Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev

The Next Level with Chris Landers

July 31, 2023 Kosta Yepifantsev Season 3 Episode 10
Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev
The Next Level with Chris Landers
Show Notes Transcript

Join Kosta and his guest: Chris Landers, Owner and Founder of The Old Gray, the Upper Cumberland's newest open-air amphitheater.

Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev is a product of Morgan Franklin Media and recorded in Cookeville, TN.

Find out more about The Old Gray:
https://theoldgray.com/

Find out more about Landers  Trade:
https://landerstrade.com/

Find out more about Kosta Yepifantsev:
https://kostayepifantsev.com/

Chris Landers:

Every one that shows up, tends to find their way back there. And every event that we have, there's a lot of effort from the time we have the thought of booking all the way through. There's always nothing but positive feedback, which is a big goal because there's so many moving parts. There's so many things that we can do well, there's a lot of things that we can miss, and the unexpected attendance and all the things that you just don't know how you're when you're growing a business or any kind of venue such as this.

Morgan Franklin:

Welcome to Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev, a podcast on parenting business and living life intentionally. We're here every week to bring you thoughtful conversation, making your own path to success,challenging the status quo, and finding all the ways we're better together. Here's your host, Kosta Yepifantsev.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Hey y'all, it's Kosta! Today I'm here with my guest, Chris Landers, Owner and Founder of The Old Gray, the Upper Cumberlands newest open air amphitheater. Chris, I want to go back in time for a minute because before you started the old gray, you owned a pallet factory Oil Company landers trade, a nationally acclaimed motorsports team and hardware store. Will you walk us through this timeline?

Chris Landers:

What I've done all my life has been in the packaging business, which led to the pallet world and we've expanded on that. So what is known as land Mills is a packaging company which did start with a pallet operation and has grown to a lot of packaging related we do anything corrugated pallet to the stores really how it's best to explain that, okay. And we work for people like SKF we have Timken GE Lighting, target. In the Display world and, and will symbol displays, we do a lot of fulfillment. So when you go into retail stores, Dollar General, all the book programs, all those come through us. So that's your full time job. That's what I do for a living though this other Yeah. The rest of that has been, you know, I have two boys, 24 and 17. And we have been racing and been doing the family thing, racing waiver weekend, having a lot of fun, a lot of memories, spending a lot of time with family. So we've been doing that for now 18 years. And in the last five years, I've been able to build a business around it. And the opportunity came, I guess you could see there's a vision as a step in a direction to build a team five years ago, around my two boys and I added some talent added some of that. And we started moving forward and building that team. So we became a really became a support team in Monterey, Tennessee that was supported from a factory setting. So is the factory support team for Husqvarna. And so we move forward to that and then that for just a couple of years and then had an opportunity to take it to the next level. So we again with a vision of wanting to step it up to a pro team. So we did and we hired Jordan aspirin, which is local, and he's from Livingston, Tennessee. He's been racing for many years. You know, he's a champion and you know, expected that he could do well with us. So we hired him put a team or build a team around that. And then this is now the third year in our third year. So we in the Motorsports and in the motorcycle world. We put that thing together and ended up winning the championship last year.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So it's isn't like stock car or

Chris Landers:

this is a off road. motorcycle race. Okay, dirt bike race. Nice. So we're dodging trees every weekend. We go out we take campers we camp, it's family time we grill we cook out. You know, I explained it in a way it's kind of like NASCAR. Okay, tractor trailers roll in factor teams or land. So there's 10 race rigs that show up pro row established and you know, five 610 1000 people show up

Kosta Yepifantsev:

your palette company, your packaging company, and everything that you do. Is that all in Monterey?

Chris Landers:

It's all in Monterey. Okay. And you're from Monterey. Yeah. Raised in Monterey Bay and moderate, moderate all my life. Yeah. So all that's based in Monterey. So everything we do is based in Monterey, Tennessee, which is all the way up the mountain. Oh, yeah.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Well, manager at almost, you know, when you think of Putnam County, you know, obviously, Monterey Cookeville. Baxter, they're all so different, you know, just it almost feels like a different state. To be totally honest with you. We look at it relative to Cookeville

Chris Landers:

you know, in all of our efforts, and as we talk about the old gray, it's it's been a lack of other thoughts, a challenge to express the fact that Monterey is only 12 minutes away. The old gray is only 1215 minutes away from this area. You know, it's in the same time, same county Monterey is just up on the mountain and we're just outside of town. But you know, in the efforts of what we're trying to do, and what we're trying to accomplish is we employ a lot of people in and around and moderate, you know, with 100 plus employees in the business and it grows from that and the other businesses, and everything we do. So all that you mentioned is based out of Monterey, Tennessee,

Kosta Yepifantsev:

are you like the savior of Monterey?

Chris Landers:

I don't know. We have a business seems like on every corner, we own a few buildings, they're down. And, ya know, it's just it's been blessed with opportunity and been blessed with what the vision and not only that really put a team together to make it all happen.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Let's talk a little bit about that vision. I read something in your interview with Cookeville lifestyles that I absolutely loved. You compared your thought process to seeing constellations where others only see stars? How has this vision translated into the unique experiences offered at the old gray?

Chris Landers:

When you take a step back from it when you thinking about Monterey, Tennessee? Who would ever thought that at some point that we'd have a venue that's going to bring in? There's some things that we can't talk through today? But there's some big things happen in 2024? Okay, that's going to bring six, seven times the population of moderate Tennessee into that area. Yeah, so it's something they use is gonna be good from an entertainment venue from just the venue itself. And we'll get into some of the things that's happening, upcoming Sure, this year and going forward. No, three years ago, told my girlfriend's that, hey, one of these days, we're going to have jump party in that field. Now, did I ever think that is really going to be a possibility? Now, I'm not saying jump parties on the way I'm saying that we have venue there. So as time went along three years, fast forward, you know, the city somehow, in acquiring and buying the hardware store in the city connected to me about the possibilities of having a show a concert downtown event? Yeah, I could have very easily turned the other way and just took care of business and moved on. And I had this gut feeling. I'm like, you know, I can't help but follow the potential of this and the vision and what what I would want to do now, how does

Kosta Yepifantsev:

that work? So like Monterey is, and if I say anything that sounds ignorant, didn't stop me. But Monterey is kind of like a sleepy town. You know what I'm saying? And it's always been somewhat a few steps behind the economic expansion. But every time I meet somebody from Monterey, like yourself, like Amy knew, I'm astounded by the amount of talent that comes out of Monterey. Yeah, I mean, what is it about the old gray that's going to pull it Monterey on the map? Is it going to be like the next Bonnaroo for you know, maybe Christian and country music?

Chris Landers:

I think, you know, they've been some talks of the relating the two one thing that I said going into this thing, I do not want a Monterey. Okay. But we want the ogre, right, there's a lot of difference. I've never been to Monterey, but you know, we have Christian, we have country, we have rock. We have rodeos that's upcoming. We have a very unique place now. But I think Monterey, I think could it be a country thunder? Possibly. Okay. You know, we had our first show and Darryl Worley, which is making a big splash again, with his new release. He said in the name of Jesus, he's gonna claim the fact that this is going to be the next country thunder now, that show one, we're just happy to be there and go through the motions and learn and thought through next steps and do all that. But there's just that kind of feel. Everyone that shows up tends to find their way back there. And every event that we have, there's a lot of effort from the time we have the thought of booking all the way through. There's always nothing but positive feedback, which is a big goal, because there's so many moving parts, there's so many things that we can do. Well, there's a lot of things that we can miss, and the unexpected attendance and all the things that you just don't know how you're when you're growing a business or any kind of venue such as this, that you can expect some level of negative impact so

Kosta Yepifantsev:

well. And it's not just music. I mean, you were we were just talking earlier, you know, there's a rodeo that's coming to and it's not just any kind of rodeo, I mean, it's big names, and you were talking about the John party, I think you had mentioned his name earlier, you're not sleeping on on these events, like they are a big deal. So talk a little bit about how you've diversified that location. So it's not just one dimensional,

Chris Landers:

the property and halfways. And there again, there's some things that will be announced fairly soon that this whole community and upper Kremlin is going to welcome in there's going to be fresh and new and it's going to be different. And I think it's important that everyone that hears this and reads about it hears about it needs to latch on to it and just sit back and Watch because from kind of when we started it to now, we've only been in one year, we're getting calls from Nashville about a few things that are developing. And we've been able to make some strides and connect a lot of people to get a lot of talent, connect a lot of dots and move forward with this thing that to kind of, you know, even myself when I think it seems like it's been 10 year and a one year span, but it's only been you know, July 3 Second was our first event and we're just past that a few days.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

You know, you're getting calls from Nashville, do you think is national continues to grow and expand the music industry will come with it? And could the upper Cumberland be the new extension of Music City?

Chris Landers:

Absolutely. Do you think that your two is going to complement your one nice, big way. Nashville will know, we're Putnam County is they will know where moderate Tennessee is. And there's gonna be a lot of people that's going to interact it restaurants and hotels and things that we have going on,

Kosta Yepifantsev:

you think we'll get some restaurants in Monterey, and some hotels, you know,

Chris Landers:

I wished I had a team because we need one. So I do think that that's, that's gonna be some next steps. Is my ready, ready for it? Moderate is ready for it. Okay, good. But are they ready for it? So we'll see. Meaning that, you know, when we fast forward from July, we had Rocktober. You know, we've kind of hit on some of that through different channels. But in October, we had ticket sales of close to 6000, which is our second show, oh, wow number to show the second show Rocktober, which is Warren, Lita Ford, bullet boys. And in doing that, when we pull the the ticket sales, when we see that we're pulling from eight hour radius, and pull in tickets and pulling people in from 15 states, Myrtle Beach, Missouri, northern Pennsylvania. Yeah. So when you do that 80s Rock and you do those unique things, we're not just going to be a country setting, we're not just going to be this and that, and we've had Christian shows this year, we're gonna continue that we're going to marry some of those up to be unique. And I do think that when you're pulling people in from, you know, from eight hour radius, and the impact of that was, we absorbed the five 6000 people, plenty of parking left plenty of venue space, left plenty of camping space to build on? You know, I did that. In that event. I did the park and I wanted to see who was locally come and I wanted to see how efficient we could be in the park and and how that space look. Because we're trying to build on something that we can sell.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

I have a fascinating question. All right. So as we're talking, you are somebody who has started multiple companies? Have you always been successful in starting these companies? There's a second question to that. I'm just curious. Have you ever suffered any failure as you're, as you're working on these things?

Chris Landers:

Have not okay. And I've been real careful with it. So that question. So in every business, you know, and I think in everything we do, you got to follow your heart, you got to follow your gut. And I do that I teach my boys the same, and it tends to work now, every time. So far, so good. Yeah. When you think about what I do for a living the packaging world, and then you think the next steps of the safe, you think about the race and that we've done for so long. And I've built a business around that. Think about what I do at the racetrack. And I connect to a lot of people when I end up selling them, maybe warehouse space warehouse opportunities, packaging opportunities. So I take every business that I think through. And it's linked to everything that I do, right? And it happens even in that space. And then you think about the hardware store in the land lenders trade. You know, we got the phone call of the local store was closing. And the call was kind of odd, because hey, the hardware is closing, like, the hardware can't close because we

Kosta Yepifantsev:

really need one Exactly. We're not driving the lows in time, we need some. And

Chris Landers:

it was just a small Hometown Store, which was a great store. And he asked me said, you know, I just thought you might be interested in the building. And I said, No, I'm good. But that heart feeling and that gut and I thought an hour later I'm fighting back the fact that every town needs a store. I know, you know from air, my son and how we think and how we can do things and the personality that we fought for and we who we are and the customer service minded people of who we are. I think that thing could really go on fighting through that and then call the owner and like, Mark, would you be interested in selling he said I would but we've got to get it done. I'm liquidate and close it. So we did that fairly quickly. December one week. We own a hardware store. And it's been a great thing. I mean, we've moved from the old store, we've expanded from 4000 square feet setting to close to 20,000. Wow. And things are growing. We're next steps, that thing is going to be, we're told that we're the number one walking dealership in Middle Tennessee, Tennessee hazing, yeah. And the volume of people that's coming in there. And not to take anything away from Lowe's. But I'll look at it as close as Lowe's. Sure, we're a big small town store that actually will help you carry things out and check you out and have people to take care of you.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

You said earlier before we started to show that you started working for this packaging company at 18. And so this wasn't like, you know, you got handed a company or an opportunity you worked from the very beginning. I mean, from the ground level, you build your way up. And as you're describing all the different ventures, you've touched on a few things that I think points to why you're having so much success and will continue to, I think you understand how important it is to connect to people, but connecting to people in so many different ways. But I think what it boils down to more than anything else is that you are committed to serving people. Very important. I'm just curious, did your parents teach you that? Because there are gonna be people that listen to the show that are like, I gotta pick this guy's brain? Because he is, you know, only pass no fail. So where did you learn this skill?

Chris Landers:

A question that often. Great family, I was seven year old I was in a garage with my, with my dad really is my uncle, but raised me. And outs all I've ever known is to work. And he now in his later years, he tells me like, Chris, you need to slow down. I'm like, It's all your fault. Even had me out here at seven year old working in the summers, my mom would drop me off and you know, sweep the floor carry tools, clean tools, and it was like six in the morning to five or six at night. And just, I just loved it. Right. So as we went through that, and as life came along, it just kind of expanded. So I think we've, you know, just had the opportunity to have good teaching, good family, good support. And I do know this, there's not many that thinks like me, not many would take the risk as I have. And piece all this thing together. We're almost through this journey of highlighting an overview of where I've been and how I got to where I'm at. But every business I have is connected. When you dive into that lenders trade thing, knowing that that can happen. Who do you think some of them are bigger customers are my lenders, tre customers or landfills customers on the motorsport side who they buy a ton of Milwaukee Tools. So as you build on that already have a built in customer base, while we're building and continuing to build a new customer base in and around that store. It's every day in that store that we have a new face. Sure that's moving in, that really made me not even moving in, but likely they're moving to this area. Somehow with our efforts. They're hearing about the lenders trade and what we do. So they're driving from Cookeville, they're driving from Crossville, they're coming through. And when you think about the moderate, and the opportunity of the Monterey city, sure, it's kind of a pass through, it's a funnel, Livingston coming into town, then you got the hanging limb, the Crawford area and the Wilder where people's buying view lots and building big houses and doing their thing and coming out to state and going through. Then you got Jamestown Park range, and then you got Crossville that come in through and we have two exits. There's so many people in the Monterey area that are locked minded and think as I do and think as we do. But we got to sit back and realize we have two exits, we're out on the interstate, if you get off either one of them, you pass by the store. So stepping that thing up has been been a good thing because I figured out that when someone moves into the area, they go to two places. They go the hardware store, the local hardware store, and then they found a church. So we really welcomed them. And we really, with my son managing that thing and doing what he does. All we got to do is be us because when you say that service minded men serving people would probably do well in the restaurant business. But we don't have time for the restaurant business.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Not yet. Yeah. Let's talk a little bit about how you've assembled these groups of people, these teams, which I think has contributed to a lot of your success, including the old gray, which hinges greatly on the strength of your team. Can you share some insights on how you assemble these teams and foster a collaborative, successful environment?

Chris Landers:

It's a God thing. You know, when I think about when I go race every weekend, I go race every weekend. I'm going My boys, but I'm always with a phone. I'm always working, always thinking always doing my thing. But we have in every business, we have a very strong team from the top all the way down to the all levels to the land Mills is 125 employees. And we have all different levels of team in that, but every member that is as part of the team, no matter what we do, but one thing that I've done through the years, and everything we do is is to continue to make sure even when when labor is tough, I mean, it has been, but always find that there's something good and everybody, they have some sort of talent, we put labels on boxes, we pack we put, we did sticker books, we pat books, we build displays, we sell a ton of corrugated, we do a lot of packaging, we build pallets, we build crates, we build all kinds of things, and then we have to warehouse that, then we have to house it, and we have to handle it. And then we have to truck it. So there's wide ranges of opportunity for all levels of of labor. So we built a great team of that. And when you think about the landlord's thing, it's me and there's like five or six core people in that we have seven locations. Each location has a leader, and they have a an opportunity to manage that and operate that at their at their level. And they have help that's below it. It just works. And you didn't learn any of this in like a professional like collegiate setting. No, just through experience. That's their experience. So like personal vision, personal vision, yeah, interesting. It all just works together so well. And every every business is the same. So in even in building around the race team, you know, as we build that opportunity, and as we go along, we're our next step in the race team will have, we have a championship team, we have our race team. And then next steps would be a motorcycle dealership that would be connected to that and, and and all that. It's just, I sleep enough. That's a plus. And I think back, even my mom and my family and everyone that's connected to me is like Chris, they don't understand how you do it, how you see through it, how do you connect all these business together? I don't have anything that we have going on that it's not connected. Think about this. We have a long list of customers in landfills. The old gray is sitting over here on this side. Who do you think that comes and wants to do come to a job fair, in front of 5000 people, landlords customers are embedded into that Oh, gray space from a marketing standpoint. So even the old gray is sitting there marketing lander strayed marketing potential that race team business, connect into landfills customers. And then we have an opportunity. And we've done it many times. A good example I've taken 1300 tickets, oh, great tickets and handed it to co links as a employee benefit as a marketing effort as a customer relationship, but it's all connected.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

I think it's important to touch on this before we move on. And if anybody that's listening to this has listened to any of our past episodes, this episode right here, when it comes to entrepreneurship and how to run a successful business and not just build one business but create a conglomerate. This is extremely similar to how some of the most successful people in the world operate not just their businesses, but themselves. So this is eerily similar to how Elon Musk operates himself in his businesses. He's got SpaceX, which is connected to now Twitter, which is connected to Tesla, they're all talking to each other. All of his companies have a conduit between each one. And so when he has success in one company, it propagates success for the others. If he needs support for one company, he can find it in the other companies. So that's the through line, in my opinion, I think in obviously the fact that you don't sleep and you and you work so much. That's the other very, very important factor. Let's talk about the old gray some more. In your first year alone, the old gray has attracted well over 5000 visitors from 15 states. What are some of your future goals for the venue? And what can attendees expect in the upcoming seasons?

Chris Landers:

Just upcoming and we've kind of hit on that. But in the next few weeks, we have a rodeo which is a new unique setting. And I don't know from our social media feedback and some reports that I've gotten or hitting some numbers of interests. That's double triple of some of the past shows we had which didn't realize but there's a lot of people that love rodeo in and around here. So I think that's gonna be a unique step for us. And we didn't really hit on this but I think we should when you look at A season for us is going to end up being about six shows, unique shows when we get through rodeo. And then October the 13th, Friday 13th Rocktober, which is going to be most likely the biggest event that we've had, we anticipate 678 1000 People at that show in one that which is a good day. Keep in mind that our venue will hold 20 to 25,000. So that's our goal. And I think that we will get there more sooner than later. So we have a rodeo that's upcoming we have our October but think about this. From a marketing standpoint. After we finished Rocktober at we completed October, we kind of took a big step back and it's like, man, we've worked so hard to get to events. We've done well we've we've learned a lot, and all the things that we took a beating on and we just kind of know what's going on. And all things went well, some things we just don't want to see happen again. So anyway, we work through those things. And then I I'm not sleeping around, I'm thinking we're early November, and I'm thinking hey, how can we sit back. And after doing all this marketing this push to get to where we're at, there's three or four months, there's nothing going on. And so I had this thought of having the old gray idol. So I'll let Jason in on that he's like, great idea. So we we start working towards the gray arrow and really a short snap shot of that thought is the gray handle. We sent that out we had 33 submissions, 33 submissions of all around in and around the not just Tennessee but outline states 33 submissions, we ended up having, I think narrowed that down to 12 that actually done the audition that actually committed to the time slots that we give. So through that. So we spent three months of wrapping this thing up, and we would audition those, through that and scheduled. And through that effort. Over the winter, we connected to over 40,000 people through Facebook and Facebook Live and all the things that we connected to Now, we will step that up this year in a different way. And we'll continue doing that because the people are really looking for it. So last year, the winner. As we done the auditions they come through, we narrowed it down to the final four. And the winner of that opened up for Noah Thompson and Hunter girl at the old gray Auto Show in late April this year. Wow. That's the show number one. And we can anticipate that every year show number one. So we'll have the same thing happening this year. And those that have watched American Idol, Colin Stowe will be the headliner of that show. So what do they it's just a marketing thing. But it's really helpful, keeps things moving, keeps things going. It brings local talent in. Fast forward to that then you have Memorial Day weekend, which has been the revival and there's some other things that's being built around that. And then you you go a step through that. And then we'll have a 90s country set. And then we'll have the rodeo then the 90s country set and then Rocktober. And we also that we haven't hit on part of my business that we have is, you know, close to 200,000 square foot warehouse space, and it's up behind bookies in the mall in Crossville, Tennessee, you know, our base businesses and our home office and our businesses in Monterey. And then we have some warehouses and other places. So attached to the old gray. And we'll be coming, you know, later this year, sometime early next year. But the augury will have an indoor venue that will have a capacity of 3000 which will allow us to even connect more to Nashville, Tennessee, and it will become a routing thing, if you think about interstate 40. And unfortunately, we there's not a space like that in and around moderator Cookeville it's just an opportunity for us. So the 3000 capacity indoor venue, in Crossville is definitely one of the next projects that we have going

Kosta Yepifantsev:

what's the maximum capacity for your outdoor space? 25,000. Okay, yeah. And are you guys looking at hosting or creating an event that's going to meet that like, steady amount of people? Okay. Yeah, if you look at the old gray, five years from now, what would you consider a success in terms of the old gray and really, in terms of the the town of Monterey,

Chris Landers:

you know, when we think about next steps and what's going on, and not take a snapshot or drone footage, and we take a look at that, you know, my vision is to see some parking spaces full. And we're right now in the process of, of adding up to 300 camping spots, just on the property. And you know that that would be a big success of being able to get those festival feel top events happening to where people come in, and they're just happy to come in a day early and they camp out and they do their thing. That's the direction and I think over the course of the next five year we want to build the team myself, Jason, Jake. We set out this thing, early part of last year as building a destination. And I think, you know, it's hard to imagine, stay so busy and so not maybe wrapped up in all that we have going on. Sometimes when you win a championship, you don't celebrate it. Just keep going. And I find that true. And if I if I could highlight that we did win a championship, not only one but our team won four championships, my son being one of them at a national level. It's funny how that connects you to some of the fact that people that you kind of get to know some guys, right. So they come over and it was just good. And he's like, Hey, Chris, you realize that you just won, not just one, but for championships and a national level, the most premier off road racing event in the world. I hadn't really thought about it. But it's sounds good to get a smile, at least Yeah. So so it's kind of good. But you take a step back from that. And before he walked off, I basically said, and I said, No, I appreciate that have already thought a lot about it. But you know, tomorrow is the first day that we're gonna do everything we can to beat you again next year. I love it. But think about that. We had a little championship party, you know, had a little deal one hour's time. And then we're already thinking about how can we do it again.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

But that's what you have to have to be successful to be not just necessarily successful, I say that lightly. To be transformative, like to actually be a change maker, and you are that person. I'm just wondering, why decide to invest so much time energy and resources into Monterey? Why bring on Jason and Jake, and create Monterey into a destination? What is it about Monterey that you love so much?

Chris Landers:

I just have heart for it. And I think I've lived there my family's their business there. It's the American dream, right? Yeah. And doing that, you know, just trying to change, I guess, the culture and the thinking and in a positive way. And, and only being in space that I'm allowed to be in, I'm just there. And I want to be wherever we can be and be of help. And, you know, to be involved, where I'm welcome and understand when I'm not, and just know that we're doing everything we can to clean up shape up landscape found the exit all the way through. I mean, it's not unlikely. And if you had a conversation with Jake, or Jason, we've been known to wait ate the exits, because I didn't like it. The weeds that was, you know, or we picked up the trash. And, you know, it's kind of like one of those areas whose job is right, we don't care, we go around cleaning up the town,

Kosta Yepifantsev:

and you haven't been in politics, you're not a county commissioner, you're not like that type of person. And you're just getting the stuff done.

Chris Landers:

I've always in passing in a joking way or this and that, you know, being connected to that level. But I think embedded in that you kind of find yourself wanting to be a part of it with a good team. And we have a good team in Monterrey like every other small town, but there's always a lot of people that think different. And there's nothing wrong with people that think different because you can build big things together. But in doing that, always would like to be just being a part of that and help where I can but not necessarily. Do I have the time that it would take to be there? Have

Kosta Yepifantsev:

you gotten any negative feedback from the community on the things that you're working on?

Chris Landers:

No, we really haven't. If you go back and I could share some video and some your own footage of thinking about this. We have a town of 3000 plus population. We suspect that July the third, we had a fourth of July freedom over Monterey. And I've heard anywhere from five, six to 7000 people that was in that town. Wow. A lot of smiling, happy faces. And when I think about winning the championship, I was the next day that next day working with Rafferty Clary, which is super human being. So he's that CD administrator.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

He's on the radio think he is Yeah, yeah. So

Chris Landers:

he's done a great job. And we work well together, great friend. But if you had a conversation with him, I was kind of contacting him the next day or so thinking about what next year would look like. We've already got it in the queue. We've already ready. We're already working towards it, where he got some commitments from support for that where we can expand it. We've already booked the event, the entertainment for next year. So think about that. 567 1000 people in a 3000 population town that hasn't had a firework show in over 10 years, right. And we brought that in downtown trying to support the local restaurants. And we did the Mexican restaurant there has never been so busy the ownership came up to work it how they came to enjoy the show and they had to end up going to work but they was lined up all night long. We brought a vendor, or maybe couple or three vendors in, no one complained that they had to wait 45 minutes for a barbecue sandwich or whatever they wanted. Everyone's just happy to be there. So it was that small town vibe, in a big way. It really was. So, yes, I have interest in doing things in Cookeville. And we have give some proposals and some overviews and some things that we could do for whether it's next year for Fun Fest or, you know, and we're a little late for that, but but the thing about it is my heart's in Monterey, my whole visions for the county, my whole visions for the upper Cumberland, in a big way.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So before we wrap up, how much different is the entertainment business versus all the other businesses that you've been in? And what surprised you about it?

Chris Landers:

Being in the entertainment business, it's great to be a service minded person, and a team. Surprisingly, you know, it's one of those things surprised, not surprised. But just the level of if you're not a great negotiating person, negotiator, it's important. Now, because they asked for the moon, you got to negotiate that thing down to where it makes sense, all the way through, it doesn't matter what they eat, what they drink, what stage they play on what lighting package they won't, what dressing room, they get the change in, yeah. And the list goes on, and on. And on. So it's one of those industries that people think, man, I can do that. That looks fun. Anybody can do that. But there's so many hidden things in behind the scenes that you have to deal with, from even trying to get trying to get the act that you're after. And there's so many things you have to fight for to make that happen. And then all that goes with it to make next steps and get the venue to success. But being a negotiator, being a service minded person with a big heart for success is important. Because most people in year one would have already said it's enough, right, just from the fact of what it takes to grow that business. Yeah. Jason and I've talked about it, you know, we're we had this three to five year ago. I think we're already in year three, year one. Wow. So we're starting next year with some things that we can't announce now. But I think it might be something that you want to podcast up in early next year. Absolutely. But I think it's something that the people need to know. Yeah, that's happening. We can't announce it now. But there's some I've had some meetings tomorrow that will tighten up and align some things, but music event entertainment events, some related to my world and what we're doing coming to to this area, and we can't discuss it now. But I really think it's important.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So what we got today, just so that we can summarize so people can digest everything we've talked about was a lesson on how to build a team, with great company culture, and how to vertically integrate your business, not just your business or your industry. And you can go outside and go into multiple industries. But we just got what I would consider to be a semester long college course MBA level in one hour. So I thank you for that. And I really hope that when people listen to this episode, they listened to it a second time because there is so much good information and how to be a and I don't want to make this sound glib, but a successful businessman, entrepreneur, man, one of the best podcast interviews I think I've ever had. So that was great. Last question, then we're gonna wrap up. Why did you guys pick the name old gray,

Chris Landers:

the old gray. So it's part of the history of the old gray. If you look into and if you come to our venue and you walk through there's there's a description of highlights where the old gray came from. So real quickly, moderate is known for the standing stone standing stone day, which is that there right now. So history shows in 1893 I believe. So we go back and find that Jason now spent knots and knots and knots trying to figure out what could have been Cedar Springs or cedar Cove are some crazy name. And I keep going back to that hell no, I really don't think he liked it. And I know others didn't but I'm like it's gonna be the Earl Grey and here's why. Because my heart for Monterey Matata Madre and I want moderate to be a part of it. So the old gray is from the standard stone that there is there today. The oh great was a structure that was appeared to be well 16 foot tall appeared to be and look like a dog and are maybe a wolf back years and years ago, Indian tribe came through. I mean, one rap there wasn't partnering very well. So they came through and they blew. The big wolf dog blew it up. And that's where the ogre a name came from is from that. Wolf what appeared to be a dog bite Whatever. So, years later, another trap came through and took the remains of the old gray. Wolf, the old gray dog, and built what is now the standard stuff. So that goes back for years. And then I didn't even know it until I dug into it. But now people that's in and around Monterey understand where that comes from, and how in the standard stones there today, but that's the remains of what the old gray wolf dog was. That's where it came from.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So we always like to end the show on a high note, who is someone that makes you better when you're together?

Chris Landers:

I would say my 24 year old son, he thinks like me, he. I need more of him. Yeah. So he's, he's a great guy, great, human. He's my son. He's add value to our business and he allows me to go out and do what we do. And you have got more of him in around the business, but Drew is doing a great job with a great vision. I think he can carry on.

Morgan Franklin:

Thank you for joining us on this episode of Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev. If you've enjoyed listening and you want to hear more, make sure you subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you find your podcasts.Leave us a review or better yet,share this episode with a friend. Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev is a Kosta Yepifantsev Production.Today's episode was written and produced by Morgan Franklin post production mixing and editing by Mike Franklin.Want to know more about Kosta visit us at kostayepifantsev.com. We're better together. We'd like to remind our listeners that the views and opinions expressed during this episode are those of the individual speakers and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official policy or position of this show its producers or any related entities or advertisers. While our discussions may touch on various topics of interest,please note that the content is intended to inspire thought provoking dialogue and should not be used for a substitute for professional advice.Specifically, nothing heard on this podcast should be construed as financial, legal, medical or any other kind of professional advice. We encourage our listeners to consult with a professional in these areas for guidance tailored to their specific circumstances.