Knoxville Convention Center becomes safe haven

0 Comments 📅November 2nd, 2010, 20:55

stormCentrally located in the eastern United States where two major interstates converge, Knoxville is within a day’s drive for more than half of the nation’s population. That makes us a very convenient location for conventions and meetings.

Recently, however, our location made us a safe haven for a busload of travelers.

A group of students from the Barren County School system were traveling on I-40 from Gatlinburg to Glasgow, Kentucky, on their way home from a leadership conference. There were serious storms in the area with tornado warnings and torrential rain. The weather service was recommending people avoid being on the roads.

Bo Matthews, the director of pupil personnel for the Barren County Schools, heard about the weather the bus was heading into and asked the bus driver to head back to Knoxville to take shelter. Their entry into the city brought them to our door.

When Steve Hutchins, the security guard on duty, heard their story he directed the bus to seek shelter in the loading dock out of the storm until the weather cleared and they were able to resume their trip. This seems like a simple act of kindness. But it made such an impression on the Barren County School travelers, that Bo Matthews took the time to write a heartfelt note to tell me about their experience.

“It was obvious due to their location that they were minutes away from driving directly into a serious storm cell,” Mr. Matthews said in his note to me. “There was no way the bus would miss the storm. I can’t tell you enough how thankful we are for your hospitality.”

We pride ourselves on providing Southern hospitality, all day, every day. It’s more than just our motto, it’s what we do. We put Knoxville’s best foot forward and welcome all our city’s visitors as if they were a guest in our home.

I appreciate Mr. Matthews taking the time to write, and I commend Steve Hutchins for providing the Southern Hospitality we pride ourselves on at the Knoxville Convention Center.

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