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New tourism director shares thoughts after six weeks

Jacob Smith • Feb 14, 2018 at 2:45 PM

Wilson County’s new tourism director Amy Nichols shared her thoughts Tuesday to the Wilson County Development and Tourism Committee after six weeks of living in and observing the county.

Nichols came to Wilson County in December with experience at the American Cancer Society, Churchill Downs Racetrack and Walt Disney Co.

Nichols, along with interim tourism director Penny Carroll, shared a pre-emptive five-year plan based on what Nichols saw in her first six weeks in Wilson County.

“I consider this an organic document, because it’s based off of being here for six weeks,” said Nichols.

One thing Nichols talked about as a goal was to start generating revenue within 12 months.

“The way I’d like to do that is going back to the destination management portion of who we are,” said Nichols. “If they want to come in, we will organize everything for them, and then we’ll charge a 15-20 percent upcharge for that service. And then that is the revenue we will generate for that group.”

Another idea Nichols and Carroll had is to slightly tweak the current Wilson County logo and include it each year in a marketing campaign. One of the ideas for a campaign was marketing Wilson County as the “country side of Nashville.”

“We’re the neighbor of Nashville, but when you think about Tennessee, and you’re visiting as an outsider, you plan a trip to Nashville. But when you think Tennessee, you think, hills and countryside’s and log cabins. Those are the images that you get in your head, but then you show up to Nashville – which is a great destination obviously – but it’s a city just like any other city,” said Nichols. “In Wilson County, you get the benefits of the city life, but we’re the country that you’re looking for.”

Board member Sue Vanatta concluded the meeting by talking about how excited she was about the ideas Nichols and Carroll brought to the committee.

“I don’t know about all of you, but I’m excited. She wears me out, though,” said Vanatta. “She’s so enthusiastic, and I just feel that we’ve stepped up another level.”

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