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N A S H V I L L E Omni Nashville's Opening Gala Sparkles With Elegance Site Visit By Steve Morley Editor's Note: Steve Morley visited an opening event at the Omni Nashville and files this first-person report exclusively for ConventionSouth. w w w. c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 3 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 41 Brad McCombs The Omni Nashville Hotel's Gala Grand Opening Extravaganza proved to be a feast for the senses. Attendees sipped Tennessee-brewed beers and whiskeys while mingling in the hotel's spacious, window-lined west corridor, serenaded by crisp-sounding, locally based live music and enveloped by inventive and eyepleasing lighting the centerpiece being a radiant gold-and-white installation snaking along the ceiling. Inside the Broadway Ballroom, a light-Jazz quartet played through a system delivering just the right presence for a room abuzz with conversation. Streamlined chandeliers provided understated, Art-Deco-tinged sophistication overhead a feature of the design style that Omni General Manager Dan Piotrowski described as "urban elegance with a vintage touch" while behind our wall-side table, a portable floor fixture emitted a warm The Omni Nashville, which opened in October, is a shining star among the city of Country music stars. Unique details grace nearly every corner, including the spectacular lighting feature located in amber glow. the prefunction area, pictured above. Our nearest table neighbor, fortuitously, was able to enlighten us about the alluring visual enhancements and us, a combo of melt-in-your-mouth beef tening wall hangings cut from vintage vinyl audio support. Over a salad of greens with derloin and crawfish-stuffed quail that left records) to the Hall of Fame's after-hours lobster medallions, walnut pesto and goat just enough room to comfortably partake of area below the second-floor Broadway Ballcheese presented as the dinner's "First Verse" attractively served twin mini-desserts: banana room. Currently on display are artifacts such (this is Music City, remember?), Chuck Baupudding (in a jar-styled dish) and creamas Willie Nelson's tennis shoes and bandana, man, senior vice president with AVT Event whiskey-fortified chocolate mousse. Tammy Wynette's Oscar de la RentaTechnologies, explained to us how the comAttendees then browsed a chocolate buffet designed jacket and Johnny Cash's wellpany works alongside the Omni chain to fulin the ballroom's east side, decked out with a creased boots, circa 1970. fill every audio/visual need onsite, including restored 1930s-era GMC pickup, while conIndeed, throughout the Omni Nashville, staffing. We learned that the hotel maintains temporary country music was energetically history merges with the modern-minded, its own extensive inventory of A/V, offering performed, again highlighting the superb making for perhaps the chain's most distincanything from a flip chart to an easily inteaudio. (Can you remember the last time a tive location nationwide. grated 90-inch monitor as well as high-definsawing fiddle was actually easy on the ears?) The 800-room Omni Nashville provides ition video cameras, digital sound systems Among the areas where the Omni adjoins more than 80,000 square feet of meeting and and more—all well-suited to this showcase the Country Music Hall of Fame and event space, including two ballrooms divisihotel and meetings facility. Museum are a few spectacular nighttime ble into several sections, and 21 separate Conversation became less practical once views of downtown Nashville, and music is a breakout rooms, a deluxe boardroom and four the main course (or "Chorus") was set before recurring motif, from the novel decor (includ- separate meeting planner offices. ■