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Milking Music City

Milking Music City

⚙️ The tourism machine explains itself · Them damn redheads · Someone stop them cows · Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

It’s no secret that the Convention and Visitors’ Corp wants to ensure Nashville remains the world’s "It City." Eight months ago, CVC President Deana Ivey emphasized the goal of attracting more international tourists, especially those from Germany, France, and Australia. Last week, Ivey, along with numerous other civic leaders and stakeholders, presented their vision on how to do just that. Released on Thursday, The Music City Strategic Plan suggests industry changes, minor improvements, and other ways to leverage Nashville’s Music City brand to enhance its presence as a global tourist hub. 

“In 2022, visitor spending in Nashville totaled $9.97 billion, averaging over $27 million per day,” reads the document's outline of Nashville’s consumer evolution. “This level of spending equates to critical tax revenue; as of 2022, visitor spending generated $409 million in local taxes and $612 million in state taxes. If it were not for this vital tax revenue by tourists to the city, each Nashville household would pay $3,417 more in state and local taxes annually in order to maintain the same level of services to each household.”

Though the committee’s main goal is attracting outsiders, shoehorned into the plan are a few ways to court disillusioned locals. To ensure Nashvillians feel seen, they suggest standardizing hospitality curricula in high schools across the city, plus developing a “five-star” program in tourism management at a local university. The report also emphasized the need for equity and diversity in food, music, art, and events available in Nashville as well as a strategy to address the underrepresentation of minorities within their organization.

The meat of the plan outlines eight strategic priorities, including embracing family-friendly attractions, supporting the East Bank development, and using Nashville’s massive hospitality sector to engage in city and state initiatives. There’s also a strong emphasis on cleaning up Nashville’s image as a debauched bachelorette haven (“We don’t like the chaos,” said Ivey in a speech last November. “We don’t like the term Nashvegas.”) and on improving public transit, which has been referred to as the lynchpin for securing more international travelers from Europe. 

During last year’s Nashville Business Breakfast, Ivey voiced support for the mayor’s then-nascent transit initiative, explaining how it ran parallel with the vision CVC had for the future. “It does a couple things for us,” she said. “Our hospitality employees are generally in the suburbs and out in the county, so it makes it easier for them to get to work, not the long commute, not the gas, parking fees,” she said. “But also our international travelers, they are looking for it. They are used to public transportation.”

Though the city’s leadership may lean left, the plan includes ways to appeal to conservatives in the state. Taking advantage of the rich cultural history that drove much of Nashville's growth, it outlines ways to leverage that power and translate it into political action. “Hospitality leaders have an opportunity to seek collaborative opportunities to champion major issues, showcasing the formidable influence and power of the sector,” the document reads. “By uniting their influence and expertise, they can drive meaningful change, from economic development to legislative priorities, and underline the industry’s capacity to shape the city’s future.”

How can they do this? The plan goes on to suggest “two major opportunities for hospitality leaders to showcase their value to the city.” One strategy is to establish something called the Music City Local Host Committee composed of local hospitality industry CEOs. This committee would be responsible for attracting major events and raising private funding for the new stadium. They’d also serve as “economic counselors to city and state leaders in evaluating critical new development projects or legislative priorities.”

Overall, the plan presents a comprehensive strategy to leverage the power of, arguably, the city’s most powerful industry. But as Nashville’s growing pains continue to bubble under the surface, so does the struggle between residents and tourists.


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⛑️ Them Damn Redheads This week’s award for Most Benign Cancellation goes to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission for browbeating vice chairman Christopher Crider into submitting his resignation over a few inappropriate remarks. Crider is the former mayor of Milan and a three-term House member of District 79 in West Tennessee. Crider served on the commission from 2016-2021, but was not reappointed at the end of his term. In 2023, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally re-appointed him to the role.

As reported by the Banner, Crider said such profane things as “If people are going to be driving on my roads, they need to speak English,” and told a colleague to ask an LGBTQ+ group “how babies are made.” He even complimented another, presumably black, co-worker on “the enviable stereotype that black folks have a large penis.”

Before he was appointed to the Human Rights Commission, the former City Recorder and Municipal Court Clerk of Milan sued the city for $500,000 after alleging that then-mayor Crider got rid of her because she was a “sassy redhead.” Allegedly, he explained his reasoning to other employees, saying, “I don't want sabotage; you know how redheaded women can be.” I’m left wondering how a man with such a capacious capacity for humor found himself on the most unhumorous board in state government. DAVIS HUNT

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🐄 Someone Stop Them Cows Today, a Livestock Movement Standstill Workshop is being held on the Ellington Agricultural Center campus, but you won’t find it posted anywhere public. The workshop is a training event to help prepare the state for a possible emergency related to an animal disease outbreak. State employees and emergency response partners are gathering to practice preparedness exercises designed to help stop or slow a spread of disease.

“Animal Health desires to be ready for any type of Animal Disaster,” reads an email obtained by the Pamphleteer. “Part of a robust emergency response is planning. One of the goals Animal Health has is to implement some kind of workshop or exercise every 1-2 years that would introduce and prepare staff and stakeholders for engagement in a response that would require a tremendous amount of support from stakeholders.” 

The detection of Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine Fever, or Classical Swine Fever can trigger a Movement Standstill Order by the US Secretary of Agriculture. Invoking an MSO can prompt many different protocols, including a temporary order to stop the movement of livestock, both nationally and internationally, quarantines, inspections, and other actions to manage an outbreak.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Director of Communications Samantha Jean informed us that this is a routine training event. “It's a fairly typical thing for us to move people together and try to get out ahead of any type of emergency response that would happen so that everyone knows what their roles and responsibilities are,” she said. “And that way, if something does happen… we [can] jump into action and start moving them forward as efficiently as possible.” When we asked what was involved in the training, she replied: “ would cover our work with law enforcement, our work with UT Extension, our work with any of the industry partners like Farm Bureau, Tennessee Cattlemen, any association groups who might be involved with the pork producers.” MEGAN PODSIEDLIK


Via Global Mall Area Master Plan (More Info)
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  • Gulch condo tower reaches 100 units presold (Post)
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From the Archive


Millennials Didn’t Ruin the Movies, They Just Made It About Themselves

As Belcourt’s 1999 series draws to a close, the takeaway is that the directors the series featured are still the pioneers of American movies. Jerod discussed this two years ago, but it seems as relevant as ever.


In his book Best. Movie. Year. Ever., Brian Raftery posits that the convergence of Y2K anxieties and the dawn of the Clinton impeachment-obsessed 24-hour cable-news cycle spawned an onslaught of pioneering films that made 1999 an unparalleled year in the history of American cinema. Announcing the ascension of Gen X masterpieces such as Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, the Wachowski’s The Matrix, Alexander Payne’s Election, David Fincher’s Fight Club, Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, Kevin Smith’s Dogma, David O. Russell’s Three Kings, Christopher Nolan’s Following, Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich, Sam Mendes’s American Beauty, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, the class of ’99 garnered serious awards attention and instant-classic designations that only increased as its films left theatres for home video.

In the paradigm shift they initiated, the directors that Peter Biskind dubbed “The Sundance Kids” led a resurgence of personal filmmaking in American movies while offering revolutionary narrative and visual innovations, decimating 80s blockbuster sentimentality in an era when, with the exception of Terrence Malick, Martin Scorsese, and the late Stanley Kubrick (whose final film, Eyes Wide Shut, premiered that summer), their ‘70s New Hollywood idols had longed succumbed to the ravages of addiction, the perils of hubris, or both.

In appraising such a revelatory film year, the most surprising aspect is not that nearly all of the films have maintained or even enhanced their reputations, but that the same kids of Sundances two decades past continue to define American film well past middle age. The first wave of millennials to which I belong spent 1999 sneaking into Fight Club and absorbing mind-altering works like Magnolia and Being John Malkovich at Blockbuster even if they never reached our flyover zip codes theatrically.



View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

📅 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

🎧 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.


🎸 The Deltaz @ Jane's Hideaway, 8p, Info
+ heavy blues, roots rock and classic country

🎸 Ethan Tasch @ The Basement, 7p, $19.27, Info
+ indie folk

🎹 Ben Rector & Cody Fry Live with the Nashville Symphony @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 7:30p, $89+, Info

🪕 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info