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NAMM convention kicks off as convention leaders talk hotel plans

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

As another convention brings thousands of visitors to the Music City Center, officials are happy to report things are going well. But some say the city could soon face a growing problem surrounding its new convention center.

The National Association of Music Merchants Convention, better known as NAMM, gets underway this week inside one of the most recognizable buildings in Nashville.

"Our industry lives and breathes music all year round, and for a place to meet, to be able to come to Nashville - where there's live music all day and night - it's in the bones of the city. It's a good fit," said NAMM spokeswoman Lora Bodmer.

The NAMM convention brings 10,000 people to the Music City Center, and it marks the third large event the building has hosted since opening earlier this year.

"Our traffic plans are working. People are able to get in and out of the convention center easily. Our garage is working very well," said Charles Starks, with the Music City Center.

Now that a few groups have used the building, word of mouth is spreading to others.

"When the dentistry folks were here last week, she spoke to one of her colleagues that we are talking to for 2018 and said this building will really work well for you all," Starks said.

But there are growing pains. While there's plenty of room inside the convention center, there aren't enough rooms outside.

"We now need another hotel more than we ever did, because leisure business is good, group business is good and demand is so high we don't want to turn it away. So it's a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Butch Spyridon, with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

NAMM is sort of the poster child for the new Music City Center. The convention left because it grew out of the old place and returned only because of the new place.

"The new center gives our industry tons of room to grow here in Nashville, and it's just gorgeous as well," Bodmer said.

The NAMM convention starts Thursday. The first two days are open only to those in the music industry, but anyone can come on Saturday. Tickets are on sale now for $10, but ticket prices will go up to $20 at the door on Saturday.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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