NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp has launched a new grassroots campaign - Love Thy Neighbor - to encourage Nashvillians, if they are able and feel safe, to support local neighborhoods and communities by patronizing Nashville businesses during the COVID pandemic.
"Our neighborhood businesses throughout Nashville are what make us a unique and authentic city," said Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, in a news release. "They add to the quality of life for locals and have made Nashville a top global destination for visitors. With Nashville businesses losing $100 million a week in visitor spending, most restaurants, stores, music clubs, hotels and attractions are struggling. Local spots are the heart of Nashville and what makes the city special, and we need to do all we can to help them survive."
Due to the pandemic, this is the first time the NCVC has launched a marketing campaign solely aimed at local residents to support the ecosystem of Nashville restaurants, retail, hotels, music clubs and attractions that are the backbone of the hospitality industry. This switch in marketing strategy for a destination marketing organization has a singular goal: help businesses survive the pandemic so that Nashville's cultural scene reamins vibrant and strong for residents and for visitors once tourism returns.
Nashville’s hospitality industry has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Some hotels temporarily closed. At least 27 restaurants/bars/cafes have closed so far this year, with at least 17 citing COVID as a reason. The city is holding off on marketing Music City to out-of-town visitors until the time is right to bring tourism back, meaning many Nashville businesses are relying on locals for business.
Nashville has lost $2.86 billion in visitor spending due to COVID through Aug. 29. The local tax loss mid-March to Aug. 29 is $109 million. Nashville is likely to lose another $1 billion in visitor spending by the end of the year.
To help Nashville businesses navigate the pandemic, the NCVC created the free citywide Good to Go program, a partnership with Vanderbilt Health and Ryman Hospitality Properties, to make Music City safer for employees, customers and, when the time is right, visitors by providing coronavirus resources, information and support from leading infectious disease experts. Businesses are invited to join more than 700 Good to Go participants, and residents should look for a green music note decal denoting businesses in Good to Go.
One element of Love Thy Neighborhoods is to offer discounts and deals to locals, giving them a way to explore businesses located throughout Nashville’s neighborhoods – and maybe even plan a hometown getaway. New deals are being added every week.
Some of the businesses offering deals include: Oak Steakhouse – 10 percent off; Deacon’s New South – select complimentary appetizer with entrée; Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage - $3 off grounds pass; Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery – 15 percent off tour/experience and online merchandise; and Topgolf Nashville – half-price games on Tuesdays.