Haslam tabs Gaylord's Reed to chair new tourism committee

Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 3:25pm
Staff reports

Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Haslam announced Thursday the formation of a statewide tourism committee to be chaired by Colin Reed, CEO of Gaylord Entertainment.

In a related move, Haslam said Susan Whitaker will continue as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

Once in place, the tourism committee will report to Haslam within 12 months regarding attracting more visitors to the state, creating effective marketing, coordinating public-private partnerships and focusing on tourism opportunities in less populated and/or economically depressed counties.

Joining Reed on the committee are vice chairs Jack Soden, who serves as CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., and Ted Miller, president of Dolly Parton Productions.

Tourism in Tennessee generates $13.3 billion in economic impact and employs more than 170,000 Tennesseans.

Whitaker was appointed commissioner in January 2003 and has overseen the creation and implementation of various tourism campaigns.

“Tennessee tourism has taken many positive strides during Susan’s tenure as commissioner, and I am delighted to have her stay on as head of the department,” Haslam said in a release.


Filed under: City News

4 Comments on this post:

By: Kosh III on 1/7/11 at 9:11

Mr Reed,

I know a great way to attract tons of tourists to Nashville: a country music themed amusement park with rides, live music shows, and more.

By: ncpreader on 1/7/11 at 5:25

I can see it now...

Dear Governor Haslam,

We have come up with a great idea ! Spend taxpayer money to draw tourists to Gaylord Opryland Resort, Dollywood and Graceland.

That's about all we have come up with so far.

thank you,
Your tourism committee

By: Alphadog7 on 1/9/11 at 8:43

Yay, more Dollywood, Graceland, and Opryland, because that's what Tennessee is all about.... Come on guy, can we broaden the scope a bit? This stuff is tired.

By: MAmom on 1/9/11 at 12:09

Thinking outside the box...

Maybe the State should take back the Fairgrounds and develop it under the tourism umbrella (since the mayor of Nashville lacks the vision to run it properly).

Tourists go to the Fairgrounds for races, flea market and Expo events.

In the not too recent past local hotels sent tourist buses to the Fairgrounds flea markets. After all our Flea Market is one of the best in the country. Races draw people from all over. A lot of the Expo vendors are business tourists - and when they come here to do business - they spend money.

And, granted, much of the tourist traffic is from within Tennessee, but WHY NOT KEEP THE MONEY HERE?

The Fairgrounds are okay now... but fixed up and maintained properly ... it would be a great offering for those staying at the multiple convention centers around Nashville who do not want another generic shopping-center experience.