by Michael C. Lowe | December 01, 2013
Why Here?
Music City Center (above) and the Omni Nashville, both of which debuted this year, are helping to transform downtown Nashville. The area, called South of Broadway (or SoBro), also is known for its growing food scene, with notable restaurants like the Southern and the Farm House.

Name Game
The city, which was officially established in 1784 on the banks of the Cumberland River, was named after Revolutionary War Brigadier General Francis Nash, who died of battle wounds at age 35 in 1777.

Drive In
The unique five-room 404 Hotel and Kitchen occupies a former mechanics garage.

Green Choice
The 247-room Hutton Hotel in downtown, which features 13,600 square feet of meeting space, offers a sustainable stay for green-minded planners. The property's eco-friendly initiatives are listed at
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Music City Center celebrated its grand opening in May in the heart of downtown Nashville. The 1.2 million-square-foot facility includes a 350,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 57,000-square-foot grand ballroom and approximately 90,000 square feet of meeting space across 60 rooms. The complex, which also features a green roof and an 845-panel solar array, is LEED Silver-certified.

The $250 million Omni Nashville, the new convention center's official headquarters hotel, opened in September. The 21-story property has 800 guest rooms, more than 80,000 square feet of function space, several dining options, a spa and more.

The Renaissance Nashville currently is undergoing a $20 million renovation of all 673 guest rooms. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-February 2014. In addition, the downtown property, which has approximately 30,000 square feet of meeting space, will begin operating and servicing the old Nashville Convention Center, which offers its own 120,000 square feet of exhibit space and 25 meeting rooms, in January.

The 255-room Hyatt Place Nashville Down­town opened last month with free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool and 3,386 square feet of meeting space. The property is just one block from Music City Center.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is undergoing a $75 million expansion, to be completed in spring 2014. The project will add a 10,000-square-foot glass-enclosed ballroom with panoramic views of the city skyline, along with an 800-seat theater. The expansion will connect the complex to the Omni Nashville hotel at three different levels.

Meeting Hotels
To find and compare hotels in Nashville and elsewhere, and to send RFPs, go to

Convention Centers
Music City Center; exhibit space, 350,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 60; (615) 401-1400; nashvillemusiccity

Gaylord Opryland Convention Center; exhibit space, 263,772 square feet; meeting rooms, 84; (615) 458-2800;

Nashville Conven­tion Center; exhibit space, approximately 118,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 25; (615) 742-2000;

Airport Transit
Nashville International Airport, about eight miles east of downtown Nashville. Transfer cost by taxi, $25; by shuttle, $12

Room tax, 6%; sales tax, 9.25%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15.25%, plus an additional $2.50 flat tax per room, per night

Group Venue
The Hermitage complex, former home of President Andrew Jackson, includes the Tulip Grove Mansion, which can host up to 200 people, and the lovely outdoor Hermitage Gardens. (615) 889-2941;

Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp, (800) 657-6910;