Brown County Aims to 'Buck' Rural Flight

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(Image courtesy of Hard Truth Hills.) (Image courtesy of Hard Truth Hills.)
NASHVILLE -

The Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center isn't the only big ticket project making progress in Nashville. Town Manager Scott Rudd says some $40 million in projects designed to the boost the quality of life for locals and visitors alike are in the works in the tourism-focused community. The owners of Big Woods and Quaff On breweries are just days away from the grand opening of the multi-million-dollar Hard Truth Hills attraction in Brown County, which covers 325 acres and includes Hard Truth Distilling Co., a welcome center and restaurant designed to offer tasting and learning experiences in the scenic landscape. South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corp. and Jackson County REMC are investing heavily in plugging 1,700 homes and business into high-speed fiber internet.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Rudd says the projects will provide a much-needed lift to the economy. Many of the 250 businesses in the area that rely on tourism, he adds, will benefit as the community still works to fill the void left when the Little Nashville Opry concert venue burned to the ground in 2009. "It's going to be a big shot in the arm, you know, first with Big Woods opening here on Hard Truth Hills -- and it becoming a regional destination -- and then right on the heels of that, the Maple Leaf opening next year," Rudd said. "Overlaying all of that, the fiber across the county, you know, to all the homes, so a real exciting time in Brown County and Nashville, and things are really starting to come together."

The new attractions and infrastructure developments, Rudd adds, support continued efforts to help the town and county "buck the trend" of population loss throughout rural Indiana by helping attract more visitor spending and provide connections that could stimulate the local economy and help residents start businesses, skill up or reduce commute times.

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