Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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Tennessee Top State People Moved to in 2020

Tennessee Top State People Moved to in 2020

Staff

Tennessee's influx of do-it-yourself movers during a turbulent year marked by the coronavirus pandemic means that a state other than Florida and Texas tops the growth rankings for the first time since 2015 when North Carolina led the way.

U-Haul customers made Texas and Florida their top two destinations from 2016-19. Texas had the largest net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks for three consecutive years before Florida flipped the order and became No. 1 last year. Texas is second for growth, and Florida third, for 2020.

Ohio, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, and Georgia round out the top 10 states for 2020 growth as self-movers continue to migrate to the Southeast, as well as markets in the Southwest, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain regions.

California ranks last by a wide margin, supplanting Illinois as the state with the greatest net loss of U-Haul trucks. California has ranked 48th or lower since 2016. Illinois has been 49th or 50th since 2015 when U-Haul began ranking states based on annual net gain.

"I'm seeing a lot of people from California move (to Tennessee) because they're attracted to our lifestyle," noted Jeff Porter, U-Haul Company of Nashville president. "Tennessee has no income tax and is very business-friendly. There are plenty of jobs. People and companies are taking note. Places like Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Clarksville are attracting tons of new residents. Nashville is ever-growing, and even the era of COVID-19 isn't slowing that. We were seeing movement before the virus hit, but I think the situation has pushed a lot more people away from the West Coast to our state."

East and Central Tennessee are enjoying the biggest gains in U-Haul arrivals. The top growth cities include Knoxville, the Tri-Cities, Cookeville, Clarksville, Cleveland, Murfreesboro, and Maryville.

Arrivals of one-way U-Haul trucks into Tennessee jumped 12% while departures rose only 9% over 2019, with that disparity catapulting it up the charts. Arrivals accounted for 50.6% of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Tennessee, which ranked No. 12 among growth states a year ago.

"The best thing about Tennessee is the southern hospitality. People are decent to one another," said Clay McQuade, U-Haul Company of Knoxville president. "I believe the draw to Tennessee is the rural atmosphere. The government is still not so oppressive on zoning and regulation, so people are able to build, and cities are friendly to business. Tourism is a big draw in this region, mostly for the Great Smoky Mountains. There's plenty to do outdoors.

"U-Haul is growing right alongside the state. We just added adaptive reuse conversions of closed Kmart® stores for new facilities in Kingsport and Bristol, and are currently building a ground-up store in Knoxville to meet customer demand for our products and services."

While U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the Company's growth data is an effective gauge of how well cities and states are attracting and maintaining residents.

U-Haul is the authority on migration trends thanks to its expansive network that blankets all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The geographical coverage from more than 22,000 U-Haul truck- and trailer-sharing locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry.

Find a local U-Haul dealer at uhaul.com/locations.

2020: STATES RANKED BY MIGRATION GROWTH

1.

Tennessee (12)

2.

Texas (2)

3.

Florida (1)

4.

Ohio (7)

5.

Arizona (20)

6.

Colorado (42)

7.

Missouri (13)

8.

Nevada (24)

9.

North Carolina (3)

10.

Georgia (16)

11.

Arkansas (23)

12.

Indiana (9)

13.

Wisconsin (41)

14.

Oklahoma (14)

15.

South Carolina (4)

16.

West Virginia (22)

17.

Utah (8)

18.

Kentucky (37)

19.

Montana (26)

20.

Minnesota (15)

21.

Kansas (18)

22.

Alabama (6)

23.

New Hampshire (31)

24.

Iowa (30)

25.

South Dakota (28)

26.

Vermont (10)

27.

Delaware (21)

28.

Virginia (39)

29.

Maine (33)

30.

Idaho (11)

31.

Mississippi (25)

32.

Nebraska (19)

33.

Wyoming (27)

34.

Alaska (17)

35.

Rhode Island (35)

36.

Washington (5)

37.

North Dakota (32)

38.

Washington, D.C. (38)*

39.

New Mexico (36)

40.

Michigan (48)

41.

Pennsylvania (46)

42.

New York (43)

43.

Connecticut (34)

44.

Louisiana (40)

45.

Oregon (29)

46.

Maryland (45)

47.

Massachusetts (47)

48.

New Jersey (44)

49.

Illinois (50)

50.

California (49)

* Previous year's rankings in parentheses. Washington, D.C. is its own U-Haul market and is listed among growth states for migration trends purposes. Hawaii is not included since state-to-state truck transactions are inapplicable.

Monday, March 8, 2021

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PBR Coming to Bryan-College Station

Reed Arena to Host First Western Sports Event in Over a Decade with Aggieland Classic, April 9-10, 2021

Staff

For the first time in league history, Professional Bull Riders, the world’s top bull riders and best bovine athletes, are bucking into Aggieland. The Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour will bring the 2021 Aggieland Classic to Reed Arena on the campus of Texas A&M University. 

The first Western sports event in Reed Arena in over a decade – and first ticketed non-university indoor event since the on-set of COVID-19 – features back-to-back nights of man vs. beast action at the Home of the 12th Man. Forty-five bull riders representing six nations and three continents will converge on Bryan-College Station to match up with some of the rankest bulls to ever buck during the two days of world-class bull riding that will impact the PBR title chase. Round 1 begins Friday, April 9 at 7:45 p.m. CT, with Round 2 and the championship round starting Saturday, April 10 at 6:45 p.m. CT. 

All-important points toward the PBR World Championship, buckle, and $1 million bonus are up for grabs as riders seek to reach the 8-second whistle before hitting the dirt. The highest aggregate score over the three rounds of white-knuckle action will be the event champion, taking home bragging rights, the first Aggieland Classic championship buckle, and thousands of dollars.

Tickets for the three-round event will be available at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, March 10. Tickets start at $19 and are available for purchase online at PBRTIX.com, ReedArena.com or by calling 800-732-1727. In conjunction with PBR’s industry-leading protocols to ensure fan, competitor and staff safety, tickets will be sold in PODs, minimizing fan crossover and interaction between fan groups. PODs are available from 2-8 seats. 

As a part of PBR’s leading protocols that have allowed fans to return to venues safely and responsibly since July of 2020, precautions are being taken to fight the spread of COVID-19 such as:

  • All PBR personnel will undergo COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of the event. 
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-informed screenings for staff and competitors each day, and PBR personnel mask requirements. 
  • PBR’s pioneering POD seating, selling tickets in small groups, to minimize fan crossover and interaction. 
  • Social distancing will be encouraged at concessions and merchandise stands, restrooms, and other high-traffic areas.
  • Arena equipment and other high traffic areas will be disinfected throughout the event and each night.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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Girlfriend Getaway in Austin, Texas

Girlfriend Getaway Austin Texas

Staff

As the state capital of Texas, Austin is well known for being the political seat and a hub of manufacturing and advancements in technology. However, it is quickly forging a name for itself as a premier destination for those looking to enjoy delectable food, live music, and a bustling nightlife mixed with a funky vibe all its own, making it the perfect place to spend a long weekend.

Look no further than The Driskill when choosing the ideal accommodations to set the scene for your time in Austin. This luxurious icon is steps away from the entertainment district (6th Street), and is close to historical and cultural sites, allowing you to fill your days and nights with a variety of activities. Rooms are appointed with stately furnishings and all the comforts of home, ensuring that your stay is nothing short of relaxing.

Romantic Getaway in Austin, Texas

One of the best spots to grab brunch is Josephine of Austin where you can enjoy unique twists on brunch favorites every day. The lemon risotto pancakes are a must-try with one of their signature cocktails or tea service. 

Visit Mayfield Park to enjoy the gardens, majestic peacocks, and historic cottages. The park is 23 acres with several lily and koi fishponds sprinkled throughout. Surrounding the park is the Mayfield Preserve, consisting of an additional 21 acres of hiking trails and peaceful green space within the city. 

Mayfield Park Austin Texas

The Mokara Spa in the Omni Barton Creek Resort offers the chance to unwind in one of their opulent suites. Get a massage or check out their other packages that include access to steam showers before or after your treatments are available, reservations are highly recommended.

Romantic Getaway in Austin, Texas

The Picnic, a popular food trailer park, is the perfect place to grab lunch. With a variety of food trucks serving everything from smoothies to kebabs, there is something for everyone to enjoy in one of the dining pavilions. 

To end the day at the ultra-cool  HandleBar Austin. Play oversized Jenga or take a turn in the photo booth before heading upstairs to the open-air rooftop lounge area with two bars, a dance floor, and a bird’s-eye view of the activity on the street below. With specialty drinks and Happy Hour specials daily (all-day Happy Hour on Sundays!), HandleBar is the hip neighborhood bar that you will wish you could take home with you. 

Handlebar Austin

Austin offers plenty of opportunities to relax, mixed with active adventures, nature, history, and no shortage of hotspots to unwind with a craft beer and live music. Discover all that Austin has to offer as you plan your next getaway to the Lone Star State.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

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Original Cowgirl® Blends Modern Trends & Retro Style With New Vintage-Inspired Collection



RBR Wholesale today announced the launch of a new collection, a line of vintage-inspired graphic tees, tank tops, and accessories that embody a retro period-specific vibe.

The collection includes exclusive licensed apparel from western fashion designer Jess Snell. Jess is force behind Rockin' B Clothing, which creates one of a kind western wear for stars like country music stars Kacey Musgraves and Stephanie Quayle, and TV Personality Sabina Kelley.

"We love partnering with Jess, she is an amazing talent and it is exciting that Original Cowgirl® can offer her fans something of she has designed that can be worn every day." - Kathy Satterfield, RBR Wholesale.

The line also includes designs from the RBR Creative team that call back to the styles of 50s, 60s, and 70s. Inspired by road trips, the southwest, and the ranch where the brand was founded.

For retail, the collection is available immediately on OriginalCowgirlClothingCo.comand select retailers across the USA, Canada, and Australia.

Wholesale Inquiries should be directed to RBRWHolesale.com.


About Original Cowgirl®

Launched in 2007, Original Cowgirl Clothing Company was created to serve independent and boutique retailers in the western lifestyle marketplace.



About Rockin' B Clothing

Rockin' B has designed bespoke pieces for country stars Kacey Musgraves and Morgane Stapleton; designed for VH1, CNBC, as well as multiple film projects, music videos and fashion editorials.

Monday, February 8, 2021

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5 Ways to Cowboy Up in Casper, Wyoming


Every summer, more than 400 cowboys and cowgirls from 100 colleges and universities descend upon Casper, Wyoming, for the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR). The “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo, this event brings the best collegiate athletes to the middle of Wyoming to compete in saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, breakaway roping, goat tying and barrel racing. And while each day’s performances take center stage, there are plenty of ways to cowboy up in Casper during the CNFR.

1.      Visit Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters
Anchoring downtown Casper, Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters is one of the best Western stores in the country. With 55,000 square feet of space, Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters is home to nine stories, 10,000 pairs of cowboy boots and beautiful hats, with a hat-shaper on staff. Plus, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the store.

2.      Catch Country Artist Ian Munsick at Gruner Brothers Brewing
Arguably one of the best up-and-coming Western artists in the music business, Ian is a native of Sheridan, Wyoming. Today, he calls Nashville home, but is going to be in Casper to attend CNFR and play an acoustic show at Gruner Brothers Brewing on Wednesday, June 12. If you haven’t heard of him, be sure to take a listen to Ian’s music here.

3.      Attend CNFR at the Casper Events Center
While the daily performances are the main event at CNFR, there’s also plenty of other things happening at the Casper Events Center. Slated for June 9-15, 2019, CNFR also features a trade show, foundation style show and Special Olympics rodeo. Plus, country music singer Jake Maurer is playing a post-CNFR show at the Events Center on Friday night.

4.      Taste Brews and Spirits
Casper’s beer and spirits scene continues to grow, with three new breweries joining the culinary scene in the last two years. The anchor of it all: Backwards Distilling Company. Home to made-in-Wyoming spirits, Backwards Distilling is a family company that’s been in Casper for 4.5 years and is a favorite among locals and travelers. Plus, they just opened a new tasting room in downtown Casper. Rounding out Casper’s adult beverage options are Gruner Brothers Brewing, Frontier Brewing Company and Skull Tree Brewing.

5.      Get Down at the Downtown Hoedown
A new event this year that will take place at the recently completed David Street Station, the Downtown Hoedown is Saturday, June 15, and will kick off the city’s summer concerts series. Additional highlights: live music, mechanical bull riding, food trucks and beer.

More information about CNFR and visiting Casper, Wyoming, can be found at VisitCasper.com.



Monday, January 18, 2021

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Texas Grand Ranch Residents Get Exclusive Access to Champion Race Horse Facility Just Down The Road

Staff

Horse racing is an ancient sport. Millions of people watch horse racing at the track or on television, but how many get to visit the horse training facility and see these really special horses training? Well, if you own land at Texas Grand Ranch, you will be one of the lucky ones.

Just down the road from Texas Grand Ranch is the Diamond G Horse Ranch, a breeding and training facility of champion quarter horses. Situated on 1,000 acres, this state of the art facility runs a very competitive program, featuring one of the top quarter horse trainers in the country, 200 racehorses, and a race track onsite for training.

Overlooking this equestrian country setting is the Diamond G Venue. A luxurious dining and entertainment venue, available for weddings, private functions, and on Thursday nights, it is reserved exclusively for residents, property owners, and employees of Texas Grand Ranch.

"TGR Nights at the Diamond G are held every Thursday night starting at 6:30," explains Renee Gardner, of Diamond G. "We have a yearly calendar that we put together with food and drink specials, as well entertainment, like Casino Night or Poker Night." Renee continues, "We are huge supporters of Texas Grand Ranch and the thing I enjoy most about these TGR Nights is watching the relationships between new neighbors turn into meaningful friendships."

"This beautiful ranch offers our residents an exclusive place to watch a big game or a live horse race, and have a drink," says Gary Sumner, Managing Partner for Patten Companies, and the developer of Texas Grand Ranch. "We were so impressed with the facility, the venue is first class. It's a great place for our residents to meet each other and enjoy this unique opportunity to be up close with champion racehorses."

For more information and directions to Texas Grand Ranch, visit https://www.txgrandranch.com or call (888) 473-5175.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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Carrie Underwood, Maddie & Tae, and Runaway June To Appear in Cracker Barrel Sounds of the Season

Staff 

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® announced today it will present "Cracker Barrel Sounds of the Season," a musical, family-friendly holiday feature with performances by superstar Carrie Underwood, with Maddie & Tae and Runaway June. The special holiday feature will debut on Cracker Barrel's YouTube and Facebook pages on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and then will continue to be available throughout the holiday season. 

In the holiday feature, Cracker Barrel brings legendary and rising female country music artists together through lively conversations, holiday games and special musical performances to showcase how they are continuing their favorite traditions with their loved ones this year – at a time when many people are reimagining seasonal celebrations. The "Cracker Barrel Sounds of the Season" feature reunites Underwood with the all-female tour mates she brought onto her "Cry Pretty Tour 360" last year.

"Being a part of this special collaboration with Cracker Barrel and my friends, Maddie & Tae and Runaway June, is a fun way to celebrate the holiday season," said Carrie Underwood. "Music lifts spirits and is a big part of our holiday traditions, which are as important as ever this year."

During the holiday event, fans will be treated to a special performance from Underwood's first-ever Christmas album "My Gift" – available at Cracker Barrel stores and online, along with special collaborations with Maddie & Tae and Runaway June. For those wanting to embrace the classic comfort of holiday music all season long, artist performances will be available across Cracker Barrel's social media channels throughout December and all three artists' new Christmas music will be played in Cracker Barrel stores nationwide.

More details on how to celebrate the holidays with Cracker Barrel can be found at www.crackerbarrel.com or watch the sneak peek below:

Monday, November 23, 2020

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Christmas in Plantation Country


The South is rich with holiday traditions and many, like Poinsettias and Pecan Pie, have become popular across the country. But there is one uniquely Southern holiday tradition and the only way to experience it is to be there, Louisiana’s Christmas Eve Bonfire festival. Local folklore says that the tradition goes back to the 1700s in the area now known as the River Parishes where early colonists would light celebration fires at the end of the fall harvest season. If you ask nearly anyone today though, they will tell you that the bonfires were started as a way to guide “Papa Noel” so he can deliver gifts to local children. Regardless of where it got its start, I wanted to check it out for myself, so Jennifer and I packed up the Acura RDX and hit the road. 

The festival is in the heart of New Orleans Plantation Country home to some of the most famous plantations in the South like Nottoway, Houmas House, and Oak Alley. While most of these historic properties function today as museums, many still have accommodations, for our time in Plantation Country, we booked a cottage at Oak Alley Plantation, directly across the river from the communities of Lutcher and Gramercy, the center of the bonfire festivities. 




We checked in to our cottage and headed out to meet with Stephan Keller of Creole Sugarland Tours to learn more about the history of the festival. Stephan, whose family roots in the region stretch back to the early 1800s is a master bonfire builder who has been building traditional and custom bonfires since he was a child. On display at his workshop in Vacherie, Louisiana are examples of his work, from large log pyramids to bonfires in the shapes of vehicles, animals, and even local landmarks. 

“Bonfires are a big part of the culture here, it's about family and friends. It is about a sense of community. They say that it started to light the way for parishioners going to midnight mass, but we were always told it was to light the way for Papa Noel” explained Stephan Keller. 

As the festival has grown bonfire building became a competition among neighbors who formed “bonfire clubs.” The weeks leading up to the bonfire club members are busy collecting wood, cane reeds, and other combustibles to pack into the framework of their bonfire. They used to surround the center pole with used tires because the burning rubber would produce thick smoke, but thankfully today tires and other toxic materials are banned from being burned. As the crowds grew safety became more of a concern, so today bonfires can be no taller than 15 feet. But that does not mean the competition is over, with elaborate themes, colorful fireworks, and even animatronic elements added in hopes of winning neighborhood honor for their bonfire club. 



Christmas Eve morning, after breakfast at Oak Alley, we drove across the river to watch as the clubs put their finishing touches on their bonfires. As we wandered the levee we watched as one group was layering roll after roll of firecrackers on the frame of their bonfire, another was bonfire was in the shape of a Pelican, the State Bird of Louisiana, and bonfires were being set up roughly every 100 feet as far down the levee as you could see.  Stopping at talking to any of the bonfire clubs resulted in being invited to join in the festivities with them, not just in general, but people were inviting us to join them at their homes for dinner parties. It just goes to show that no one does hospitality the way they do in the South.  



While it was very nice to be invited to enjoy the festival with so many locals we had already made plans to join a party at the home of Buddy Boe, a local with deep family roots in Gramercy, and he happens to be the executive director of the River Parishes Tourist Commission. We enjoyed traditional gumbo and drinks and got filled in on more local folklore before walking a few blocks down to the levees. People from all over the world had come to watch the lighting of the bonfires. We met a couple from Japan, a group of tourists from France, and busloads of people from New Orleans all flooding a town of just 3,600 people. 




As the sun slipped below the horizon, miles downriver the glow of the first fire could be seen.  Successively each bonfire is lit, and the flames get closer and closer.  Within a few minutes the bonfire we had chosen to watch, the one we had seen earlier that was packed with fireworks, was lit, the crackle of thousands of firecrackers going off as flames spread up the pyramid from its base. 


Christmas carols can be heard in the distance, fireworks explode in the sky reflecting off the Mississippi River, as lines of cars cruise along the levee. As the night goes on, the fires burn down and the crowds start to slowly dissipate, we make our way back to our little cottage across the river and hope that Papa Noel found his way to Plantation Country that night.