The Branson Convention Center construction is on schedule. The first three levels of the parking garage will be open to the public on Friday April 1. When finished, the parking structure will be able to handle space for just under 500 vehicles. By the end of this week 300 spaces will be available for use. The convention center parking structure will be accessible from Pacific Street in downtown Branson.
City Engineer David Miller introduced convention center Senior Project Manager Jim Martin of Benham Monday night at Branson’s Alderman meeting. Miller said the Benham group brought expertise needed to address daily issues that arise with the massive project. Miller said even with the dedicated staff that he spends many hours on site weekly and believes the convention center is on schedule for an August ribbon cutting.
Martin works on the convention center project full time consulting with Miller on a daily basis. Martin communicated that the project is a collaborative effort involving several firms who manage various aspects of the project. Martin and Ron Mallare, Turner construction Project Manager estimated 400 people are currently being employed between the Hilton and Convention Center constructions sites.
Robert Cohn, Branson Arts Council (BAC) President went before the board of alderman Monday night to ask city leaders for support in the form of dollars from the tourism tax contingency fund. Cohn said, “The Branson Arts Council board of directors has decided to raise the cultural bar a notch by producing the first Branson Festival of Arts.” Cohn’s vision is to attract high quality artists with the help of three jurors who will act as a filtering process to make the make the goal is reached.
Cohn says tourism tax contingency funds won’t be spent until BAC has a large enough pool of talent to make sure the show is a success. Cohn believes the show will require a one time push and will be self-supporting after the first year. The famous Arkansas War Eagle Fesival occurs a week after Cohn’s event is scheduled for display at the Branson Convention Center.
BAC’s festival is slated for Oct 11-13 at the Branson Convention Center.