This year’s hefty number of new business openings promises to continue through 2023, giving visitors to the northern middle Tennessee city even more to experience.
More dining, more shopping, more live music and events, more lodging options and more features at existing attractions mean a more desirable destination for potential tourists, say Clarksville tourism officials.
“New and enhanced things to do gives us the opportunity to promote Clarksville to a wider audience,” said Visit Clarksville Executive Director Theresa Harrington. “We’ve never had that ‘one thing’ to market that set us apart. We always promoted little slices of several things. Now, that pie is growing bigger and bigger as we continue to develop more and different kinds of things to do and experience – which all brings more people from more places who have more opportunities to spend more money while they’re here.
A few of the new or enhanced things to look forward to in Clarksville is 2023 include:
- Shelby’s Trio, a 50’s burger joint, fine Italian dining and a rooftop bar with 360-degree views all in a single downtown building opens in February.
- Three Daughter’s Café inside the boutique of the same name in the booming Sango area is slated to open early in the year.
- A grant-funded 450-gallon Aquarium in the Wade Bourne Nature Center at Rotary Park opens in April.
- Dunbar Cave State Park celebrates its 50th Anniversary with special activities all summer long.
- The Tennessee Wings of Liberty Museum will break ground in May. The 3-year construction project will wrap up in 2025 on 33 landscaped acres. The museum will represent and honor the legacy of service and sacrifice of every American who served in the divisions that call Fort Campbell home.
- F&M Bank Arena opens mid-year, offering concerts, hockey and events for all ages. The arena will also serve as the new home court for Austin Peay State University Men's and Women's Basketball in the fall.
- Doubletree Hotel and mixed-used development across from the arena will begin construction in late summer.
- Two parking garages will be open downtown by year-end, one beside the Doubletree project and one by the Roxy Regional Theatre.
- Greenway Trail System Bridge over the Red River opens by year-end, connecting the Greenway to the Cumberland Riverwalk.
- Buc-ee’s Travel Center is slated to open at Exit 1.
Staff at Clarksville’s Hilton Garden Inn are looking forward to all the development.
“We expect more events throughout the region because of new venues that will be available including the downtown arena and the planned athletic complex by Exit 8,” says Director of Sales Roy Feuring. “More events not only impact the region, but they will enhance opportunities for already established small and large local businesses and vendors like hotels and food trucks.”
Kyle Luther, market president at Traditions First Bank and Visit Clarksville board of directors chairman is especially excited about the new arena. “I’m excited for the opening of the arena and to see how it will impact the growth and revitalization of downtown Clarksville,” he said. “We’ve seen such positive growth and development in downtown during the construction phase that we’re really eager to see the outcomes for the next 2-3 years.”
Visitor spending in Montgomery County during 2021 totaled $340.5 million, which was just shy of the community’s record-breaking pre-Covid travel revenue in 2019 – back to 97%, in fact.
“We feel great about what we’ve seen in 2022 from hotel/motel sales taxes,” says Harrington. “We won’t have actual spending data from the state until August or September, but community leaders and private businesses have invested in this community in significant ways over the past few years. We’re truly looking forward to the community reaping the benefits of that vision and leadership with more travel dollars being spent here.”
About Visit Clarksville
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Tourism Commission was established by the State of Tennessee in 1979 to positively influence tourism in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area by promoting tourist attractions, hosting conventions and group tours, and engaging in large-scale marketing efforts. In 2015, the organization adopted the Visit Clarksville brand. Visit Clarksville is governed by a nine-member board of directors and is funded by a portion of the local hotel-motel tax. In 2021, tourism spending in Montgomery County totaled $340.5 million, according to an annual report from the U.S. Travel Association, Tourism Economics, and U.S. Census Bureau.