NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – COVID-19 has pulled the plug on the Music City and nowhere is that more apparent than on Broadway. But Butch Spyridon, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, believes the city is primed for a comeback.
“I feel like our skillset and resiliency, and our location, our geographic location, and the product itself, music heals, music soothes,” said Spyridon. “I just think we have a better chance than your typical location.”
This time last year Lower Broadway was packed as Nashville hosted the NFL Draft. It’s a completely different scene now thanks to COVID-19. But Spyridon says Nashville has bounced back before, “It took destruction and economic tragedy for us to kick start ourselves into arguably the most prolific growth run in the history of cities in the United States…It’s going to be a learn as you go, pay as you go process.”
The process will have new protocols and procedures; gloves, masks, taking temperatures of employees, sanitizing every couple of hours, all of this will be the new normal for the next 12-18 months, Spyridon said.
“We’re worth about $7 billion a year and that’s why getting this back before it turns into any more than a quarter of the year is critical. If we lose half a year that’s $3.5 billion, we don’t need to get to that.”
Spyridon says the longer it takes to get up and running again, the harder it will be, “We still climb, were not going anywhere, we know how to fight, we know how to recover, but the longer this goes, the longer the recovery.”
While the geographic location and loyalty of visitors helps Nashville, he admits June and July will be tough. But while it may take time to get the city back to normal, Spyridon believes the music will return.
“To me, normal, we were rocking, we’ve been rocking for nine plus years, to get back to that level, is going to take a pretty good while. It’s one of the things about our recovery and one of the things that’s desperately missing, we need to get that music playing.”
How will one of Nashville’s most vibrant areas rebound? Bar owners open up about their concerns as News 2 looks at Broadway on the Brink. Click here to read more.