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Blake Shelton’s entertainment venue to open this year

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TISHOMINGO, Okla. (AP) — Ole Red hopes to tree some retail dollars here, its developer said Monday.

Ryman Hospitality Properties CEO Colin Reed joined Blake Shelton and other dignitaries to formally start construction on Ole Red, an entertainment venue based on Shelton’s hit song, “Ol’ Red,” The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/2p6JeQU ) reported.

The 5,000-square-foot project will be in two adjacent buildings downtown and will include food, a bar, live music and a retail space.

Before driving ceremonial nails into an old board to kick off the project, Reed and Shelton talked about the project before a gathering of about 100 people in a nearby event hall.

Reed said Tishomingo’s Ole Red will be an extension of a much larger Ole Red the company is building in Nashville, Tennessee.

But Reed said the Tishomingo project is special in a way the larger project can’t be, because it will expose its guests to a country lifestyle they’ll get from the surrounding community’s ambience.

Reed said 120 million people in the U.S. like to hunt and fish and love country music, and that Ryman’s goal is to connect with those consumers.

“Our goal is to put these places, Ole Reds, into places like Nashville, or Orlando, or places like Las Vegas, where you see huge amounts of tourists. But this place, I think, will really be an Ole Red where people can actually come and experience country living.

“And that is why I think this could turn out to be the Taj Mahal of Ole Reds. This is a compelling business opportunity, and one I think where we can drive a bunch of tourism business through this town.”

Shelton, an Oklahoman, said Monday he easily could have just taken the buildings — once the home of ex-wife Miranda Lambert’s Pink Pistol boutique — and opened up a hamburger stand, just to keep something going there.

But Shelton said he wanted to do something special, adding he was glad he waited and worked with Reed to come up with the Ole Red concept.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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