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Flood-Ravaged Grand Ole Opry Set to Reopen in October

Nashville's country music mecca undergoes $17 million renovation

June 3, 2010 12:51 PM ET

Nashville's Grand Ole Opry will reopen on October 1st after undergoing an estimated $17 million in renovations to repair the damage the venue sustained during the severe flooding in Tennessee last month. The Opry — the country music mecca that has put on a weekly concert since 1925 — was under more than two feet of water after the floods, destroying the stage, dressing rooms, retail store and electrical wiring, which will all be replaced with the renovation.

The damage and subsequent renovations, unfortunately, come at a price. The Opryland Hotel and Convention center will cut 1,743 jobs at the complex starting next week. "The cost of this disaster has meant that we have to balance the future of our business and our fiduciary duty to our shareholders with the duty we have to our employees," said Colin V. Reed, chairman and CEO of Gaylord Entertainment, which owns the Opry, in a statement.

As Rolling Stone previously reported, the Nashville floods wreaked havoc throughout the city's country music industry. In addition to the Opry, Soundcheck — a 160,000 storage and rehearsal facility used by over 600 acts including Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, and Keith Urban — was severely damaged, wrecking millions of dollars in equipment. "Everything you see us using onstage is underwater," Paisley told RS. "I'm really bummed."

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