BNA breaks ground on airport hotel, new parking garage

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – More progress was made Wednesday morning at Nashville’s fast-growing airport, with BNA breaking ground on its new Hilton-branded, on-site hotel and parking garage.

It’s all part of the Nashville International’s dynamic expansion and renovation plan, BNA Vision.

Come 2023, this is what the 14-story hotel and 4-story parking garage will look like:

City leaders say this is what Nashville needs to accommodate our booming population and the airport’s record-breaking passenger numbers. And though Wednesday was an exciting day for those at the airport, officials say it is so much more than a groundbreaking; it marks the start of more economic growth.

“[This airport] is about three times of what average airports grow. We’ve been growing at 10 percent a year for almost 10 years if you take out the pandemic,” Doug Kreulen the President and CEO of the Nashville International Airport said.

With nearly 18.3 million passengers in 2019, Nashville International Airport has been one of the fastest growing airports in North America. According to a recent study, in 2019 alone BNA generated more than $8.1 billion in total economic impact, supported more than 76,000 jobs in the region and produced more than $443 million in state, local and federal taxes.

“This ends up being Nashville’s front door, so it’s got to be in good shape and hopefully radiate what we are; we have a lot of culture, a lot of jobs a lot of great people,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said at Wednesday’s groundbreaking, directly adjacent to Nashville International Airport’s upcoming new central terminal.

With 292 guest rooms, including six luxury suites, the upscale hotel is designed to meet top emerging global trends for on-airport hotels and growing demand for business and leisure travelers, groups and meetings.

A Grand Plaza will include open-air dining, a bar and café. The innovative meeting and event spaces will total 16,500 square feet, including an 8,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom/Event space. In addition, on the rooftop, there will be a prominent Glass SkyBar Lounge and open-air SkyPool.

The hotel tower will crown a four-level parking garage, with hotel parking on the ground level, public parking on the upper levels, and a covered pedestrian bridge connecting the hotel Grand Plaza and garage to BNA’s central terminal.

“As the city and state try to recruit new businesses to come to Nashville, probably pretty high on the checklist is what does your airport do and how many nonstops do you have,” Kreulen said, adding this expansion will be a great platform for both more international and domestic flights. “We most likely by June 30 of next year we will set a new record for the airport in terms of size.”

For the companies moving to Nashville, like Oracle, Kreulen notes, size matters.

Additional projects to be completed by 2023 include a major terminal renovation, expanded central security checkpoint, state-of-the-art International Arrivals Facility and major airport roadway expansion.

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