Dear Nashville Promoters - Susan Hunkins, Jon Jenkins, and Steve Jenkins:
We as customers, dealers, collectors, patrons of the shows in Nashville, and most importantly business people believe that we collectively possess a unique perspective to pass along information to you as promoters who have traditionally run the Nashville events for over 20 years. There have been many rumors about the reasons for all 3 shows not being together but, we don’t know which is right nor do we care....we just want them “back together”.
Of all the multi-event destinations in the market (New Hampshire, New York, Texas, etc.), Heart of Country, Tailgate, and Music Valley (or Grand Old Goodies) Nashville had a unique position simply because they were the most compact, easiest, and most fun for the customers and dealers. Since this is an industry fueled by passion as well as profitability, each of these shows contributed greatly to the experience and objectives.
Buying, selling, and collecting are important components of the complex industry equation that made Nashville work, ex: if we bought 10 items during the week, part of those 10 items would sell during the show, at least one would go to fuel our passion for collecting, and the rest would be new inventory for the next show. Everyone, including you as promoters, makes money in the process. We would like to see what we have enjoyed for the past 20 plus years - Heart of Country run by the Kramers and Tailgate & Music Valley run by the Jenkins’. We know that there’s been controversy regarding what value the Tailgate and Music Valley contribute to the overall event in Nashville. However, the past couple of years’ attempts have shown that you need each other more than you realize. It was all three shows, run by all promoters at that time, with each organization bringing a unique set of skills and relationships that was attractive to customers, collectors, and dealers from all fifty states.
It is very clear to everyone (dealers and customers alike), that the last two years apart has demonstrated the cycle of dwindling dealer and customer counts will continue until the viability of all three shows will cease to exist! While realizing that nothing is ever what it used to be and the present situation is complicated by an historically challenged economy and a somewhat limited interest level, it is with confidence that we tell all of you that dealers cannot simply afford to continue participating in shows with diminished returns and you as promoters can no longer convince us that it will be different this time without some real changes.
For Susan Hunkins and Jon Jenkins, please preserve the great gift your families have given the industry by reuniting Heart of Country with it’s complements Tailgate & Music Valley. We believe that you could be rewarded both financially and heroically for “putting Nashville back together” while being seen as new and emerging examples of an industry very significantly in need of leaders at this time.
Please hear these words, “Failure to accomplish this reunion will most definitely result in the permanent damage of much loved and needed events”! Whatever it takes, forget past differences and just get the job done.
Please help bring it back,
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