Scott Wayman had hoped the first shows in the new Little Nashville Opry would be staged later this year. But unforeseen delays, he said, have pushed the opening back to the spring of 2014.
Not to worry, though. The project is still a go.
“There have been delays, but hang on, because it’s going to be fun again there in Brown County,” Wayman said.
A large billboard and the Opry’s new website, www.littlenashvilleopry.net, indicate a 2013 grand opening.
Since it’s May and construction has not begun, some folks have expressed concern about the status of the new Opry.
In response, Wayman wanted to clear the air. The project has not been stalled. Progress continues to be made, he said.
The biggest setback came from the required time lapse after purchasing the three Opry parcels in an April 2012 tax sale. Wayman, who bought the land for $57,345.31 through his company, LNO Realty LLC, had to wait six months before acquiring the deeds. The tax sale process allows the current landowner to pay back the delinquent taxes to maintain ownership.
Former Opry owner Esther Hamilton never paid the more than $115,000 she owed in property taxes, so the property went to LNO Realty LLC.
“So, that’s kind of set everything back quite a ways,” said Wayman, who had hoped to get construction under way by March to get shows in this year.
Wayman plans to break ground this year. He does not have an exact date.
Wayman thanked the town and county officials who have spent countless hours helping him figure out the best way to build the Opry, which government and business leaders believe will be an economic boon.
Because the property sits in a floodplain, there are restrictions on building there and handling sewage. The building must be elevated above the floodplain, and Wayman’s building plans take the additional elevation into account.
Next, he must decide whether or not to go with an on-site sewage disposal system or work out a deal with the town of Nashville to run a sewer line from its sewage treatment plant on the west edge of Nashville to the Opry.
Wayman said he is still considering his options. In recent weeks, he has heard presentations from two on-site system installers. County Commissioners President John Kennard, who is also the environmental health supervisor for the Brown County Health Department, is helping Wayman wade through the technical side of sewage systems.
Wayman said he expects to make a decision in the next week or so.
Wayman, a Martinsville furniture store owner and radio personality, noted that he does not mind people asking him when the Opry will open.
Chucking with his usual jolly, he wondered if he would be allowed to count running the Opry as work once he gets the doors open and the music flowing.
“I don’t get tired of it, because I love talking about the Opry, especially the fact that it is moving along. It shows me how excited people are about it and how much it meant to them, and that says a lot about the place,” he said.
The interest among entertainers remains strong, too.
“I’ve got entertainers champing at the bit that want to be up here. It’s unbelievable,” said Wayman, who is planning to attend the CMA Music Festival Fan Fair 2013 in Nashville, Tenn., next month to continue spreading the word.