NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville party bus owners say they’ve already had multiple cancellations for 2022 because of new regulations on the way.
They say the new changes have some second-guessing a trip to Music City and that has an impact on more than just their industry.
Parris McKinley Jr., who owns Extreme Experience Nashville, only just started running the business full-time in June but says business has been booming since 2019.
“Extreme did very well and now we have Nashville Shuttle too,” McKinley said.
Now comes his biggest challenge to date. Metro City Council voted to limit alcohol consumption to only enclosed party vehicles.
City leaders hoped by regulating these vehicles, they could cut down on noise, congestion, and injuries.
“My whole heart just dropped because that’s a big difference to our business and what we do,” McKinley said.
He can convert his bus if need be but says guests avoid this any chance they can. He’s had multiple cancellations for the end of the year and the beginning of 2022.
McKinley says he hopes city leaders understand that these changes make a difference for more than just those behind the wheel.
“So it’s not only that you just take one small part of a company. You’re taking away from a lot of other people,” McKinley said.
Recording artist Lindsay Lawler owns The Nashville Bachelorette. From the moment you land to the day you leave, she books events for your entire stay.
She says almost every client requests a party bus and that’s where she turns to McKinley. She hasn’t had any cancellations on her end but feels that now it’s only a matter of time.
“To take that portion out of the itinerary, we’ll have to completely reshape what we do,” Lawler said.
From the restaurants to bars and even T-shirt vendors they work with, it’s all part of a Nashville network they hope goes nowhere soon.
“We have all the bars downtown. That’s not going away, but why not grow and thrive? More people are coming to Nashville, therefore we need more things to do,” Lawler said.
McKinley will be the first to tell you that the experience is safer than any bar crawl around Broadway. He wants city council to consider that some bus companies already follow the rules, but alcohol restrictions could put them out of business.
Alcohol restrictions go into effect on December 1. Meanwhile, other restrictions related to being certified with the city take effect in April.