Country Music Hall of Fame rallies toward recovery following $23 million loss

Tourism 2020 & Moving Forward

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s a Nashville landmark shaped by song. The Country Music Hall of Fame was one of the first places to close amid the Coronavirus and one of the last to reopen.

Even though they lost $23 million, they are not giving up.

“It’s iconic in its own right. I think it’s a reminder of where we’ve been, and also where we’re going,” Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp said. He added, “The only way for the museum to go now, is up.”

“Defeat, closure, it’s not an option,” Sharon Brawner said, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at the museum.

The museum reopened in alignment with Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s Roadmap for Reopening Nashville. Policies and procedures will help ensure a safe and healthy environment for guests, staff, and volunteers. The CMHF ended up furloughing around 100 people and laying off 73. Though, Brawner said everyone was paid March 13th through June 18th.

“For the CMHF to get back to their record numbers, year after year, after year, that’s going to take two to three years like the rest of the community,” Spyridon said. “If they want to recover quicker, then I think without question they need to look to further programming and the possibility of more live music.”

“I think live is going to have a great value when it comes back and I don’t think anybody does live better than Nashville, so I hope they join the party,” explained Spyridon, “They’re pretty smart. I think they will.”

A release from the Country Music Hall of Fame also states that all in-person programming remains on hiatus. All exhibitions that had opened before the museum closed on March 13th have been extended.

“We could have opened sooner by the Mayor’s orders, but we chose to wait,” Brawner said. “We wanted the numbers to continue to improve and be a part of the resurgence not the possibility of making a mistake.”

Guidelines include:

  • Masks for staff and guests over age 2
  • Temperature checks for staff and guests entering the building
  • Intensified and expanded cleaning routines, which include disinfecting high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, touchscreens, and handrails
  • Timed ticketing and touchless transactions

“We won’t be denied. We will work our way through this, and we will make sure our guests feel comfortable here,” Brawner said. “They’ll want to come back and provide support through coming here or that gift they want to generously give.”

Additional information on the museum’s health and safety guidelines and reopening details can be found here.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is working towards a major fundraiser with YouTube that will air October 28, 2020.


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