Party with the Presley's Saturday Night - Celebrating 40 Years in Branson

(Click to Enlarge Photos)
A few weeks ago I addressed city leaders during a public comment portion of the meeting. The answer to my first question tripped me up. I've been looking over the stats for months and couldn't resolve one stat that stuck out in my mind. Why does Branson's Tourism Tax reflect stagnate income for Theaters?
What blew me away was that council informed me that many discussions have focused around this issue. After I left the stage three attorney's from Springfield addressed the issue from another angle. They asked to look at my data and let me know a little about their inevitable lawsuit (more on this later).
Occasionally, most every day, until my totally awesome camera was swiped, I take photo tours of Branson. During my last tour I stopped by the Presley's theater. They were packed. Forty years after the show launched, the crowd keeps coming. On Saturday night, you can party with the Presley's as part of their 40th Anniversary celebration. If you have other plans - cancel now. Here's the press release, "Presley's Celebrate 40 Years"
***Update: Steve Presley Says Crowd of 500+ expected to attend

Branson Reviewed Moving out of Beta

Nearly a year to create and a lesson in managing international labor the Branson Reviewed site is nearly complete. Being respectful to the theaters and honoring our visitors creates a problem for many sites advertising Branson Shows. The intent of this site was to create an honest, independent system to evaluate shows.
The system is clearly biased, however, provides a better gauge than many other sites who "tow the party line". It'll be interesting to see how this site evolves. The site grades shows with a four-star grading system. From what I've read Jim Stafford is the only site to grip a four star rating. Here's what it says:
" There’s a reason for that great big star on the back of the Jim Stafford Theater. There’s a great big reason for it.

Pass-by the Jim Stafford Theatre, right there on Branson’s Highway 76, and you quickly get the feeling that something special is going on in there…and out in front, too. That multi-million dollar video sign that towers on the strip provides a multi-colored clue. The well-planted grounds are meticulous and the handsome theatre fa├žade is… well, it’s kind-of fun!

Kudos for trying to raise the bar and good luck on your venture...

Blue Hair is back

After a hiatus, the blue hair is back. Morris James promises to shake things up by flushing toilets to increase our tourism stats. Blue Hair is a lot of fun and we're happy to see he's recovered from his sniffles and posting again.

Branson Supports Mitt Romney

With less than 500 days until the next president is chosen Branson residents favor Republican Candidate Mitt Romney but not more than Obama.

1 HERSCHEND, JODEE BRANSON MO 65616 $2,300 W. Mitt Romney
3 Joslyn, John Branson MO 65616 westgate entertain mt corp $2,000 Barack Obama
4 Kellogg-Joslyn, Mary Branson MO 65616 westgate entertainment corp $2,000 Barack Obama
9 Williams, Andy Branson MO 65616 Info Requested $4,600 John McCain
10 Williams, Debbie Branson MO 65616 Info Requested $4,600 John McCain

Branson Missouri Race Relations Part III

We covered the bases. Let's bring this up to date. Negotiation broke down this week when it came to immigration reform. The massive task earned a pass and criticism for Senator Bond on the issue of cloture and praise for Senator McCaskill for holding to her beliefs (say what). They killed the bill. No immigration reform. The issue was addressed by Branson Alderman Jack Purvis and Western Taney County Commissioner Ron Herschend. "What are we gonna do about these Mexicans?" Hmm.
Competition at the below living wage job market is fierce. One local company who recently gained a multi-million dollar psuedo-government contract is attempting to recruit Latin nationals by advertising in urban markets inundated with immigrants. Hmmm.
Let's go back to the capitol. An early vote gave Senator's a full day to blab their little gums after accomplishing absolutely nothing for the immigration issue. According to Arizona Governor,(D) Janet Napolitanoas she addressed the National Press Club the path to immigration reform:
"It is going to require Congress to end the rhetoric, stop the politics, provide sustained funding, and turn away from extreme, unworkable solutions that solve nothing and only delay the benefits of real reform. congress needs to act now.

Nepolitano says, states such as California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are going to initiate state immigration policies if the federal government doesn't act. She says , "the time is now", doubting any immigration reform will occur over the next several years due to the political cycles.
The Democrats in DC have moved on. They're pushing for campaign finance reform, which would go into effect sometime after the next election cycle. What's frustrating is the public debate focused on cloture, one of 27 proposed modifications to the immigration bill. Democrats won by killing the bill - and the Republicans didn't look too good in the process.
Branson currently has 291 jobs listed in the State Job Bank and an additional 200 at the Branson Landing alone. Bottom line, supply and demand, the market will likely demand we lean on a foreign workforce - or obey supply and demand economics - which would increase local wages drastically and destroy some local establishments.

Branson Missouri Race Relations Part II When Mexicans and Russians Unite

Last week I spoke with the Department of Homeland Security about Immigration. I received some interesting data (about 15 minutes before deadline). The initial story was pressed by ICE. The full press release can be seen here.
Branson's crop of immigrants are as likely to come from the former Soviet Bloc than anywhere else. A dedicated effort for Eastern European labor has created a black market for citizenship credentials.
A large percentage come for Ukraine, internationally known for the Chernobyl disaster. Some working illegally 200 feet from where I'm sitting, grew up less than 50 miles from the nuclear wasteland and speak of radiation sickness with great familiarity.

Blacks Mexicans and Mormons oh my (1 of 3 of our Branson Missouri Race Relations Series)

I would first like to thank Tony of Kansas City for adding me to his roll in the name of cultural diversification. Though we object to Tony's campaign for greater debauchery we dually respect his support for both political debate and multi-cultural exchange. Tony is a resistor. To show our dedication to Tony's cause we're inviting him down to Branson for a free vacation - so he can learn where his state senator is from and to show our support for affirmative action.

Second, we render both an apology and criticism to St. Louis Rep Talibdin El-Amin District 57 Democrat. Talibdin didn't get HCR26 passed and though no apologies were given by the state for slavery - I would personally like to apologize for the 6 slaves Taney County residents owned years ago. It's a despicable part of our history. Here's my criticism. Missouri's history of alienating groups of people isn't confined to African Americans. Martin Luther King once stated,"The law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me and I think thats pretty important." Missouri's Governor Boggs issued the only extermination order in the history of the United States based on a person's religious beliefs (this is debatable now that paganism is a recognized religion). Interestingly, the Mormon's believe the extermination order related to the religion's anti-slavery policy. During evacuation, the Mormon's lost their press - The Morning and Evening Star (now known as the Kansas City Star). What about the whole trail of tears fiasco - haven't the Native Americans earned some love too? If the bill wasn't so Afro-Centric, maybe he could've gotten somewhere. Or perhaps, he was just trying to gain some points with his constituents without any real intent to change anything.
We apologized - now its your turn.

Parental Kidnapping - The pride of Christian County

Most kidnappings are perforfmed by a child's parent. The state of Missouri has tough laws regarding kidnapping. Unfortunately, law enforocement policies vary from agency to agency.
Christian County has one of the most bizzare policies in regards to parental kidnapping/custody enforcement. They'll prosecute only those circuit court rulings that come from the county. Ironically, an order from the same judge could have a different effect on the outcome - just depends on which building he was sitting in when he made the ruling.

Hilton Parking Agreement Discussed

Technically, it's round 4 for the Hilton corporation's bid for the parking management agreement.
Branson Alderman Jack Purvis played the voice of reason. A free parking garage next to Reish sits next to the pay-to-park facility Hilton is bidding for. Purvis stated during round 2 that he'd walk a mile to avoid paying. Obviously, thirty feet is a trivial distance for most. The problem is that downtown building owners paid for the Reish garage through a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID). The NID was approved through a vote and required downtown businesses, who are on a serious financial downswing, to pay a tax based on the value of their buildings to build the parking facility. This is going to be a thorn in the side of Hilton who doesn't want anything to do with the free facility.
Branson Alderwoman Sandra Williams was the stickler ready to take Hilton to the mat on contractual terms. It was a good show as Williams proved she could weed through the 53 page proposal to spot "tricky terms". For instance, the Hilton will demand the city of Branson wave its right to a jury trial. Typically, Branson doesn't score well with the 38th District, but it's an interesting term.
Here's how the deal works. A nice chunk of funds head towards the Hilton (let's say 250k). If something is needed at the facility - say a lightbulb - Hilton will charge the city for an employee to walk over and change the bulb. The city pays for the lightbulb and how much time it takes for the employee to walk over. With four different facilities it ends up being a bit of a challenge.

Republicans choose Branson for annual convention

David Catanese let this cat outta the bag. Missouri Republicans will hold their annual convention at Chateau on the Lake

Branson has been selected as the host city for the 2008 Missouri Republican Party State Convention.

It will be held from May 30 to June 1 at Branson’s Chateau on the Lake.

“Next year will be an exciting one for Missouri Republicans and Branson is the perfect community in which to be selecting our delegates to the Republican National Convention and adopting our state platform," said party chair Doug Russell.

Branson was chosen by the 11-member Site Selection Subcommittee of the Missouri Republican State Committee during meetings in Kansas City this past weekend. The Republican National Committee has tentatively assigned Missouri 58 delegates and 55 alternates to the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota, from Sept. 1 to Sept. 4, 2008, where the Republican nominees for President and Vice President will be selected.

Branson Missouri Fall Creek Rd. Construction Bids to be reviewed

In three hours, the city of Branson will hear from the engineering department regarding a bid which includes installation of a traffic signal on 76 Blvd and Fall Creek road. The job is part of a larger constuction project extending Fall Creek.
Bill 3425 included a recommendation fron the city of Branson engineering department to grant the project to Journagan Construction. Journagan provided the lowest bid at $1,278,420. Two other construction companies bid for the project as well. APAC Construction bid $1,460,249 and D&E Plumbing bid $1,576,343 to complete the project.

Two die in Branson Lakes Alcohol cited in both

Late last week, we posted a warning from the state water patrol regarding alcohol on the lake. Guys, I know it's tempting, but boating drunk can kill. The Springfield News-Leader and KRZK reported the incidents today. We've archinved the SNL article at Branson Agent. The original post can be found

Casey Waun, 26, was moving around the boat Saturday night when he fell off, was struck by the propeller and did not resurface, the patrol said.

The preliminary investigation revealed alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident, a patrol report said.

Will opinion become irrelevant?

Beloved liberal chatter bot Ron Davis, recent Springfield 33 recruit pipes in on opinion talk radio as a empire ready to fall. Interesting topic in the wake of a post about local columnist Gary Groman.
Both have something in common. Davis led a fascinating campaign for a democratic candidate (some of the Internet campaign clips were posted here). In today's environment, what people expect, is unbiased reporting; however, some believe this is a fictional persona as corporations peddle the truth market. Groman wrote a second play by play assessment of Branson city council (page 2) and an opinion column in the same individuals in (page 4) the same edition.
We thought Davis's mainstream journalism career was dead; but the free market demanded a comeback.
I believe the answer lays in the work of MSU Journalism Professor Andrew Cline.
Cite your sources - better yet - publish them. We were successful in getting audio of Branson's city council meetings online which has greatly helped the quality of reporting on civic issues. By publishing our source documents, we raise the bar, expectation and journalistic standard.
Problem. The ethical standards imposed by our journalistic forefathers and the desires of corporate networks conflict. People like opinion, even when it comes in the form of faux facts based reporting. The empire keeps growing.

Haygoods shoot video on Branson Lake (Table Rock Lake)

Those wacky Haygood boys are at it again. They accidentally set a vent on fire while making this video. Check out the shots on the Lake (2 minutes into the film). By the way, do you recognize the flying machine used in the video? We posted the Haygoods and their Zane(y) friends on a New Year's expedition at the Branson Landing.

Branson, Missouri will participate in Cycling tour of State

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder published the press release below. A task force has been struggling to get the word out and make a positive impression for a host on international delegates. They're currently looking for members of the Branson community willing to represent their country of origin.

Tour of Missouri Brings World-Class Professional Cycling to the State
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (October 17, 2006) ---- Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and Lt. Governor
Peter Kinder announced today that the state will play host to the inaugural Tour of Missouri
professional cycling race, September 11 – 16, 2007.
In its initial year, the Tour of Missouri will be anointed one of the nation’s top three
stage races behind the prestigious Tour of Georgia and Tour of California races, providing
an historic landmark for the sport with three major domestic stage races on American soil.
"Missouri is known as the Show-Me State, and we look forward to showing our state
to spectators around the world through the Tour of Missouri," Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt
said. "This event has great potential to bring economic benefits to our state and is an
opportunity for us to join these world class cyclists to spread the message of the positive
benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle."
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, in his role as Chairman of the Missouri Tourism
Commission remarked, "The Tour of Missouri is an exciting way to showcase our beautiful
state. The entire state will be surprised and pleased by the size and economic impact this
event will have on Missouri and Missouri's tourism industry. This race represents millions of
additional dollars each year being pumped into our larger cities and our smaller rural areas."
The Tour of Missouri has been slated as one of only five stage races in the newlycreated
USA Cycling Pro Tour, which will highlight the top multi-day races in America. The
race also will be granted a high-ranking by the Union Cycliste Internationale, the
international governing body for the sport of cycling. The race is sanctioned by USA
Cycling, the official cycling organization recognized by the USOC.
“It’s a distinct pleasure to be involved with the continued evolution of the sport of
professional cycling in this country, and Missouri will be a great venue for a world-class
event,” said Jim Birrell, the race’s director and someone who has been involved in staging
elite professional cycling races for more than 20 years. “The support of the state has been
tremendous, and I’m sure the citizens of Missouri will enjoy this free public event while also
enjoying the rolling festival that comes along with it.”
The Tour of Missouri will play host to up to 16 major international professional
teams, including top U.S.-based pro tour teams as well as some of Europe’s top Pro Tour

Mark Hartman Will Pitch Hilton Management of Downtown Branson Parking Monday

Mark Hartman, seen above (click for larger view) will be pitching for team Hilton at Branson's next city council meeting. The Hilton's parking arrangement is contained within HCW's contract with the city of Branson. The proposed agreement that will be presented Monday can be seen here for your review. Hartman will be charging a management fee on behalf of the Hilton. According to the document a "Manager" would be hired for $30,000 annually. Fees to park in downtown Branson would be established by the Board of Alderman. A suggested fee schedule was submitted by the representative of Hilton but isn't contained in the proposal for review. Currently, Hartman's salary is subsidized by the city of Branson for management of the Branson Convention center which is scheduled to open in August.
The issues of parking has been a hot button item for Branson government's 95th session.
The Downtown Branson Main Street Association (DBMA) has openly complained about the parking situation as have individual merchants. Last weekend the organizations spokesperson proclaimed sales were down which was aired on a regional televised news program in the wake of Branson Landing's report of banner sales in their opening year.
Hartman used the takeaway stating, "I don't care one way or another about the parking garage." According to Hartman, Hilton can provide a less expensive service providing staff on a per incident charge to the city as opposed to full time employees. Customer service is another advantage Hartman has promoted saying the Hilton is interested in the customer experience.

I moved to Branson because of the price of water

This one goes under the category of "things you've never heard". The 2006 Branson citizens report compares Branson to surrounding water district pricing. Mayor Raeanne Presley estimated $1.3 million in tourism tax subsidizes water expenses and the demand keeps rising.
Of course, if you live in a part of Branson that is in a different water district - you certainly know it. You're also probably more likely to conserve.

Branson Independent - Front Page

Media bias. Springfield News-Leader's Tony Messenger addressed the issue of writers contributing to campaigns. For a political writer this is downright inappropriate, even offensive. The MSNBC article goes a little far. I want to make a distinction between a reporter and pundit. If you write on the editorial page - and your gig is to support partisan politik I do not see a problem with this. Though it may be the most popular style of our day, it's a really horrible way to get news.
This might sound funny to some, but, it's odd not seeing a story I wrote on the front page. Wearing a reporter hat, I believe it's unnecessary to be emotionally uninvolved - if your looking for a strawman - pundits have this covered - you can even expect it. I believe a good reporter to be something different. Choosing a side is a violation of ethics - contributing to side is rubbing dung into the wound.
For this reason, I thought it to be interesting that Gary Groman took the front page with a story from June 11th's Branson Board of Alderman meeting. Groman did a good job sharing the play-by-play, but few would say Groman is an unbiased source. After all, he gets paid to be biased.

I like the way Messenger closed the story off, which only makes sense if you do it right.

"In this business, if you want a friend - get a dog"

Branson Missouri Aldermen Debate

Branson Alderman Meeting
Branson Landing Update
The Branson Landing is on budget and on time. The reports are pretty much the same. Alderman Dick Gass affirms the timeline at each meeting.
Hear Audio of Branson Landing Update
Branson Arts Council asked for $35,000 see post below.
Hear Audio of Branson Arts Council Request For Funds
Surrey Grand Crowne applied for a permit to reduce parking requirements. The issue ended up igniting a longer debate than anticipated. Aldermen voted 3-3 and the Mayor broke the tie.
Hear Audio of Debate and Mayor Casting Her First Vote

Branson Landing and Branson Hills Sign Requests
Hear Audio of Branson Hills Sign Request
Hear Audio of Branson Landing Sign Request

Planning and Zoning + Engineering Initiatives Bills 3413,3414 and 3415
Hear Engineering Initiatives + P & Z

Bill 3416 Citizens on Patrol. The initiative resulted in extended debate. It allows citizens to serve on the budget, capital improvements and human resources committees.
Hear Citizens on Patrol Debate
Bill 3417 Clerk Notes - Changes clerk responsibilities to include summaries of public speakers.
Hear Clerk Notes
Bills 3419 -3420 Engineering Department - Money from MoDOT
Bill 3419 Audio Brief Hiking Trail Money
Bill 3420 Audio Brief 248 Interchange Money
Sale or lease of city property on 76 and Fall Creek. Aldermen voted to not sale.
Audio Land for Sale ?

Discussion on the use of the name Branson outside of city limits.
Name Debate

Senate Bill 64 Inked to the Benefit of Branson Tourism Industry

Senator Goodman successfully lobbied the Missouri Legislature into passing a proposition that requires school district to hold a public meeting before starting school 10 days before labor day. We've covered this extensively but I'll rehash: the net result for Missouri tourism is millions of dollars every day schools are out of session.
School districts tend to be hardheaded about any detail requiring management of their multi-billion dollar coffers. Ironically, the Branson school district itself will have to hold a special meeting (I sincerely hope area citizens show up).
School districts tend to hold loyalty to the Jefferson City Bureaucrats before their local constituency. It's an administrative heavy industry with top down thinking. Parliament first, Teachers Second, Parents Third, Students .....
A good example of this is uber-blogger Randy Turner who is quick to post issues such as corruption and address candidate finance issues but seems to always avoid addressing the multi-billion dollar education lobbying industry. Education finance ethics is a hard issue to address but as susceptible to corruption as any other industry its size - but, less commonly reported.
Luckily, local residents are elected to school boards, slightly altering the balance of power.
The legislation made headway through the House with the help of educational proponent Maynard Wallace. A lot of work went into getting this bill passed, including funneling the initiative through the right committees. Big thumbs up to Jack Goodman and Maynard Wallace.

Branson City Officials meet with Taney County Health Department to discuss merger

No word from the Tourism Tax Enhancement district. From my estimation no reporters showed to this event again. They always meet with the minimum of notice which makes me suspicious. It's unfortunate that no one is covering what may be the most important tax entity in our region. But the Branson/Taney county health department meeting got great coverage.
No new information came out of the meeting. Branson Alderman Bob McDowell voiced his intent to collaborate with other county leaders who may be concerned about the results. The reality is the Taney County Health Department is there own taxing entity but Branson businesses front higher costs - probably unnecessarily. Currently, an additional $700,000 in funding comes from Branson (whose citizens get taxed as part of the Taney County Health Department district as well. This is where the negotiations come in. Should the current tax levy cover all the expense? Isn't Branson's citizenry already fronting the majority of funds?
At this point in the city of Branson's 95th session peace making initiatives have gone well, though, tough questions have yet to be confronted - on the geopolitical front. The aldermen's job is to represent constituents whose interest may differ from county leaders. How is this going to play out?

Lake of the Ozarks Reports 100 percent of water fatalities involve alcohol

Says something doesn't it! A lot of people drink and drive boats. When coming to Branson find a designated driver. All seven fatalities at Lake of the Ozarks involved alcohol...see the press release below:

Alcohol Involved in 100 Percent of this Year's Record Number of Fatalities at Lake of the Ozarks

With seven fatalities on Lake of the Ozarks thus far this year, the pace is set to shatter the previous record for deaths on this popular waterway. Six of the fatalities were drownings and one was the result of a boating accident. In each and every one of these seven fatalities, there was one common denominator� alcohol.

"The tragic thing about all these deaths is that most, if not all, of them could have been prevented had those involved worn life jackets and abstained from alcohol consumption," says Colonel Rad Talburt.

Boating while intoxicated has always been a public safety concern addressed by the Water Patrol through boater education and enforcement. However, this year six of the seven fatalities were swimmers. There is no law that prevents a person from swimming after consuming alcohol. "Swimming after consuming alcohol is a personal choice that can have deadly consequences," say Colonel Talburt.

Alcohol greatly increases a person's chances of drowning when swimming. Alcohol consumption is associated with a wide range of accidents and injuries resulting from the impaired performance of complex mental and motor functions, such as driving. The subtle and complex mixture of mental and motor functions required to swim or walk along a swaying dock make these activities prone to be affected by impairment by even low doses of alcohol. Wearing a life jacket is always recommended when you are in or near water, lounging on a dock or swimming in the lake. But when alcohol is involved, wearing a life jacket is essential. According to the American Council on Science and Health, "No one should drink alcohol, even in moderation, before operating a motor vehicle or engaging in other activities that involve attention and skill or physical risk. Such activities include operating machinery, boating, swimming, diving, and skiing."

The Water Patrol recommends the following:

1. Don't consume alcohol if you will be operating a vessel or swimming.

2. If you choose to consume alcohol around the water, wear a life jacket.

3. If you are with others who choose to consume alcohol around the water, ask them to wear a life jacket. You might save a life.

City of Branson Corrects Financial Data - Why we didn't respond.

Several readers have commented on Branson's Finance Director Farris Brown's correction. I've been criticized for not coming down hard enough on him.
First off, I didn't report the figure verbally shared by Branson, Missouri City Administrator Terry Dody. I was at the meeting; however, asked for a much broader set of stats from the city two days prior. Brown didn't deliver the stats in the time frame I had anticipated (within three days). The documents were delivered a couple of days after the press release printed below. I'm going to ask Brown, but here's my hunch : Brown had a line item for Ticket Sales and another for Resellers. The line item was doubled up and a preliminary figure was given to Dody. They fixed it quick and put out this press release. I didn't hand the story to a newspaper editor nor published the statement on this site, therefore, I didn't run the correction. The Branson Daily News did. I was waiting for the backup. They made a mistake and fixed it quick. Is it unfair of me to accept this and believe it won't happen again? Your thoughts?

Revenues less after new finance director
double checks income figures
Branson’s finance director has adjusted his April tourism tax revenue figures downward after he discovered a miscalculation.
Earlier this week, the city released figures showing the tourism tax revenue for April at $1,013,726, a 38 percent increase from April 2006. That would have been the first time tourism tax revenue topped a million dollars in any April. However, a further review by Finance Director Ferris Brown resulted in current collected revenues being $768,484. The new figure is still 5.2 percent ahead of April 2006, and for the 2007 fiscal year, which started in October, tourism tax revenue has increased 12.4 percent over the same time period last year. April 2006 tourism tax revenue was $730,282.
According to Brown, who was hired March 1, he is still learning how the tourism tax collection process works.
In the case of the April tourism tax revenues, Brown said he released the April figures too early before he had the opportunity to conduct the closing procedure that is done each month. The closing procedure takes several days following the end of the month to complete. It was during this closing procedure that Brown said he discovered his error of misreading a journal entry. “In misreading the journal entry, I counted some tax income twice,” Brown said.

Branson VS Taney County

When it comes to revenue Branson generates the lion's share of revenue. Tensions tend to rise with shared fund ventures.

Bottom line, Branson generates the tax base of Taney County. With a little help from the surrounding citizenry. The powers that be hate this fact. Eastern Taney County is a substantially different demographic.

Branson from the Sky - Iamhere

Branson From the Sky 
I never get sick of these Cessna Skyshots of Branson (I hope you don't either).
Posted by Picasa

Branson Convention Center Last Leg of $2.7 million marketing budget

August 17 to December 31, 2007 Budget

Income $1,111,342
Expenses 713,358
Department Profit 397,984
Total Deductions 574,460
Income before Fixed Charges (176,476)
Fixed Costs: Real Estate Property Taxes, Insurance and Other 71,043
EBITDA (247,519)
Management Fees 62,500
Profit/Loss (310,019)

The photos and information posted above were part of a presentation given to Branson officials last Monday. The aerial photo is fairly recent. Hilton's marketing plan is available for Branson area businesses that want to hit the group/convention market aka Social, Military, Educational, Religious and Fraternal(SMURF. All of you Branson, Missouri SMURF hunters take heed and take advantage of increased frequency in your marketing plan. After all, you're funding the first exposures!

Brief History of Branson Missouri Area 1808-1924

As Compiled by "Spiritual History of the Ozarks author Gaye Lisby"

1808- Osage Treaty ceded rights to land including Ozark Mountains to U.S. government.

1818-Schoolcraft is first White to chronicle travels through interior of Ozarks. Notes only a few White families in what is now known as Stone, Taney and Christian Counties. Notes Indian settlement at what is now Shadowrock Park, Forsyth and mouth of James River in Galena.

1820’s-Displaced woodland tribes and early re-settlement Cherokee begin to appear. Delaware, Peorias, Weas. Piankashaws are included.

1821-Missouri Compromise – Missouri becomes a state after the government compromised to add Missouri as a slave state after Maine is added as a non slave state

1824-Missouri passes a law making it illegal for Indians to remain in the State.

1837-Taney County Formed. First Post Office is established at what is now known as Shadow Rock Park.

1837-Jesse Jennings settler in valley, now known as Rockaway Beach. First country courts convenes at his log cabin home.

1838-Mormon extermination order made by Governor Boggs. Mormon’s forced out by state militia in what is now termed the “Mormon Wars.”

1838-1839 Forced removal of the Cherokee in what is known as “The Trail of Tears.”

1838 Baptist Circuit riders preachers make semi-annual tours through the Ozarks.

1839 Roving bans of bushwackers begin random acts of violence on region’s settlers.

1840 Jesse Jennings conducts Taney County’s first census. Only five slaves are listed.

1841-Methodist Church adds Taney County circuidt to their Southern District’s missouary ministry. Preachers travel through about every other month.

1851-Stone County formed after Taney County

1852-Steamboat, The Yohogony, was the first to reach Forsyth.

1857-Fancher Wagon Train, Composed of people from the Land of Taney was massacred at Mountain Meadows, Utah by Mormons and Indians

1859-Christian County established out of territory from Taney, Greene and Webster counties.

1861-Civil War erupts. Forsyth courthouse destroyed by artillery shells in actions known as Sweeny’s Raid on Forsyth.

1862-Congress enacts the Homestead Act which gave 160 acres of land to the head of every family who could “prove up”

1862-Infamous bushwacker, Alf Bolin, killed by Union soldier. His head is cut off and carried to Ozark where it is mounted on a pole. His body is thrown into a ditch near Swan Creek.

1872-Forsyth Masonic Lodge is established. First Masonic Lodge in Taney County.

1880-Knights of Labor founded Eglinton Colony,a secular, utopian, socialist colony near Taneyville. Most of the members had attended school in the “old country” and had belonged to the Church of England.

1882 Reuben Spalding settles on seven acres of land purchased from Thomas Jefferson Berry and applies for US Postal Permit. Branson is founded.

1882 Nat Kinney slips out of Springfield and reappears in Oak Grove (Down T-Highway)

1884-1889 Bald Knobber years

1898-November, Jimmy,Pete and Steve Bilyeu killed in a shootout by Bud and Bob Meadows and Hosea and Martin Bilyeu near the Christian Taney County line

1901-August. Jennie Silvey murdered by Sam Ward who then committed suicide

1901- Terrible drought. No rain for 100 days

1901 –Reverend James Forsythe, Prysbyterian missionary to the Ozarks arrives to stay

1901- William Hawkins re-files Branson Postal permit in the name of Lucia

1902-Feburary. Thomas Berry Jefferson supposedly hangs himself in Branson.

1903-May. Henry Berry, T.J.’s son mysteriously dies

1903-October 2, plat of Lucia filed. October 26 plat of Branson filed. First lost sold from Branson plat is for saloon. Henry Sullenger, owner.

1903-December.Henry Barchman shot at Kirbyville store by owner Jjames Madison Parnell.

1905-Presbyterian minister Harold Bell Wright travels to the Ozark Hills and begins writing his novel

1906 Trains begin traveling through Ozark Mountain country with stops at both Branson and Hollister.

1907 Reverend Forsythe begins The School of the Ozarks . Masonic Lodge donates cornerstone.

1907 Wrights’s novel Shepherd of the Hills is published and becomes an immediate best seller. First American novel to sell more than one million copies.

1908-Spearheaded by Dr. Elizabeth McIntyre, Branson residents begin a fundraising drive for the construction of Branson’s first permanent church structure. Saloon keeper, Henry Sullenger is first contributor.

1909-The Temperance League attempts to outlaw strong drink. Law is defeated.
1911-New church is finally completed. Now known as Old Stone Church.

1912-January, Jim Miles kills Enos Rush in the downtown meat market

1912-August . Fuire destroys nearly all of Branson. Most residents are at the Miles trial in Forsyth that day.

1913-Powersite Dam finished. And Lake Taneycomo is formed flooding Old Jesse Jennings Cemetery where Indians are buried.
Willard Merriam begins Rockaway Beach where a resort community begins to flourish.

1916-Willard Merriam begins Rockaway Beach where a resort community begins to flourish

1917 WWI takes its first group of Taney County draftees.

1918-Francis Jennings, one of the first draftees, becomes Taney County’s first war casualty.

1918-Flu epidemic sweeps the country including Taney County. Many dir.

1920-Town of Melva swept away by enormous tornado.

1922-John Carroll, struggling father of nine children, opened a White River mussel shell and found an enormous pearl worth $336.00

1924-Congress granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S.

City of Branson to vote on new public comment rules

A bill which will be introduced Monday June 11 will limit the amount of time public speakers can openly address alderman without interruption. The same bill increases aldermen’s ability to engage residents who address aldermen with public comment during city council meetings. Bill 1241 will be the only new item which will be voted on during Branson’s next aldermen meeting.

Under the current rules, members of the public can address aldermen for 10 minutes. After the 10 minute time limit has expired, citizens aren’t allowed to respond nor are aldermen able to ask the speaker questions. If aldermen choose to engage the citizen further, they’ll have the ability to ask questions and extend the speakers time with an additional five minutes.

Alderwoman Sandra Williams spoke strongly against the idea. “I don’t want to do anything that the public will perceive as limiting their ability to communicate with city hall.” A more open government was a promise Williams delivered on the campaign trail. Anything perception contradicting that promise was something Williams said she would vote against.

Alderman Bob McDowell has a different perspective. McDowell sees the opportunity for constructive dialogue as a positive move towards a more open government. He sees the board’s inability to ask questions a hindrance to effective governance.

During Monday’s planning session, the board of alderman discussed ways they could increase communication with the public. One idea presented involved allowing citizens to write questions on a note card and placing them anonymously in a box. The public polling proposal is another way in which Branson’s board is reaching out and asking for community input. Alderman Jack Purvis reminded that board that citizens had an open line to aldermen and that aldermen meetings weren’t the only way for residents to interact with their local government.

Right now, anyone who wants has ten minutes to speak. Debate over changing that ability promises to be lively. After two more alderman sessions, having 15 minutes of fame with city council could take three meetings.

Ducklings Camp out at Branson City Hall


The shot of the bird in the nest was taken at the Branson community center. The duck and ducklings spent the day at a pool in front of city hall. First seen at 6 A.M. last seen at 6 P.M.
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Hilton's of Branson Hosting Job Fair

Hollister - Hiltons of Branson will host a job fair for the new Branson Convention Center Hotel and the Branson Convention Center to open in August from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Keeter Center on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Hollister.

Dozens of full- and part-time job opportunities are available including engineers, front desk, PBX operators, housepersons, finance, van drivers, assistant restaurant managers, bartenders, food servers and more. Business attire is recommended. For more information, call 336-5500.

Technically, College of the Ozarks is in Point Lookout. (The school has its own Zip).

Branson Sports Club Fundraiser

Branson Sports Club is going to have a fundraiser that will begin on June 22. The club manages a fireworks booth to raise funds every year. Buy your explosives at the Branson Sports Club in front of Meeks. 100% of the proceeds goes to purchase equipment for the kids involved with various program to help the children. This year we are concentrating on buying classroom items and equipment. The organization is attempting to purchase computers and classroom supplies for the summer camp and kindergarten readiness program.

Wi-Fi Internet in Branson

A stray wondered into Branson Chambers last month during a city council meeting to pitch Wi-Fi Internet access opportunities for the city. Taney County Emergency district has a wide area network and I understand emergency serviced in Branson does as well. The idea of a city having Internet Protocol (IP) technology is an interesting idea - especially since we produce our own power.

Interesting article from ZDNet on the topic.

Now defunct Wirestreams attempted this feat before the walls started closing in on the company.

Duttons On America's Got Talent

Click Here For Video Clip The Dutton's performed on America's Got Talent last night. Peirs Morgan thought there were too many of them. Say what? David Hasselhoff liked them, what more could matter?

Rain or Shine - Branson Missouri

Heavy rains, hail (probably sleet or snow if it fell) couldn't keep McCartney Codon from a 20 minute line to get a balloon twisted into the shape of a dog at the Branson Landing. Like musical chairs the facility was flooded with people who ran into buildings when it started pooring.
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