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March 15, 2017 2:22pm

GLIDE 2017 Explores the Unexpected in Nashville

For Immediate Release:  March 15, 2017

(Louisville) – Greater Louisville Inc. has selected Nashville, Tennessee as the destination for its 2017 Idea Development Expedition, GLIDE.  On September 10-12 GLI will transport 125 top business and civic leaders to Nashville to go deep under the surface and explore the policies and strategies that have driven that city’s explosive economic and population growth.

“GLIDE Nashville will focus on the unexpected reasons why pro-business city is able to attract and retain talented professionals, generate hundreds of spin-off businesses, succeed as a top tourist destination, and embrace creativity to craft a vibrant community,” Kent Oyler, GLI’s President & CEO, said.

Nashville’s population grew by 29% percent in the last ten years (vs. 6% for the Louisville MSA) and the city approved nearly $2.5 billion in building permits in 2015.  Nashville’s population is projected to grow by another 16 percent by 2025 and then an additional 14 percent by 2035.  The growing population mirrors the growing job market which will add around 188,000 positions by 2025 and another 220,000 on top of that by 2035. The top employers in Nashville span a variety of industries such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and the food service industry.

Tourism will also be a focus on GLIDE 2017. Nashville is frequently named a top destination by national media outlets. 13.9 million people visited Nashville in 2016, resulting in $5.7 billion in direct visitor spending, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. The GLIDE trip will explore how Nashville harnesses its reputation as a Music Capital for tourist attraction into sustained economic development.

“We know why Nashville is a popular destination for travelers, but we need to quantify the impact on business attraction and development,” Jim O’Malley, Chair of GLIDE 2017 and SVP of Global Government Affairs for Brown-Forman, said.

In the public policy realm, Nashville is one of five large metropolitan areas in Tennessee and those cities frequently collaborate with their state legislators on specific municipal priorities. GLIDE attendees will explore how that collaboration leads to business-friendly policies inside the state’s economic engines. GLIDE attendees will also look into the ways Right-To-Work, comprehensive tax reform, and charter schools have impacted Nashville’s business growth and education climates.

GLIDE stands for Greater Louisville Idea Development Expedition.  The three-day trip is designed to give Greater Louisville’s community representatives, elected officials, entrepreneurs, education delegates, and business leaders the opportunity to study how selected cities have overcome obstacles and achieved success.  The 2016 GLIDE trip to Austin sold out and Nashville is also expected to go to a wait list quickly.

“This is the 32nd year for the chamber’s economic study mission. It is the most valuable opportunity to build collaboration to make positive changes in our region,” Shawna Burton, GLI’s VP of Engagement & Organizational Advancement, said.  “This is not a site-seeing venture. Each year we return with a tangible plan to increase economic growth and push our community forward.”

Nashville was selected by last year’s GLIDE Austin participants as the most-desired destination for the annual trip. Previous GLIDE destinations include Austin, Portland, Denver, Charlotte, and Oklahoma City. GLI welcomes business and civic leader participation in this three day study mission. Registration is now open for business and community leaders as well as those interested in advancing Greater Louisville’s economy.  More information can be found here.

Media Contact: Alison Brotzge-Elder, abrotzge@greaterlouisville.com; 502-262-0359

About Greater Louisville Inc.

Greater Louisville Inc. - the Metro Chamber of Commerce is focused on growing the regional economy. As the region’s largest convener of business leadership, GLI leads economic and global outreach strategies focused on business attraction; nurtures the entrepreneurial eco-system; and champions the development of the community’s talent base.  As the voice of Greater Louisville’s business community, GLI advocates for a pro-business environment and facilitates businesses engagement on issues that impact regional competitiveness.  For more information, visit www.greaterlouisville.com.