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Little Nashville Opry Land To Be Auctioned Off
Updated May 5, 2013 1:06 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(NASHVILLE) - The land were the Little Nashville Opry once stood is set to be auctioned off, more than two years after a fire destroyed the popular country music venue.

Brown County Treasurer Joe Wray says the land will be divided into three parcels and will be up for auction at the Commissioners Tax Sale on April 17.

Former Opry manager James D. Bowyer, 75, faces charges of arson and arson with intent to defraud in connection with the Sept. 19, 2009, fire that destroyed the facility on State Road 46 West.

At the time of the fire, the Opry owed more than $170,000 but had less than $9,000 in its bank account, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Court documents show the music hall was insured for more than $3 million.

Six weeks before the fire, a deal to sell the Opry for $2 million fell through after the financing company determined the Opry wasn't worth the sale price.

Records show Bowyer had not been paid by the Opry during his five years as general manager, but a handwritten note promised him $300,000 if the opry was sold.

The Indiana Attorney General's Office sued the Opry's owner in 2010, claiming they engaged in deceptive business practices by withholding refunds. In 2011, the opry agreed to pay $26,500 in ticket refunds to 159 people.

Bowyer pleaded not guilty to both charges through his attorney. His trial was set for June 6.

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