bob mendes

Nashville’s ‘transportainment’ nightmare featured in NYT

Nashville’s officialdom for years touted a New York Times story declaring the Tenenssee capital as the “It City” of the moment. Now, Nashville is getting some less desirable coverage in the form of a front-page Sunday article about the city’s out-of-control downtown party scene. The story by Nashville-based correspondent Rick Rojas is unlikely to become part of the city’s propaganda file anytime soon.

The article delves into the city’s struggles to manage the explosion of “transportainment” vehicles — of 40 operators, half have launched in the last six months — and the drunken exploits of bridal parties and other tourists. City leaders are no longer amused.

“That is my fear, that we are losing our sense of who we are, what built our success,” said Butch Spyridon, the president and chief executive of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, describing a version of Nashville — for generations known as the capital of country music — with an easygoing vibe and access to exceptional live music any day of the year that now must coexist with something much more decadent.

“You can have a fun, entertaining, unique experience here,” he said. “There’s nothing unique about downing 12 White Claws at 3 in the afternoon in 95-degree heat.”

Metro Council member Bob Mendes took to Twitter to question Spyridon’s sudden concern about a problem that many have complained about for years.

Now is also a good time to revisit Steve Cavendish’s great call to “put a bullet” in the “It City” moniker: