NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s no surprise that Nashville has become an “it” city for visitors, but now, business owners worry the high popularity could come at a cost.
“These transportainment vehicles are hosting people who are drinking alcohol they don’t have restrooms. So, what happens when they don’t have restrooms, they come into my museum to use the restroom, they urinate on the street, they go into other businesses, so we’re paying part of that tariff,” explained Bill Miller, who owns several businesses in downtown Nashville, including the Johnny Cash Museum and Nudies.
At its core, downtown is a highlight for tourism, but without regulations, some businesses worry entertainment vehicles could come at a high cost.
“The number one complaint we are receiving from convention clients and leisure visitors is the chaos of the party buses and the over-served behavior,” said Butch Spyridon, CEO of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.
However, there are those that would argue that Nashville has created a reputation centered around get-aways and bachelorette trips. The entertainment vehicles are the main attraction, promising a “Honky Tonk” good time. For months now, owners of these party trucks have hoped to find common ground with it comes to regulations, without being put out of business.
“We’ve never had a single person fall off a vehicle except for one guy in course of 10 years compared that to any industry downtown and we’re stellar as a safety record goes,” said Micheal Winters, President of the Nashville Transportainment Association, in a previous interview with News 2.
It’s all about safety, noise and traffic, with more than 15,000 people living downtown, and 80,000 people working in the downtown area every day. Now, owners, like Bill Miller want to see a change before it’s too late.
“You’ve got to either put them on routes that don’t interfere with a normal traffic flow downtown. You’ve got to have equality when it comes to them serving alcohol, they’ve got to operate under the same rules as all the bars and restaurants do, it’s simply not fair or equitable, they have a leg up,” explained Miller.
Spyridon explained is regulations are strictly enforced it could affect other forms of revenue. He explained, “I believe the first thing to go is our convention business, it’s 40% of our business, and if we lose it, it will be a decade at least getting it back.”
The Transportation Licensing Committee is set to meet and discuss rules and regulations for entertainment companies and vehicles. The meeting is set to take place on April 28, 2022. Business owners, along with Safe Fun Nashville, say they look forward to learning how the city plans to prioritize safety.