Tennessee Department of Tourism

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Nashville, Tennessee, where he visits with the Governor’s Commissioner for Tourist Development Mark Ezell. His primary mission is to empower 16 of Tennessee’s rural, distressed communities through development of private enterprise tourism attractions and events. Ezell says the former Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, repurposed as a tourist destination, is a prime example. In its second year of operation, the former prison—complete with ghost tours and a distillery—has attracted more than 80,000 visitors and has become Morgan County’s second-largest employer.