comes to holding events at Opry properties
“Experiences can be as intimate as
having a ‘king’s dinner’ in the former home
of the man known as the ‘King of Country
Music,’ Roy Acuff, or a large dinner on the
stage of the Ryman or Opry, or even our
coveted ‘Exclusive Opry’ performances for
up to 4,400 people,” Chandler said. “If a
private event is not what a group prefers,
attending a Grand Ole Opry performance is
a must-do when visiting ‘Music City.’”
Opry Entertainment’s collection of venues
includes the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Originally built in 1892, the Ryman was
the full-time home of the Grand Ole Opry
from 1943 to 1974 and currently hosts more
than 200 concerts a year, including the
Grand Ole Opry during the winter months.
The Ryman can also accommodate private
events and recently underwent a renovation that included the addition of Cafe
Lula at The Ryman, named after a longtime
manager, Lula C. Naff.
“Our collection of venues allows a group
to have an immersive experience in the
exact spot where music history was and is
still being made,” Chandler said.
Opening later this year, Ole Red Nashville is a collaboration between Grand Ole
Opry member Blake Shelton and Ryman
Hospitality Properties. The multilevel
venue will include a two-story bar and
restaurant, performance space, VIP booths
for small groups, private event space and
a rooftop with an indoor-outdoor bar and
restaurant overlooking Lower Broadway.
Another ideal venue for large groups
is the Country Music Hall of Fame and
Museum, which offers rotating exhibits and
a variety of spaces for groups of up to 1,200.
For less formal events, it’s hard to beat the
honky tonks and other music venues found
in the downtown area’s Honky Tonk Highway, Lower Broadway and Second Avenue.
“There’s a diverse array of music, and it’s
all free—no cover charge,” Ivey said. “You
can go in and out and see what bands you
like and stick with one or jump around.”
Ivey pointed out that in many of the
clubs the bands actually start playing at 10
a.m., laughing that it’s something “meeting
planners don’t like to hear.”
What they might like to hear is that the
venues are eager to work with groups.
Latest + Greatest
➜ The 180-room Kimpton Aertson Hotel
( www.aertsonhotel.com) opened in
June 2017 in Midtown with 8,600
square feet of meeting and event space,
including a ballroom with a wrap-around
terrace, an executive boardroom and a
17th-floor rooftop venue. Also in Midtown, the Hayes Street Hotel opened in
April 2017 with 105 guest rooms.
➜ The historic Gray & Dudley building in
downtown recently transformed into the
21c Nashville (www.21cmuseumhotels.
com/nashville). The property opened in
May 2017 with 124 guest rooms, more
than 10,500 square feet of meeting
space and the Gray & Dudley restaurant.
➜ The 224-room Noelle, Nashville, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel ( www.starwood
hotels.com) opened late last year in a
1930s-era building bordering Printer’s
Alley and features meeting and event
➜ Scheduled to open early this year is
the Holston House Nashville (https://
in a historic building (designed by
architects Mar & Holman in 1929), the
Hyatt-managed hotel will feature 191
guest rooms and 3,000 square feet of
➜ The JW Marriott Nashville (www.jwmar
riottnashville.com/nashville) is scheduled to open this summer on one of the
highest elevation points in Nashville.
The new hotel will feature 533 guest
rooms and suites, 50,000 square feet
of meeting space, three restaurants, a
full-service spa and a heated rooftop
➜ The Hotel Preston (www.hotelpres
ton.com) is undergoing an extensive
renovation and is expected to debut a
new look early this year. The hotel is
located two miles from the airport and
offers 8,000 square feet of meeting
➜ The Ole Red Nashville (www.olered.
com/ole-red-nashville), a collaboration between Grand Ole Opry member
Blake Shelton and Ryman Hospitality
Properties, is expected to open this
year on Lower Broadway. The multilevel entertainment venue will feature
26,000 square feet of space that includes a two-story bar and restaurant,
a retail area, a performance space and
a dance floor. Groups will be able to
book private VIP booths, large private
event space or the 6,000-square-
top rooftop, which will feature an
➜ Three new museums opened in Nashville in April 2017: the Gallery of Iconic
Guitars at Belmont (http://thegigatbel
mont.com), the Patsy Cline Museum
( www.patsymuseum.com) and Madame
Tussauds Nashville ( www.madametus
➜ The long-awaited National Museum of
African American Music (www.nmaam.
org) is scheduled to open its doors in
2019 as part of the mixed-use project
on the former site of the Nashville
Convention Center. Upon its scheduled
completion, the 56,000-square-foot
museum will feature five galleries
spotlighting more than 50 genres of
REBA MCENTIRE, GRAND OLE OPRY