Lawrence County: a nice place to visit and stay
My wife and I have been known to travel many miles and spend quite a few dollars to enjoy live music and a good meal.
This past Saturday night, we got the same benefits at a reasonable price 15 minutes from home. We saw Shenandoah, the Academy of Country Music’s 1991 Vocal Group of the Year (who have a new album) and ate a delicious chef-prepared meal at Keestone’s Stone Theater.

We didn’t need overnight accommodations, but the resort has rooms available for those who do. It also offers a full breakfast in its restaurant, and fresh pastries from its bakery.
As a husband, I see the Stone Theater as a great place for date nights. As County Executive, I see it as a successful private enterprise providing local jobs and collecting tax dollars from a mostly out-of-county crowd.
Tourism is Tennessee’s second-largest industry and is climbing the scale in Lawrence County.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) ranked us number 37 out of the 95 counties for tourism in 2019. Tourist spending generated $1.21 million in local tax revenue; $2.74 million in state taxes; and 244 local jobs. 
What happened in 2020? We don’t have those figures yet, but TDTD reports that rural areas fared better than big cities. “Tennessee experienced gains in rural areas, on waterways, mountains, and in our parks where social distancing comes naturally.” Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Ryan Egly said he expects our 2020 numbers to equal or exceed those from 2019.

In 2020, travelers took advantage of camping facilities at David Crockett State Park, Veteran’s Park in Lawrenceburg, and other sites in the county. They social distanced while fishing at Laurel Hill, VFW, and Lake Lindsey; floating on Shoal Creek; and walking the trails at our state park.
Lawrence County continues to benefit from the 2020 launch of Nashville’s Big Backyard, a nonprofit campaign that shows off the assets of small-town Middle Tennessee.

With American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe as spokesman, it focuses on 12 small communities near the Natchez Trace Parkway between Nashville and The Shoals, including Loretto and Summertown.  “Small is the next big thing,” the website says, touting those communities’ natural beauty, business opportunities, local culture and affordable property.

While the intended audience of Nashville’s Big Backyard are those who are part of “the next migration,” people who work anywhere thanks to technology and are moving to our state from all over the country, the campaign will also attract tourists to Lawrence County using many of the commercials produced by our Chamber of Commerce to market our outdoor adventure tourism assets. 
Likewise, the Chamber’s newest Tourism Guide and a longer tourism video are designed to appeal to visitors and potential residents. Both will come out in July, Egly said.

The Chamber is launching another exciting project to promote economic development and tourism. Funds from its Economic Development Foundation will be used to create high-quality photography and videos of member businesses through a competitive grant process. Businesses that are selected for the program can use the content in their own advertising campaigns, and the Chamber will use them to market our community to visitors.
As usual, there are great things happening in Lawrence County.