In Nashville, Tennessee, The Grand Ole Opry and the Opryland Hotel, the central shrine of country music and site of several AMOA conventions, sustained serious water damage following historic floods during early May. The state sustained at least $1 billion in damages, also affecting Tennessee amusement operators.
One of the worst examples was in Old Hickory, just north of Nashville. The Riverside Family Fun World, a large FEC, included an arcade, batting cages, go-kart track and miniature golf course. All were severely damaged from 12-ft.-high waters.
Further south along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the economic impact from the historic and devastating oil spill from the BP explosion is yet to be known. Operators along the Gulf Coast states-Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida-are facing potential disaster as the summer tourist season begins.
The region has faced a long reconstruction following the catastrophic destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, so everyone is holding their breath to see what happens over the next several weeks and months.
Good luck to all operators to make a speedy economic recovery.