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Why Downtown Bristol?

Historic Downtown Bristol, located in both Tennessee and Virginia, is a thriving community with a variety of businesses that have opened and flourished over the past decade. The downtown area benefits from its close proximity to cultural and tourism assets, as well as the heavily traveled I-81 corridor, making it an attractive location for businesses across different industries. The clustering of professional services firms, banks, educational institutions, and government agencies near historic downtown also contributes to its success.

Business Benefits to Being Downtown

Tourism Growth

Bristol's tourism industry is expected to drive future economic growth, as the city is being positioned as a desirable and authentic destination, offering unique experiences.

Skilled Workforce

Excellent training and educational resources, such as an accessible MBA program at King University and tech classes at Northeast State Community College, have made available a ready and willing local workforce.

Strong Retail

The retail sector in both Bristols is becoming stronger and bringing stability to the local economy, as new businesses and one-of-a-kind offerings enter the market locally.

Lifestyle Advantages

Bristol offers a vibrant lifestyle with a friendly Southern community feel, pedestrian-friendly streets, a wide range of rich cultural events, and a great food and nightlife scene. As they say, it's truly "A Good Place to Live."


 An Event-Driven Community 

 Bristol is no stranger to large-scale events. A few of the major drivers in the community are: 


Bristol’s State Street is a popular destination for visitors, drawing in over 30,000 people annually for major events like the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion every September, year-round events and entertainment housed at Bristol Motor Speedway, and the newly opened Bristol Casino. Additionally, King University transplants, and year-round outdoor recreational tourism to the South Holston Dam, Appalachian Trail,  and Mendota Trail, bring in thousands to downtown annually. To accommodate visitors, two downtown boutique hotels have opened their doors: Sessions Hotel and The Bristol Hotel. Weekly live music, seasonal farmer’s market, and events at the Paramount Center for the Arts & Cameo Theater, further increase the downtown population, along with anchor institutions like the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The area also has a growing number of residents who live in one of the over 90 lofts in downtown Bristol.


Ready to join us?

Here's How...

Our Downtown Bristol Entrepreneur's Guide is a free resource to walk you through the process of opening a business. We can't wait to see what you bring to town!

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