Downtown businesses brace for lull in traffic - WSMV Channel 4

Downtown businesses brace for lull in traffic

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The annual Bash on Broadway festivities prove once again Nashville knows how to throw a party, but just one day later it's a much different story downtown.

In the coming months, especially with no hockey in town, fewer visitors could mean more trouble for the people and businesses who rely on them.

"It's been pretty slow. It's been slow," said store manager Linda Gorby.

Without the Titans, the Predators and parties like the one New Year's Eve, people like Gorby seem to worry about downtown business in the new year.

She manages a boot shop on Broadway, where a typical new year lull may be worse than in past years. Usually, the Preds would be about halfway through the regular season by now, but the National Hockey League remains in a lockout without any signs of returning soon.

"Without the Preds in town, it's hurt. It's really hurt. You know, people - like I said - people don't think that that brings a lot of business to downtown, but it really does," Gorby said.

Over the next few months, Bridgestone Arena will host big crowds for big-name concerts.

But missing out on Preds' hockey still seems to concern plenty of people who rely on consistent crowds several times a week.

"It's going to be slow. We're just waiting for that Convention Center to open," Gorby said. "That's going to be a Godsend."

For some perspective, Gorby's boot store gets about 80 percent of its business from conventions and special events.

The next big thing on the books is the SEC men's basketball tournament set for the middle of March.

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