Hi Brendon, thank you for the compliment. I do believe we could become a year round destination however,
it would take a big commitment from all of the business leaders, business owners, shop keepers, etc. You
can’t have most of the town closed and then advertise to come here for Hot Winter Fun! It doesn’t work,
and the CVB hasn’t learned that yet….we need to develop more indoor attractions (due to weather),
shows that are open year round, even if there is a “winter” schedule of entertainers that are here while
those that travel are gone. For example while the Duttons winter in Arizona, the performers from
America’s Got Talent have a three month schedule of performances in their theater. Very little should be
closed. But until the majority step up and admit we need “change” things are going to continue to go down hill. We have been on a downward spiral for nearly 8 years and we still keep doing the same things over and over. So yes, it is possible, yes it will take a financial investment, and yes, it will take a community wide commitment.
I agree… the disparity between the very wealthy and the poor… such as those who are over 70 years old working at Walmart or cleaning toilets for minimum wage part time who should be retired. There are shows for the holidays, Christmas and so on, so as you said, it’s not just about the lake or the weather. Other cities don’t shut down just because it gets a little cold… although in NY/NJ they fly down to their mansions in Florida to avoid the snow shoveling… lol… What we really need is to move FORWARD and stop living in the past. We could brainstorm ideas to make use of existing equipment and buildings in Branson to get the ideals that Branson is supposed to stand for to REALITY – I see brand new wealth and construction next door to run-down, abandoned properties and would-be neighborhoods.
somewhere you just don’t visit during the “winter time” out of everyones’ heads! The main market is those who live a few hours driving distance away, and take a mini vacation with the kids or whatever… and then there are the super rich, who used their own pocket change to build some airports around here.
What about NASCAR? I thought they were going to put something like a racetrack? Oh yeah… no-go.
Who ever made it the rule that Branson is only a place people visit during 7 months out of the year?
It’s not like we get any snow or ice on the roads. If I had the tax money for it, I’d open a REAL supermarket or two in town, and ones with REAL delis! I’d also raise the minimum wage and/or stop the domination of monopolies ruining peoples’ lives and livelihood, and stop looking at Branson as some kind of bank-city for the country bumpkin mafia to rob. If you read the paper and look at how the money is spent, it’s obvious that whoever is in control has no idea of priorities. That and they need to … or we need to.. come together and form a committee and UNITE on our OWN… small businesses
and so on… even people who live a few hours away and work knitting or making handmade arts and crafts that they bring here to Branson to sell – (and Branson gets a cut of any profits, plus charges for their booth)…
I work in the hotel business right now. I would be/am willing to talk about what we can do; who we know… brainstorm.. for example, you know somebody with a such and such business, i know someone with some other skills, and we can cooperate and prove that we can run effective advertising and promotions by sharing customers and cooperating, and supplying the market that is lower-end…. especially these days, people are VERY careful with spending their money. I suspect we can bring Branson into the new millenium on our own – People who live here can band together and if we could do that, stop the apathy and get involved… our government might be willing to support many of the ideas we come up with.. That’s what they’re probably waiting for.
I could write a magazine style article, with pictures, targeting a specific market and with specific goals and actually enjoying the country…. not just the shows, or Golden Corral or Ruby Tuesday. We need to THEME the “off season” and use SOCIAL MEDIA marketing to tell our friends that it’s more affordable to stay here in the winter, and there are no traffic problems.
There are activities and events, including exercise and indoor expos, where we present a list of what we need to fix so that we don’t look like a ghetto… and we can come up with ideas for how to raise the value of the land and developed real estate if we could ever convince the powers that be to have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finish what it started and BUILD the roads and bridges that were originally planned. I had a customer come in the other day who said she was here from Iowa to look at property to purchase. WE need Branson to be the neighbor-friendly town it once was, and the way we do that is by having a steady COMMUNITY who live and work here making a living wage – NOT having people (subcontractors) brought in to fix the roads from several hours’ drive away. I guess the situation is so bad that as soon as the next generation who lives here can afford it, they RUN! It’s half criminal/meth labs, half elderly and dependent, and the only thing left after all the revenue goes to cover those expenses comes from working in the foodservice and hospitality industry (tourism!). There are a lot of transients who come through here… literally on foot… it’s sad but I guess true that as long as certain Tri Lakes groups control the construction and permits and fees and licenses, the roads will not be built. I live by Celebration City, and everyone knows it was shut down by politics.
So, what do you think of the new lighting of the Branson logo on the newly painted water towers? Think they’re overdoing it? lol… The new sidewalks on the strip wasn’t pointless, but the majority of tourists don’t even use them (meanwhile, most of the hilly, dangerous roads nearby have NO sidewalk AND NO GUARD RAILS… The entire infrastructure is poorly done, and a few pretty logos lit up on the water towers remind one of the phrase, “Sell the sizzle; not the steak”. Indeed.
Now last but not least are those of us who are the top earners in Branson. Visitors or community members, we all notice there is plenty of work to be done. Unlike many cities, Branson needs a good dose of urban sprawl in order to make it a real city. It needs to cater to a wide range of customers – that goes for low income locals, high income visitors, and all. I base these remarks on my own observations and my interactions with others.
Do you think we could get a petition of some sort with a list of suggestions that WE, the people who know first-hand how hard it is (especially with the taxes!), and present it to the city council? Or would it be better to form our own business guild, which consists basically of a list of local, small businesses (rather than franchises .. although some franchises we have no choice)… with which we do business?
This is something that would really stop the apathy up there… and give business owners here a real voice in our vote. I’m thinking of laying out a package deal working with some boating guides/tour guides, lodging, the Branson Belle, the winery, the new Dewey convention center… the fish hatchery… helicopter tours… zip lines … roller coaster rides …
What do you think? I know it sounds extremely difficult… I know neighbors raising kids on food stamps, and as much as they hate to give their money to a company like Walmart, they feel they have no choice.
One more crazy idea for ya! Instead of unemployment checks and food stamps during the cold season, how about the 11.6% tourist tax that the larger businesses paid all summer comes back as a local stimulus refund package, so that WE can take a week or two vacation and enjoy the shows… and REBUILD the friendly community Branson once was. The generation of youths that is coming in now are so fed up with the
robbery going on, they are either leaving, or simply refusing to quit… also, mental illness and depression are up. We’re tired of seeing unfinished projects and brand new condoplexes within 5% of completion only to suddenly be shut down, as they now rot… the ones sitting near route 76 after you pass the strip. The mega churches bring people in from all over, and servile people willing to accept wages that barely pay the bills is the norm here; I know some people who break all kinds of codes and laws in order to survive here.. and shut down their water heaters each night, and stay at their friends’ houses because their electric has been cut off. Greed. People own multiple units they bought expecting to make X per month on them or sell them as time shares… but now they are becoming ghettos, some are being rented out by the month, and yet still many remain empty and in disarray even when i hear people have offered to clean the place up if they could stay there for a low monthly rate.
Well enough rambling… I will post this somewhere and save it; it might prove helpful someday. Goodnight.
-Brendon Tristal, Copyright 2013 January 22 🙂