NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville’s economy is looking to bounce back with the return of country music’s biggest party next week. The CMA Music Festival kicks off next Thursday, after two years of cancellations due to the pandemic. The festival’s return means big business for the city. 

“I think there’s really some pent-up demand for people to come back, and I think the excitement is unbelievable,” Leesa LeClaire President & CEO of the Greater Nashville Hospitality Industry told News 2. 

Tens of thousands of country music fans are expected to swarm downtown Nashville giving a much-needed boost to our economy.

“The bars, the restaurants, the boutiques, the hats, the museums. I think there is a great variety of activities for people to do and see while they are here. I think the museums will benefit from this, the parks. I think people will take advantage of what we have to offer and we have a lot to offer,” said LeClaire. 

The 37,200 hotel rooms in Davidson County, she says, are nearing capacity. 

“What’s really exciting and interesting about that is we have a lot larger supply of hotel rooms. As we know, a lot more hotels have opened since 2020 and we seem to be absorbing those that the demand is filling even the new supply of hotels, so it’s very exciting,” she explained. 

The general manager of the Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown says they already feel the excitement. 

“The buzz is in the air, the team is prepped for it. They are ready to bring on all these great folks that are here to listen to the amazing music and get to see what Nashville is all about,” said Kris Carlson. 

All 482 rooms at the Sheraton Grand are already booked. 

“They are all taken, every single one of them so they are ready and we are getting them ready and prepared so they are going to be perfect for when all of our guests come,” Carlson told News 2. 

The CMA Fest is back following capacity crowds In 2019.  Carlson says they plan to activate their space so tourists will feel the festival excitement inside and out. 

⏩ Read today’s top stories on

“We’ve been anticipating this for two years and we are going to make sure we show it, that we’ve been waiting on it for 2 years and we are going to put out a two-year party,” Carlson smiled.