A filming of “Nick’s Wild Ride” in Warren County was placed on temporary hold due to COVID-19, but the show will go on.
“We are really excited about this,” said TV show host Nick Hoffman. “Thank you guys for this vote of confidence and bringing us to town because this will be a lot of fun and will make a great episode.”
The Tourism Development Board contracted with producers earlier this year to film a travel and adventure episode in Warren County. The show, which airs on the Outdoor Channel, features Hoffman as he canvasses the globe to find interesting places, compelling people, vibrant culture, and good food.
Board members conducted a telephone conference with Hoffman to discuss when filming will begin.
“I was just on the phone with my other producer today making plans for the fall,” said Hoffman. “Our plans are in flux because of our lack of ability to travel, so the McMinnville trip is one we can do without a lot of travel on my end and we will also be able to do in a responsible manner.”
Travel and productions such as this are currently being discouraged due to coronavirus.
Hoffman asked if a fall filming could be a consideration.
“How does the fall look? Will we be able to showcase your town properly during the fall? Is there any way to know? Will business be back to normal? Will I be able to walk down streets in the downtown area and make it seem like the lively little city that it is? That’s something that is a concern, obviously. You guys don’t want this to look like McMinnville is a ghost town.”
Mayor Ben Newman relayed that some large events, such as the Farm to Table Dinner and Warren County A&L Fair, have been canceled due to the pandemic, but that downtown businesses are open and doing well.
Hoffman suggested using photos and videos of past events to feature.
“We are wide open for outdoor activities,” said Newman. “If you go down to Pepper Branch Park, which is one of the main areas where people put in for kayaking and things like that, there’s 100 people down there waiting to get in.”
TDB chair Christy Ross suggested working with RCS Productions for Cumberland Caverns Live and staging a concert at the cave that can be filmed for the show.
The discussion turned to hunting and its inclusion. Newman asked, “Is dove hunting something that you’re looking at?”
“That would be a great idea, actually,” said Hoffman. “A good, old-fashioned Tennessee dove hunt would make a great episode. If you have a good idea for that, I’d love to talk to you about it.”
Newman said, “There’s a group I go with every year.”
If filming occurs in 2020, the episode featuring Warren County would air in 2021.