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Brown County fire might not hammer tourism

January 2, 2007
The overnight fire at Seasons Lodge & Conference Center in Nashville is unlikely to severely drain the Brown County community’s life blood of tourism, according to Teresa Anderson, CEO of the Brown County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Damage to the 80-room hotel is still being assessed. None of the 18 guests were injured, according to the Brown County Sheriff's Office.

But the blaze appears to be confined to guest rooms, Anderson said, so the 400-seat conference center—the largest in the county—might be serviceable.

Andy Rogers, who owns the Seasons along with nearby Brown County Inn, was returning from a vacation on the Gulf of Mexico after learning of the fire, and was not immediately available for comment.

Tourism is the county’s largest industry, generating $155 million in business, according to a recent study, Anderson said.

Most of the business comes during warm weather as people flock to Brown County State Park and artisan shops in Nashville, or travel to the county to see fall leaf colors.

Seasons is a popular spot for church retreats in winter, Anderson said.

Three other banquet facilities, including Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park, have enough excess capacity this time of year to absorb people who had scheduled stays at Seasons, Anderson added.

While emphasizing she was not diminishing the impact on Rogers and the community, Anderson said, “This is a perfect time of year for it to happen.”
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