Whether you’re arriving via locomotive or talking a walk down Main, soon tourists will have another hospitality option when visiting Bluff City. In Fall 2019, the Hilton plans to add The Central Station at 545 as another addition to its Curio Collection of hotels.

The original building was constructed in 1914 as a transit hub, but is being repurposed to host an eight-story, 123-room boutique hotel. Lodging options include nine specialty suites, while rooms aim to offer a view of the Mississippi River and the South Main area. The project is one of many Henry Turley projects to revitalize downtown, and was done in partnership with Kemmons Wilson Companies(Read the interview with Henry Turley in Inside Memphis Business here).

McLean T. Wilson, owner and developer of The Central Station, wants the venture to capture the spirit and culture of Memphis. “The Central Station has an incredibly rich and nuanced history in South Main and, on a larger scale, in Memphis, and we are proud to continue honoring the historical landmark’s legacy,” said Wilson in a press release. “The hotel will incorporate the property’s history through eclectic, art-focused design and decor, a world-class music experience and real, honest food. We wanted to showcase quintessential Memphis, and as a result, we endeavored to ensure that guests staying at the hotel have no doubt they’re in Memphis, have no doubt they’re in South Main and have no doubt they’re at The Central Station.”

Wilson plans to incorporate music as a big part of the guest experience. Meanwhile, the Listening/Lounge Bar will treat guests to an extensive variety of vinyl records.

Beyond music, the hotel will contain a myriad of local art pieces, a community style restaurant and bar, 7,000 square feet of meeting and venue spaces, and 3,750 square feet of retail space. For more information, visit

Samuel X. Cicci


– The clock is ticking! The nominations have started coming in: Inside Memphis Business has been recognizing the top thinkers and doers in the city for several years. Our seventh annual IMB Innovation Awards issue is coming in September and we want your nominations for these people and organizations that are at the forefront of evolution — tinkerers, questioners, visionaries — who keep the machine of commerce oiled. Last year’s winners covered a range of areas, from medicine to music, education to civics. When you send us your nominations of the best and brightest candidates, please include any pertinent biographical or business information, and why the person, business, or organization should be recognized as a leader among innovators. Email your nomination to [email protected]insidememphisbusiness.comDeadline for nominations is June 21, 2019.

– Tech is at the core of the fun at Golf and Games Family Park, which had its ribbon cutting this week. The main attraction is the Toptracer Range by Topgolf, a driving range simulator. It also has a Hologate Virtual Reality, Maxflight Simulator, and an upgraded Lasertron Lasertag. The attraction, at 5484 Summer Avenue, has been an amusement center for 55 years. Other attractions include batting cages, bumper boats, and spin zone bumper carts.

– The 110-room Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites in Collierville will open on June 18. The Fairfield will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by Southern Hospitality, LLC and managed by Hospitality Management Advisors of Memphis.

– Now we’ve run across a list of the top states for vaping: 1: Oklahoma; 2: Kentucky; 3: Indiana; 4: Tennessee. In 2018, 3.6 million middle school and high school students reported regular vaping. So the health care analysts at QuoteWizard took a look at the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to rank in which states e-cigarette usage is most prevalent. Vapers could face 50 percent increase in health insurance rates if e-cigarette users are classified as tobacco users — yes, we’re talking to you youngsters. When you apply for health insurance, there is a question about tobacco use. Insurance companies use your status as a tobacco user as one of the primary determining factors to set the cost of your health insurance premium. But what if you’re an e-cigarette user? Do you say yes and pay higher premiums, or do you say no and risk potentially committing fraud? More info is here.

– Just-released data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings hit an all-time low in April (0.78) or roughly 1.3 job openings per unemployed worker. Also: hiring jumped by 240,000 jobs in April to 5.9 million, the highest level since the government started tracking the series in 2000. Nearly 3.5 million people quit their jobs in April, with job openings standing at 7.4 million. National unemployment remains at 3.6 percent, a 50-year low, with even lower averages for specialized skills. Meanwhile, 43 percent of workers report they plan to look for a new job within the next 12 months, according to a new survey from Robert Half Intl.


– Memphis follows one national trend: More people (especially younger ones) are choosing to live in the inner city. They want to walk to restaurants, bike to work, and live among the old buildings that give a city its identity. The city is blossoming, but can it handle the growing pains? Read Toby Sells’ story in the Memphis Flyer here. 

– The Daily Memphian reports on a couple of bank acquisitions and name changes. Tennessee’s largest bank will rebrand as First Horizon Bank this fall after more than 40 years as First Tennessee BankRead Wayne Risher’s story here.

– Meanwhile, SunTrust Banks and BB&T Corp. propose to become Truist Bank and Truist Financial Corp. after a pending consolidation. Read the story here.

– DHL Supply Chain will expand its medical device and pharmaceutical logistics business in Memphis and elsewhere, bringing about 50 more jobs and $8 million in capital investment, reports the Memphis Business Journal. Read Samuel Hardiman’s story here.

– Max Garland at The Commercial Appeal looks at the different relationships Amazon has with FedEx and UPSRead his story here.


– Wine Down for BizTownJunior Achievement’s event tasks teams of participants to blind-taste-test various vintages to see which style of wine is the most popular among the crowd. Food and live music are also available at the event. Proceeds go toward Junior Achievement of Memphis. June 14, 6 to 9 p.m. Junior Achievement, 307 Madison Ave. $30/person.

– 2019 Memphis Flyer Burger Week: In 2018, there were 24 participating Memphis FlyerBurger Week restaurants serving thousands of $5.99 special Burger Week burgers. Get ready for this year’s round coming July 10-16, 2019.

– VACO CPE seminar on Leases, Intelligent Automation, Tariffs/Trade: Four CPE credits are available. Credits include one for information technology, one for accounting and two for specialized knowledge. Admission is $75 and the knowledge level is intermediate, so no prerequisites or advanced preparation is required. It’s from 1-5 p.m. on June 20 at International Paper Tower IV, 1740 International Drive. For tickets or more information, go here.

– The 4th annual Bacon & Bourbon Festival hosted by the Memphis Flyer will have creative bacon-inspired dishes of all kinds from some of Memphis’ best restaurants, plus an array of distilled spirits to tempt your tastebuds. The music, merriment, and entertainment will be Saturday August 24th 2019 at Beale Street Landing downtown. A portion of proceeds go to the Memphis Farmers Market. Info here.

Best of Memphis Nominations


Who’s getting promoted? Who’s closing big deals? Who’s getting awards? Inside Memphis Business magazine’s Hot Sheet has the latest on milestones in Memphis.

– Karen Johnson, MD, a researcher from UTHSC, was selected to be a principal investigator on a six-year nationwide diabetes prevention clinical trial that released findings today at the American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco.

– Financial Federal Bank hired Linda Waldon and Stephanie Richer as vice presidents of treasury management.

– Dacquiri Baptiste (pictured) joined The Orpheum Theatre Group as COO.

– Stites & Harbison, PLLC, hired Andrew Battle Sanders as an attorney.

– Daniel Baldwin joined Terminix Commercial as director of technical, training, and regulatory services.


Inside Memphis Business magazine publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s April issue has the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.

This week’s Power Player is Lewis Reich, president, Southern College of Optometry. Graduate, University of California at Berkeley. Completed Residency in low vision rehabilitation, Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Chair, Memphis Medical District Collaborative. Vice president, Board of Directors, National Board of Examiners in Optometry. Fellow, American Academy of Optometry. Former chair, Optometry Admissions Test Committee, Chief Academic Officers, OptomCAS committee. Research funded by National Eye Institute, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

For the complete list of Inside Memphis Business Power Players, go here.


“Memphis has turned the corner from being a market that was critical [of itself] and down on itself for so long to being one that actually has optimism and is thriving.”

Tony Pellicciotti, a principal at local architecture firm Looney Ricks Kiss, on the city’s housing boomlet. Quoted in the Memphis Flyer here.


One of Memphis magazine’s most popular issues comes out in August. The City Guide is a keeper with invaluable listings of places to go and stories covering what you need to know about Memphis, whether you’re a newcomer or long-timer. Features include “Who’s Who in Memphis,” a roster of movers and shakers in town. You’ll also find top restaurants, places to go, guides to theater and arts, music, and nightlife, and what you need to know about education and healthcare. Advertisers: contact Margie Neal, [email protected]com, 901-606-7986 or your Memphis magazine account executive.