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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Chamber's goals look promising and exciting.

Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at 8:36 AM
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  • I have always thought the outdoor arena at the horse show grounds would be a great place to have a concert and our events. That open air area could bring a lot of people to our little town not to mention revenue if a headliner were to be booked. I'm sure liability insurance for something like that may be through the roof financially and a reason why that has yet to be done, however it would work I think.

    Bell Buckle and Wartrace have a lot of tourism in the things they do like fiddler conventions (a little bluegrass) and art-n-craft shows, so they have already covered things like that. Calsoonic arena does a few things in the way of events and concerts, but they are few and far between and mostly for locals from what I've noticed.

    If we turned the outdoor arena into a racetrack or something, that is where the tourism is, so to speak! There's a lot of racing fans out there. If only we were another Talladega or Daytona.

    Maybe, just maybe, if part of the Chambers Tourism was to get a few investors talked into building a state of the art racetrack or events building made for business conventions or major athletic events it would be grand. Or, start a major institution like a college or biomedical facility of some sort, doing research and higher learning would even be super grander if that's a word!

    Can you tell a higher learning institute would be in my best interest?...Ha!

    We might be getting that new unnamed grocery store but, as usual someone is fighting progress again...We could just stay a little dinky town and can continue to drive to Murfreesboro with our money...Who really knows! I predict it will take a widening of Madison Street before that happens anyway...We are at the least 20 years late and a dollar short of the times we live in and we have heard Tourism, Tourism before! The horse shows complications, controversy, and industry is looking like it's about over and we are just now talking about getting something else again to bring in dollars? I say get Calsonic to start building robots to replace the manufacturing that went out 20 years ago, but that's a whole nother story!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Mar 11, 2015, at 12:20 PM
  • The Calsonic arena does seem to be underutilized but I really don't know what is involved in trying to use it. Is it privately owned or by a government entity?

    Racing of many types would probably be well supported. Wartrace is working on an Annual Volunteer Firefighter Lawnmower Rally. It is still in the proposal stages but a lot of thought has already gone into it and I think it involves some racing and/or tractor "pulls".

    The Wartrace Arts group is also trying to expand the involvement from local artisans during the annual Music Fest. If anyone wants information get in touch with me and I will put you together.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 11, 2015, at 4:01 PM
  • Technically, if you were to go and look up the ownership of the Celebration campus, you'd find that it's held in the name of the local economic development board. This is the result of an in-lieu-of-tax agreement which was granted to the Celebration some years back, taking it off the property tax rolls. (The same sort of arrangement is used to attract new industries.) The Celebration actually controls the property, however, and the Celebration is a private, not-for-profit organization.

    They tried, back in the 1990s, to promote the arena as a concert venue -- George Jones appeared there, among others -- but didn't bring in the regional crowd for which they were hoping.

    There was a very informal discussion in 2011 with a minor indoor football league, but nothing came of it. Here's a column which Gary Johnson wrote at the time: http://www.t-g.com/story/1746539.html

    -- Posted by jcarney on Wed, Mar 11, 2015, at 9:41 PM
  • Thanks John. From what I remember of this, the League never did much or was Calsonic not interested?

    I've got to admit, indoor football never kept my attention. I always compared it to the standard football and that did not compare well.

    That ownership arrangement is probably why I could never get a bead on it.

    I wonder why the concert series never took off. Are you aware of who organized and promoted it? George Jones should have been a good draw for the venue, I might delve a little deeper into that.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 12, 2015, at 7:08 AM
  • Living near the Horseshow Grounds, I hear events going on over there quite often, especially on the weekends. I never here the crowd like you use to back while I was growing up and a teen in the early seventies.

    I think the industry is soon to be history, but I knew and grew up with a few in the industry back when and dreamed of maybe becoming a trainer when I grew up.

    That fizzled out, and I don't think or recall any up and coming trainers in the works much these days. Kids are to tech savvy nowadays and much lazier I might add, to be in the barn and riding like I witnessed one of my best friends back then. If I do remember correctly he was losing interest then and It turned into his Dads work pretty quick.

    There are a few great trainers still I'm sure, yet I think it's a dying art to want to grow up to be a trainer amongst kids these days. There might be a few, but in today's world they would need a backup profession. If there are any aspiring trainers out there I wish them well! They might be needed one day to explain it all.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Mar 12, 2015, at 8:46 AM
  • If I recall correctly, the issue with the football league was a removable floor which would have been required and which the Celebration didn't think it was in a position to buy at the time.

    -- Posted by jcarney on Thu, Mar 12, 2015, at 9:30 AM
  • I think the George Jones concert itself did OK, but some of the others may not have. I think they were hoping to draw from across middle Tennessee and they ended up getting mostly local folks.

    -- Posted by jcarney on Thu, Mar 12, 2015, at 9:35 AM
  • Excitement over a new supermarket makes me chuckle. I would not suffer great angst over the people "holding up progress" or expect great things from this new super-top-secret supermarket. There is only a finite market for food. Will you be buying additional food, if there is another supermarket in town? Neither will anyone else. The only result of another food outlet will be decreased sales at the existing stores. In the past, the result has most often been an existing food store going out of business.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Mar 12, 2015, at 12:49 PM
  • Never knew about a removable floor. Thanks.

    To analyze why the concert series never took off I guess we would have to analyze who the other artists were, timing, how promoted, etc. but I would think it would be good to take some closer looks. Music should draw. (My opinion)

    I would agree that another grocery store would put stress on the existing ones but it might also make the existing ones "step up their game" providing more selection, quality. etc. Guess it depends who it is.

    It might be good for other merchants in the area to have "new blood" coming back to that side of town. Walmart's move seemed to influence activity significantly, but what store would have a magnetic balancing influence.

    Regardless of that rezoning issue, what would make Shelbyville/Bedford County a "destination"? What could the Celebration grounds be used for, in addition to what is being done now?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 12, 2015, at 1:13 PM
  • I saw Travis Tritt back in the 90's at the indoor arena. While the show itself was great, attendance wasn't. Makes one curious as to how these types of events held at the arena are promoted in surrounding communities. Personally, I'd love to see and participate in some type of community involved event that could be held annually.

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Mar 14, 2015, at 11:41 PM
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