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Radio host buys site of burned Brown County music hall

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A central Indiana business owner and radio show host plans on rebuilding a southern Indiana concert hall that hosted some of country music's top acts before it burned down in 2009.

Scott Wayman was the only bidder for the Little Nashville Opry site during Tuesday's Brown County commissioners tax sale, submitting the minimum bid of nearly $58,000. He'll have to wait 120 days to take possession of the site to see whether the current owner can pay about $120,000 in back taxes, The Herald-Times reported.

Wayman, who has hosted the morning show on country music station WCBK-FM of Martinsville for nearly 30 years and owns a furniture store there with his parents, said he had looked into buying the 2,000-seat hall before the fire and wants to have a similar venue there again.

"We do plan to rebuild the Opry," Wayman said. "My parents and myself, along with other friends had season tickets for years."

The concert hall along Indiana 46 burned down in 2009, and its former manager, 75-year-old James Bowyer, was charged in March with arson and intent to defraud. Court documents show the hall was insured for more than $3 million.

Bowyer has pleaded not guilty and his defense attorney has said he was convinced of Bowyer's innocence. The concert hall's owner has not been charged.

The venue opened in 1975 and had hosted performers such as Johnny Cash, George Strait, the Oak Ridge Boys and Trisha Yearwood.

Local officials have said they want to see the concert hall reopened to help draw visitors to the rural area best known for Brown County State Park and its typically bright fall colors.

Wayman said he faces a great deal of work preparing to build a new theater.

"We basically have to start over," he said.

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  • Good luck!
    I hope he is able to pull this off! I remember going there several times and really enjoyed the intimate atmosphere. Good luck to you Scott.

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  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

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