Local tourism officials are optimistic about the upcoming summer travel season and what it means for the local economy, a sentiment that is reflected by national tourism research. That’s why “The Power of Travel” is the theme for this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), May 2-8.
“We’ve positioned ourselves for years as an off-the-beaten-path, road-trip destination, and that message is exactly what’s resonating with people right now,” says Visit Clarksville Executive Director Theresa Harrington. “People are looking for those not-too-crowded places where they can experience something different that’s fun and affordable. That’s what a Clarksville experience is all about.”
Recent research by Destination Analysts shows that more than 66% of Americans are ready to travel and that Tennessee remains among the most-desired domestic destinations.
Harrington confirms that locally, we are seeing signs of travel coming back, citing the return of many outdoor events this spring and summer.
Three sporting events that have held tournaments in Clarksville for many years are planned to take place again in person this month. The Queen City Cup (soccer), TSSAA High School Decathlon and Pentathlon state meet and the TSSAA Middle School Track & Field state meet happen over two consecutive weekends in May. In 2019, these three events brought more than 19,000 visitors to our community. Their total direct event spending pumped more than $5 million dollars into the local economy from lodging, food, gas, and other activities.
“This past year has certainly shown us locally the tremendous impact tourism has on our local economy. Sales tax and lodging tax dollars spent in our community from visitors support our city, county, and state government general funds, which in turn is a direct revenue source for our local school system,” Harrington explains. “The ‘clean dollars’ that tourism brings to our community directly and positively affects every household in Montgomery County.”
At the local level, Downtown Commons, Beachaven Vineyards and Winery, Old Glory Distilling, The Roxy Regional Theatre and the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department all announced the return of outdoor events beginning this week.
In addition, the number of new business and activity openings in recent months enhances the visitor experience, as well and the quality of life for residents.
A few recent announcements include:
- Dock 17, a restaurant in The City Forum featuring gourmet burgers and brews for dinner on weekdays, with added brunch hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Veteran-owned Black Rifle Coffee opened its first Clarksville location on Wilma Rudolph Blvd.
- City Market opened downtown and is already home to Fanelli’s Deli and Market, City Boy County Life, The Clarksville Collection, Cuppow Collectibles, and Make Your Mark Framing.
- The Vine on Franklin will be Clarksville’s first wine bar and is set to open later this spring.
- Drake's opens a Clarksville location on May 3 at the site of the former Demo's restaurant off Wilma Rudolph Blvd.
- Red River East Trailhead extends north end of the Cumberland Riverwalk trail system
- Beachaven Vineyards & Winery announced the transition of Jazz on the Lawn to a smaller, more intimate outdoor acoustic music series every weekend beginning May 15 through October.
- Two food trucks are making the leap to brick-and-mortar locations including Founding Frothers Coffee on Strawberry Alley, and Legends Smokehouse & Grill, who will open at the former G’s Pancake House later this summer.
In 2019, tourism spending in Montgomery County totaled a record-high $254 million in Montgomery County, marking six years of consecutive growth. In 2018, Montgomery County experienced the second-highest growth rate in the State of Tennessee and was one of only seven counties with a growth rate of more than seven percent (7%).
About Visit Clarksville
Visit Clarksville is Clarksville-Montgomery County’s official Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), established in 1979 by the State of Tennessee to positively influence tourism in Clarksville-Montgomery County 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 nine board of director members and is funded by a portion of the local hotel-motel tax.