(Clockwise from top left: Photos via Nashville International Airport, Aer Lingus, Nashville Business Journal, Marriott)
(Clockwise from top left: Photos via Nashville International Airport, Aer Lingus, Nashville Business Journal, Marriott)

March 6, 2024 – What a welcome it was for passengers flying into Nashville International Airport last weekend when they were greeted with a 30-minute surprise performance by Keith Urban.

That kind of unique welcome is one of the reasons why fans have been choosing Nashville as their top travel destination. In addition to the music at the center of it all, the city offers a diverse portfolio of sports and entertainment that welcomes visitors from around the world.

Now, thanks to new investments and expansion, travelers to Nashville will have even more to cheer about, both in the air and on the ground.

In recent years, several high-profile hotel brands — including Four Seasons, JW Marriott and Omni — have claimed their spot in Music City, while many of the music industry’s most recognizable names have their name on a bar on Broadway.

However, one of the wealthiest men in the world, Bill Gates — the co-founder of Microsoft and the Gates Foundation — is adding his name to the mix. Gates is the new owner of the Dream Hotel in downtown after his investment firm, Cascade Investment LLC, acquired the property for $82.6 million in July 2023.

Fans coming to Nashville will also surely have their eye on the new 39-story St. Regis tower — featuring 177 hotel rooms and 111 high-end condominiums — set to break ground next year. Turnberry, the hospitality development and management firm which also operates the JW Marriott in Nashville, announced that The St. Regis Nashville would be located adjacent to the JW Marriott and would become just the 11th St. Regis hotel in the nation.

“Nashville is a thriving market where demand for luxury experiences and destination hotels has only grown over the past 25 years since Turnberry has developed and operated here,” Turnberry chair and CEO Jackie Soffer said in a release. “We will deliver an exquisite experience — befitting of the city and the timeless luxury of the St. Regis brand.”

And given that fans are visiting Nashville from around the world, Aer Lingus aims to capitalize on that demand. The Ireland-based airline — which has greatly expanded its service to American cities in recent years — has been in talks with the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority on a potential nonstop flight connecting Nashville and Dublin. Such a flight would mark the second flight between Nashville and Europe, following a British Airways addition which connects Nashville with London’s Heathrow Airport.

“Given our city’s rapid growth and its status as a sought-after destination, we consider Nashville a compelling option for Aer Lingus in its potential expansion into the Southeast,” Metro Nashville Airport Authority said in a statement. “As we continue expanding air service and our world-class airport, it would be a privilege if Aer Lingus decides to broaden its services to Nashville International Airport.”

These developments strengthen Nashville’s position as a world-class destination, offering a unique assortment of music, hospitality, sports and more. The city is ready to provide this experience as we welcome fans to cheer on the Stars and all of their favorite Major League Baseball teams.