Nashville landlord who witnessed bombing says city will still be ‘hoppin’ and 'jumpin’ in 2021

Nashville landlord first to call 911, recalls explosion being ‘terrifying, confusing’

Music City Suites owner Betsy Williams resets the scene of Friday morning’s bombing in Nashville, Tenn.

Tennessee-native and Music City Suites owner Betsy Williams is thinking positively about Nashville’s recovery in the New Year, despite 2020’s variety of challenges.

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Williams told FOX Business’ “After the Bell” that this year’s disasters included a tornado, the coronavirus pandemic and the most recent Christmas Day explosion still won’t silence Music City.

“One portion of Nashville will be plagued with [the bombing]. I mean, we’re all plagued with it, we’re all hit with it in terms of our hearts, how we feel. But this explosion is confined to this one particular area,” she said. “Nashville is still going to be hoppin’ and jumpin’ in 2021.”

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Even though the pandemic has caused a universal decline in tourism, Williams said people are still “chomping at the bit” to visit Nashville – and the city’s small businesses really need the visitors.

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. Buildings shook in the immediate area and beyond after a loud boom was heard early Christmas morning.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

“I want them to come back to Nashville to refuel our restaurants and our hotels,” she admitted. “We need the business here. It’s been a very tough year.”

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As the owner of Nashville’s downtown Music City Suites private vacation rentals, Williams said the business has been on an upward trajectory since May. But Friday’s blast destruction caused canceled reservations and “thousands and thousands” of dollars refunded.

Williams, who was one of the first residents to dial 911 post-explosion, described the blast itself as “terrifying and confusing.” The bomb detonated at 6:30 a.m. Christmas morning, wiping out and damaging several buildings on Nashville’s historic Second Avenue, but Williams mentioned that her Christmas tree managed to stay lit.

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“The impact of this financially is pretty devastating,” she said. “I’m also very positive about moving forward, about the responsiveness of the people here."

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