For many people, going to concert or a theatrical performance is a way to get in some good entertainment. As we discovered Tuesday, it's more than entertainment in Greeneville.
The acts that come to Niswonger Performing Arts Center are bringing new life to the local economy. The NPAC is Greene County's largest entertainment venue. It's been around for nine years, but this year is their best yet, featuring the likes of Amy Grant and Kellie Pickler.
"We've brought in several big-name acts," said Nathan Manning at NPAC. "We are seeing sellout performances and an increase in ticket revenue."
We found out during the first 10 months of this year NPAC brought in nearly $900,000 in revenue, which is $300,000 more than last year.
The center has not only managed to mesmerize its guests, but also local businesses. "A large percentage of our guest have been from out of town this season. So when folks come into town, they are also likely to stay in local hotels, eat at local restaurants, fill up at local filling stations, shop with local merchants, and visit local attractions while they are here in Greeneville," Manning said.
The General Morgan Inn and Restaurant downtown has benefited from NPAC's new boost according to hotel manager Bob Cantler. "We've seen an uptick of folks coming. A lot of people come in and have dinner before the show and plan to stay in town while they are here," he said.
It's coming at a time when the county's unemployment rate is near 11 percent. President and CEO of the Greene County Partnership Tom Ferguson tells us he hopes this economy and entertainment trend will become their new normal. "It is definitely making us a cultural center for this part of the world," he said. "There's nothing else like it."