The Nashville Convention Center Authority announced today that the Metro Codes Department has issued a certificate of occupancy for the Music City Center — one week before the construction completion deadline of the soon-to-open 2.1-million-square-foot convention facility.
The certificate of occupancy, which certifies compliance with all local and state codes and regulations, was issued following 250 final inspections and approvals by the State of Tennessee and Metro Nashville agencies and departments.
“I applaud the project management team and its crew for finishing construction of the Music City Center ahead of their deadline,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a release. “It is no small feat to finish construction on time, but to do so for a project of this scale is truly remarkable. I look forward to our grand opening festivities on May 19-20 when members of the public can see for themselves the size and beauty of this magnificent building.”
The contracts for architects TVS Design and construction management firm Bell/Clark, a joint venture, specified construction of the SoBro-based center be finished by April 30. With the certificate of occupancy now in place, the project and development, construction, and design leaders can progress with the contractual documentation of substantial completion.
Representatives of the Omni Nashville say they have passed 250,000 room-night bookings for the $250 million facility four months earlier than they had expected. Rooms booked for the October 2015 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics took the hotel past the landmark number. More than 190 meetings and conventions have booked space in the hotel between this fall and 2024.
Wilson County commissioners wanting to construct an exposition center at the county fairgrounds have upset folks in the hospitality industry who say their rates will become uncompetitive because of proposesd tax hikes. Chris Cannon and NewsChannel5.com have the story here.
With a goal of booking one million rooms prior to its official opening later this year, the Music City Center has sold 829,574 “room nights,” according to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“Surpassing 800,000 room nights is a great milestone and further validates Nashville as a destination and the Music City Center as a catalyst for economic development,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a release. “As the second largest industry in the city, the hospitality sector is a significant economic engine in our city, and that role will only grow when the Music City Center opens.”
According to the NCVB, the 829,574 room nights for the soon-to-be-finished convention center represent 101 individual meetings. The average size of a group being booked for the Music City Center is 6,800, almost three times what the Nashville Convention Center is now hosting.
“I continue to be impressed – but not surprised – by the market’s response to Nashville. The city is an incredible meetings destination and has one of the most unique convention campuses in the country,” said Butch Spyridon, NCVB president. “I am confident we will reach our million room night goal. Then it’s on to fulfilling our ongoing goal of booking a million room nights for the entire city annually.”
The meetings booked for the Music City Center range from its opening year of 2013 to 2026 and include multi-year agreements for many groups. The most recent groups to commit include the National Emergency Number Association booked for 2014 and the International Reading Association, booked for 2015.
St. Louis-based Heritage Exposition Services has set up an office in MetroCenter to increase its presence in the Nashville convention market. The company has worked around the country for more than half a century, providing exhibitors and meeting planners with the equipment and amenities they need at trade shows. The new office is being run by Greg Shipman and Jennifer Yemm.
Pierce Greenberg has taken a close look at why the International Bluegrass Music Association made the decision to move its signature World of Bluegrass event to Raleigh for the next three years. Some say the group needed to refresh its event, while IBMA officials say it'll be much cheaper for both the organization and attendees to gather in Carolina. But a deeper cultural tug-of-war inside the bluegrass community also has played a role in the move.
“There’s a difference between going to a bluegrass festival with folks sitting in chairs … or a festival [like Bonnaroo],” Jones said. “Are those two cultures going to mix? They are not going to mix. No matter how much peace, love, understanding and five-string banjo you sprinkle over them.”
Combine one of Nashville’s most unusual businesses with what might rank as the city’s most distinctive building and you get, well, a coffee table book.
This week's City Paper features photos of the Music City Center taken by Aerial Innovations — the boutique business whose photographers use a helicopter to take bold photos of big buildings — which has teamed with the Nashville Convention Center Authority and Bell/Clark to compile hundreds of photos for the as-yet-named book.
To date, Aerial Innovations has snapped a mind-blowing 16,500 shots of the MCC’s innards and skin. Everything from 18,000-pound steel trusses to colorful carpet to heavy mechanical apparatus is being captured. In the spring of 2013, once MCC work is completed, the book will be published through the print-on-demand site Blurb.com. It will retail for about $200 and include up to 100 pages of photographs and site facts.
The 1.2 million-square-foot MCC is slated to open on April 30 and will offer a 350,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 57,000-square-foot grand ballroom and an 18,000-square-foot junior ballroom. The expected price tag for the project is approximately $585 million.
It'll be all for us or nothing for you...
Gaylord Entertainment Senior Vice President Bennett Westbrook this week told Colorado economic development officials that a consultant's recommendation to cut $40 million in state subsidies to its planned $800 million resort outside Denver would mean the end of the project. The sticking point is a projection for how much out-of-state spending the 1,500-room complex would generate.
Wellington Webb, an EDC member and former Denver mayor, pressed Westbrook on why the $385 million subsidy is more than twice as high as any amount of public funding that Gaylord has received for any previous project. Westbrook responded that the cost of building a hotel has skyrocketed in eight years and that a project of this size — roughly 2 million square feet — “is not feasible unless you get a significant amount of public finance.”