Little Work On Little Opry?

No construction has started at a southern Indiana concert hall that authorities say was destroyed by arson in 2009, even though a sign there suggests it will reopen this year.

The owner of the Little Nashville Opry property in Brown County has faced delays because a new music venue will have to be connected to Nashville’s sewer system, The Herald-Times reported Wednesday.

Brown County planning director Dave Woods said a current sewer line must be extended about a half mile to reach the Opry property along Indiana 46 west of Nashville and that town and county officials are working with owner Scott Wayman on how to pay for the work.

Wayman, who bought the site in a county tax sale last year, said he still hopes for construction to start this year.

The site’s original 2,000-seat concert hall opened in 1975. It had hosted performers such as Johnny Cash, George Strait, the Oak Ridge Boys and Trisha Yearwood.

Its former manager, 76-year-old James Bowyer, is scheduled to face trial in July on arson and other charges.

Bowyer has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer said he had no reason to burn the business since he wasn’t listed on the insurance or tax records and wouldn’t benefit from it being destroyed.

Court documents show the concert hall was insured for more than $3 million. Brown County Prosecutor Jim Oliver said Bowyer and the hall’s owner were heavily in debt from casino gambling losses.

– Associated Press

Note: The Little Nashville Opry posted the following on its website in reponse to the above story:

May 8th, 2013
Due to a story published today with some inaccurate information, a number of media outlets are now reporting that progress has stalled on plans to build a new building at the Little Nashville Opry site in Brown County.  That statement is incorrect.

While progress has been slower than anticipated, it has by no means “stalled”.  It is unfortunate that some assumptions were made in the story before a press release could be issued by the Little Nashville Opry.

Together with the support of Nashville and Brown County officials we are moving forward with plans that will make the Little Nashville Opry a part of the area for years to come. 

We will have more information to pass along as we move closer to construction.

Thanks for your support.  We look forward to seeing you in the future at the Little Nashville Opry.