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Bristol TN a Small Town With Big Dreams — and a Plan

Small community offers world-class assets like ultra-fast internet, solid infrastructure and unlimited outdoor recreation.

By Livability on July 22, 2022

Bristol, TN
Courtesy of Bristol Tennessee Essential Services

If you want the best of both worlds — small-town charm and unlimited outdoor recreation combined with big-city cultural and economic opportunities — Bristol, TN, has a message for you. 

“Bristol is ready,” says April Eads, business development manager for Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) and a member of the community team for economic development. 

BTES is a municipally owned electric utility that provides high-speed internet, telephone and cable television services over a fiber-optic network. 

“We are a smaller community, but the world-class assets we have would be hard to match anywhere else,” Eads says. 

Ultra-fast internet speeds of 10 gigabits per second make Bristol a destination for businesses of all sizes, as well as remote workers who might manage a business in another city or state from their home office. 

Pad-ready sites at Bristol Business Park are ready for companies needing dedicated space within a day’s drive of 70 percent of the U.S. population. Those sites range from 35,000 to 420,000 square feet. A complete infrastructure system of roadways, water and sewer service, storm drainage, and electrical and fiber optic lines is in place. 

New and relocating businesses can have confidence that their project will move forward quickly, says Tom Anderson, a member of the economic development team. 

“Having infrastructure in place eliminates a lot of risk,” he says. 

Downtown living is so popular, the city is encouraging second- and third-floor occupancy. Attractions include The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, events such as the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, dining and shopping. 

Fishing in Bristol, TN
Courtesy of Bristol Tennessee Essential Services

The solitude of the Appalachian Trail is just minutes away from the lights of the city. The nearby tailwaters of the Holston River are renowned for their world-class trout fishing. Or you can hike the miles and miles of trails winding through Bristol’s parks. 

“Bristol is ready. If you are looking for a business site, we’re ready at the business park,” says economic development team member Jon Luttrell. “If you work remotely, we’re ready. Need a place to just get away? We’re ready for that, too.” 

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