CURRENT BRANSON TORNADO INFORMATION (Timeline starts with most current information at the top. For additional information please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550, through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.Com or on Facebook at facebook.com/bransontourismcenter.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 5, 4:00 p.m.) The Veteran’s Memorial Museum – It has been reported in various news outlets that sustained major damage during the storm. According to June Tillis, the museum director, “We’re A-OK. The plane and sculpture in front of the museum were damaged, but the museum itself is fine. Power was restored to the museum this morning and we are welcoming our veterans and other visitors as we have been for more than a decade.”
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 5, 10:00 a.m.) Entire Branson Strip from Highway 65 to western end is reopened.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 4, 10:00 a.m.) Tornado has no impact on the 21st NAIA Division II Men’s National Basket Ball Tournament taking place in Branson this week at the College of the Ozarks starting with their Opening Ceremony at Dixie Stampede on Tuesday, March 6. The tournament itself runs from March 7 through March 13 and is expected to draw 16,000 to 20,000 people to Branson during the week.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 3, Noon) Wal-Mart on Highway 76 is reopens except for the “Tire and Lube” service area located at the east end of the building.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 3, 8:00 a.m.) The Branson Convention Center and Hilton Convention Center Hotel are closed, but expected to reopen within 100 days according to Bill Tirone, Assistant General Manager of the Branson Convention Center Hotel. In the meantime, Tirone’s staff is rescheduling events at other Branson facilities and finding other accommodations for guests scheduled to stay at the hotel during its rehabilitation.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 2, 6:00 p.m.) Controlled Access to Certain Portions of Highway 76 after 11:00 p.m. The City of Branson Police Department will allow limited pedestrian and vehicular access to Highway 76 tonight between the hours of 11:00 pm to 6:00 am. This limited access area will range along Highway 76 between Roark Valley Road and Highway 165. This limitation is being made for the safety and security of properties affected during the tornado event. A similar restriction was in place over the last two nights, and Branson Police are pleased to report no major incidents occurring. Visitors will be able to get to and from the shows playing this evening, and to and from their hotels and restaurants.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 2, 2012, 12:30 p.m.) – New article added about the state of Branson after the tornado. Click here to view it.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 2, 11:00 a.m.) Branson Landing reopens. Tammy Scholten, Director of Marketing for the Branson Landing advises that starting today, Branson Landing will be open regular business hours. Retailers on the north end of Branson Landing from Belk to Town Square and retailers on the south end of Branson Landing from Bass Pro Shops to Famous Dave’s will be accessible through their normal mall entrances. Retailers receiving the heaviest damage between Famous Dave’s and Town Square will be opening as they are ready over the next few days. The Branson Landing fountains will begin their hourly performances at Noon today.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 1, 2012, 4:30 p.m.) – Branson Strip Reopening – Thanks to the “heroics” of everyone involved the famed “Branson Strip,” Highway 76, is now reopened to traffic.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 1, 2012, 4:30 p.m.) Shows and Attractions – Although the vast majority of Branson’s theatres and attractions were not damaged by the tornado, the following did receive damage and are listed alphabetically below along with their current status:
Baldknobbers Jamboree - opening night is postponed until 8:00 p.m. Mar. 8
Americana Theatre – Closed pending repairs.
Branson Variety Theater – Closed pending repairs.
Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre – Closed for repairs
Hot Hits Theatre - Closed pending repairs*
Icon Theatre – General Manager Barrie Cunningham, said that the minor damage the theatre received will not affect the theatre’s scheduled opening on March 22.
Owens Theatre – Closed pending repairs*
*Located in historic downtown Branson
Adventure Helicopter Tours – Closed pending repairs
Branson Auto Museum – Closed pending repairs.
Branson Veterans Museum – Closed pending repairs
Dinosaur Museum – Closed pending repairs
The Track #4 Location for the Track Family Fun Parks – Closed pending repairs.
Lost Treasure Mini Golf – Closed pending repairs
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo. (March 1, 2012, 4:30 p.m.) Branson Landing – Tammy Scholten, Director of Marketing for the Branson Landing advises that “Branson Landing has made significant progress in the clean-up of the promenade from the high winds/tornado that swept through Branson on February 29, 2012. In an effort to safely continue the clean-up today, Thursday, March 1st, Branson Landing will remain closed.
“Keeping Branson Landing closed one more day will allow us to expedite the contractor work that needs to continue so we can return the Landing to a clean, safe and secure shopping center for our shoppers,” said David Ayer, General Manager. Bass Pro Shops and Belk are open for business today and it is anticipated that the majority of retailers and restaurants will be open for business tomorrow morning, Friday, March 2, 2012.”
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo.(Mar. 1, 2012 6:30 a.m.) Tammy Scholten, Director of Marketing for the Branson Landing advises that Branson Landing’s two main anchors. Belks and Bass Pro Shops remain open. The restaurants and stores within the Promenade are closed for safety reasons while glass and other debris is being cleaned up and some windows replace and, although there is no specific date, should reopen shortly.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo.(Feb. 29, 2012 10:00 p.m.) A spokesperson for the city of Branson said the tornado has had no impact on the city’s Lakeside RV park and it remains open and ready for business.
UPDATE: BRANSON, Mo.(Feb. 29, 2012 5:00 p.m.) Just got off the phone with Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley. She said that she was so grateful for the support shown to Branson by so many. When asked when the Branson Strip would reopen she said that the western end was never closed and that crews are working hard installing poles and the other infrastructure necessary to completely restore power and expects that the closed portion will be reopened sometime tomorrow.
BRANSON, Mo (Feb 29, 2012, 1:00 p.m.) February 29 turned out to be more than simply the day that makes 2012 Leap Year as what is believed to be an EF-2 Tornado hit the Branson area during the early morning hours. Although some businesses, most of which are being featured in the national and other media, were damaged, the vast majority of Branson’s major attractions and shows received minimal if any damage and will be open for business as soon as Thursday.
During an early morning press conference about the tornado, Branson Mayor, Raeanne Presley, while acknowledging the tornado’s damage, stressed what a blessing it was that there were only minor injuries and that there were no fatalities. She also pointed out that the vast majority of Branson’s major attractions, shows and other activities that the millions of visitors coming to Branson every year enjoy, were not damaged by the storm and will be ready to entertain Branson visitors as soon as Thursday.
The primary emphasis is on getting the power restored and opening those portions of the Branson Strip that are temporarily closed for clean up and the restoration of power. Tammy Johnson, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) said, “We have been in contact with most of the major shows, attractions, and other Branson activities and they indicate as soon as power and access is restored they are ready to open.
Lisa Rau, the Director of Public Relations for Silver Dollar City, Branson largest and most popular attraction, the 1880s styled them park Silver Dollar City said there was no damage. She said that they are eagerly looking forward to their opening on March 15. She also pointed out that the Show Boat Branson Belle, Ride the Ducks, and White Water will open on schedule as well. Mary Kellogg, the owner of the Titanic Museum Attraction, said there was no damage and would be accepting passengers as soon as power is restored.
Johnson suggests contacting the Branson Tourism Center for further current information by either calling 1-800-785-1550, through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.Com or via Facebook at facebook.com/bransontourismcenter.