjudged.

Nashville is great. And for NCEW, it's an ideal convention site.

First, the logistics. God had the good sense to put Nashville in a perfect location. Located smack in the middle of Tennessee, it's driving distance to almost 50% of the nation's population. (I got that from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau: I haven't tried it personally.)

The city is small enough that visitors can see plenty in four or five days without spending all their time in buses and cabs. Our convention will be headquartered at the Doubletree Hotel, which is right downtown, and is small enough that we'll have the run of the place. At $109 a night, it's affordable.

These days, Nashvillians have plenty of new stuff to brag about. We've got a new NFL stadium, Adelphia Coliseum, home of the Tennessee Titans. We've got a new downtown arena, Gaylord Arena, which houses our NHL team, the Nashville Predators. We have a fabulous new downtown library, where we are planning to hold one of our sessions. The Frist Center for Visual Arts, which opened last spring, is located in the art deco structure that served for years as Nashville's main post office. The Country Music Hall of Fame, a long-time Nashville institution, moved last spring into a new world-class facility that contains more than a million artifacts, interactive displays, recordings, and films.

All of the above are walking distance from NCEW's hotel.

While Nashvillians love all their new stuff, we revere our history. The steamboats that still travel the Cumberland River. The Hermitage Mansion, the home and gardens designed and built by Andrew Jackson. The Parthenon in Centennial Park, complete with a 40-foot statue of Athena. …

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