Category Archives: News

Highway 65 construction impact on travel between I-44 and Branson this summer

“The announced renovation of Highway 65 in Springfield is scheduled to start on July 10,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “The southbound Highway 65 exits, from both the east and west are scheduled to be closed the weeks of July 10 and July 17. There will be no impact on the northbound lanes during that period, he added.

Angela Eden, Senior Communications Specialist for the Southwest District of the Missouri Department of Transportation said that it’s a major $10.8 million project. It includes rebuilding the outside two lanes in each direction between Kearney and Sunshine Streets and other work.

In addition to the southbound exit closures, Highway 65 will be closed, one direction and location at a time, at various times, between Kearney and Sunshine Streets in Springfield. The northbound lanes will be open through the Week of July 31while the southbound lanes are being worked on. The southbound lanes will be open after the Week of July 31 while the northbound lanes are worked.

The official “signed detour” is I-44 to Route 360/60 (James River Freeway) at Exit #69. Once on the James River Freeway, follow it east and exit onto Highway 65 south. Reverse the process when traveling to I-44 from Branson. Garrison expects no impact for those traveling to and from the west on I-44. For them, ‘The James River Freeway,’ at Exit 69, is an ideal route,” he said. He points out that those traveling from and to the east will have about 15 to 20 minutes added to their trip using the “signed detour.”

Although there are alternative routes to the official “signed detour,” he advises their use only by those familiar with the area. It provides a clean shot to and from and to I-44 with no stop lights or exposure to local Springfield’s traffic which will also be detouring around the construction.

Here’s the specific closure dates and segments of Highway 65 impacted by the construction during those dates:

Week of July 10 into Week of July 31- Southbound Lanes:

Week of July 10– The westbound I-44-to-southbound Route 65 ramp and the eastbound I-44-to-southbound Route 65 ramp will be closed as well southbound Route 65 between Kearney Street and Division Street.

Week of July 17– The westbound I-44-to-southbound Route 65 ramp and the eastbound I-44-to-southbound Route 65 ramp will be closed as well southbound Route 65 Division Street and the Chestnut Expressway.

Week of July 24 into the Week of July 31– Southbound Route 65 will be closed between Chestnut Expressway and Sunshine Street.

Week of July 10 through Week of July 31- Northbound Lanes: There will be no impact on northbound travel on Highway 65 between Branson and I-44

Week of August 7 into Week of August 28- Northbound Lanes

Week of August 7– Northbound Route 65 will be closed between Sunshine Street and Chestnut Expressway.

Week of August 14– Northbound Route 65 will be closed between Chestnut Expressway and Division Street.

Week of August 21 into the Week of August 28- Northbound Route 65 will be closed between Division Street and Kearney Street.

Week of August 7 into the Week of August 28- South Bound Lanes: There will be no impact on south bound travel on Highway 65 between Branson and I-44.

For more information, please feel free to call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-866-593-9740. They’ll also answer questions about Branson including its shows, hotels, and attractions as well as assist with reservations. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 9:00 AM to 8.00 PM.

 

“Branson” is open and overflowing with fun, adventure, and excitement!

Like all of the shows, attractions, and shopping Branson is noted for, Silver Dollar City, Legends in Concert and the Titanic Museum Attraction are open.

Current news and social media stories create the perception that there’s wide-spread flooding in Branson. Nothing could be further from the truth! The “Branson” millions of tourists enjoy each year is not flooding. It’s open and offering all the fun, adventure, and excitement it’s famous for!

Here’s some answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about flooding in Branson:

When the media reports “Branson flooding,” what’s flooding? An extremely small number of homes and businesses, most of which are not even in Branson. They are in low-lying areas along Lake Taneycomo and its tributaries and are susceptible to flooding following periods of high rain. It gets worse when the flooding is accompanied by the release of water through the turbines and spillways of Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo. These releases are necessary to lower the levels of Table Rock Lake back below the top of its Flood Pool.

Except for those located directly on the Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake shorelines, there is no impact on the shows, attractions, activities and other things that the vast majority of visitors to “Branson” enjoy doing. But for the news and social media reports, videos, and pictures, the typical visitor would not even know that there had been any flooding.

Isn’t that kind of heartless, “promoting tourism” while some are flooded? No. First and foremost, the community takes care of the needs of those impacted by the flooding. In concert with that, it strives to make sure that the area’s primary source of income, for some of them and many others, tourism, is not adversely impacted because of a mistaken perception created by news and social media sensationalism.

Is most of “Branson” flooded? No! Media reports aside, the “Branson” that millions of tourists enjoy each year is neither flooded or impacted by the flooding. This includes Silver Dollar City; Branson shows, attractions, restaurants, and shopping on the famed “Branson Strip;” the restaurants and stores in “Branson Landing;” and just about everything else Branson offers.

What are “those businesses located directly on the Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake shorelines?” The Lake Taneycomo shoreline would include Scotty’s Trout Dock; the City of Branson’s Lake Side RV Camp Ground; Main Street Lake Cruises, The Paddlewheel; Bass Pro Shops’ White River Fish House; the Branson Landing boardwalk, and the Branson Landing Fountains with their spectacular fire and light show. The Table Rock shoreline would include the State Park Marina, and Moon Shine Beach and Launching Ramp as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and privately owned campgrounds. It also includes hotels, cabins, or other Branson lodging facilities located on the shorelines of either Lake Taneycomo or Table Rock Lake.

Doesn’t Branson Landing Flood? The shopping and restaurants available on the famed Branson Landing Promenade are not impacted by flooding. They are located well above the shoreline of Lake Taneycomo. Some of the lower areas of the Bass Pro parking lot, as well as its board walk, and the Branson Landing Fountains will flood. Even then however, except during the initial stages of “flash flooding,” there is usually plenty of parking available. If per chance there is not, just go up into historic downtown Branson and take the free trolley back to Branson Landing.

How does “flash flooding” impact the situation? When it occurs, a lot. Its impact depends on many different factors and is as uncontrollable as it is unpredictable, except for one thing. Soon after the rain causing the “event” stops, the higher water levels caused by the event will drop very quickly

What about the news and social media articles, reports, pictures and videos showing flooding in “Branson?” Answering the question, “Is this a picture of anything that will impact what it is I want to see or do in Branson?” will help keep things in perspective. The answer will be “No” about 99.9% if the time.

How much water must come through Table Rock Dam’s Spillways and Turbines before there’s flooding? Anything can happen initially with “flash flooding,” but typically there’s no flooding, if there’s 25,000 cfs or less coming through the dam’s spillways and turbines.

If you have any questions about the current conditions in Branson, or questions about Branson’s incredible shows, attractions, or lodging, please don’t hesitate to contact the Branson Tourism Center and talk with one of their Branson based Vacation Specialists at 1-800-785-1550. They’ll also be delighted to help with making show, attraction, or lodging reservations and get you the best available show seats and lodging. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9.30 PM. The Branson Tourism Center can also be reached through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Tourism Center wins Southwest Missouri’s Better Business Bureau 2017 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics

“It was an honor just to be a finalist for the Torch Award,” said Tammy Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “Actually winning the BBB Torch Award, with so many worthy nominees, is as humbling as it is awesome,” she added.

Johnson said that it’s a testimony to the dedication, effort, and character of Branson Tourism Center’s employees and the Branson vendors they market for. “Our team ‘makes it happen’ every day as they share Branson and help its visitors have the very best Branson experience possible,” she said. “The principles this award embodies, ‘excellence in customer care, marketplace excellence, advancing marketplace trust and consumer leadership,’ are an inherent part of our daily interactions with our customers and vendors. It’s what we strive for every day,” Johnson added.

Over the last 14 years, BTC has sold nearly 5 million show and attraction tickets and hundreds of thousands of room-nights in the Branson marketplace building trusted relationships with its valued customers and vendors. Johnson said, “From a business and economic perspective ‘what’ we have done is important. Equally important however, and what winning the ‘Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics” signifies, is ‘how’ we did it.”

About Branson Tourism Center

Branson Tourism Center, established in 2003, is a marketing company specializing in packaging and individual sales of lodging, shows, attractions and restaurants within Branson to prospective visitors.  It’s one of the area’s largest providers of Branson travel services and employs close to 100 people. It is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Missouri with an A+ rating. Among other organizations, it is a member of the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), American Bus Association (ABA), National Tour Association (NTA), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA), Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce (BLACC), and Branson Lakes Area Lodging Association (BLALA). Branson Tourism Center may be reached by calling 1-800-978-1999.

Four things you should know about the restoration work in Historic Downtown Branson

Historic Downtown Branson businesses remain open with plenty of free parking during the final phase of its Streetscape revitalization project.

“Branson is so blessed to have its thriving and vibrant Historic Downtown Business District, with its shows, restaurants, unique shopping, and historical links to Branson’s past, providing Branson visitors with a unique, nostalgic, and memorable experience,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Its Streetscape revitalization  project, scheduled for completion on May, 19, 2017, will do nothing, but increase that marvelous experience,” she added

She said that that those wanting to shop in Historic Downtown Branson or go to Branson Landing using Highway 76, which is also Branson’s  “Main Street” as it approaches the downtown shopping district, might find these suggestions helpful:

1. Historic Downtown Branson’s Businesses are OPEN: Even as construction proceeds, the businesses in Historic Downtown Branson are open and operating under their normal schedules! Tom Crain, who can often be seen painting through the window of his studio in Crain Creations Gallery on Main Street, was just one of the downtown merchants who reemphasized that point on January 19.

2. There is plenty of free parking! As one approaches the Downtown District, driving east on Main Street, the sight of the construction ahead and the “Road Closed” sign at the corner of Main Street and the intersection of Business 165/Veterans Boulevard might create some confusion as to whether the businesses are open and the availability of parking. As pointed out above, the businesses are open and, whichever way one turns at the intersection, there is plenty of free parking!

Turn left, north, at the intersection, go one block and turn right, east, onto Atlantic Street. There is free parking available in the Pinegar Parking Lot to your right as well as on Atlantic, Sycamore, and north on Commercial. If you turn right, south at the intersection, go one block and turn left, east, onto Pacific Street, free parking is available along Pacific, in the City’s Parking Garage, and south on Commercial Street.

3. Using Main Street, Highway 76 to get to Branson Landing: Many use Main Street through the Historic District to get to Branson Landing. This will not be an option during the construction. Although there are certainly alternate methods, the simplest is to turn left, north, at the intersection of Main Street and Business 165/Veterans Boulevard and proceed north to the Roundabout. Keep to the right and follow Branson Landing Boulevard into Branson Landing exiting for, north to south, Belk, the parking garage, Hilton Promenade Hotel, Hilton  Convention Center Hotel, Bass Pro Shops, and Main Street Lake Cruises, as appropriate.

4. Park at Branson Landing and take the Free Downtown Trolley: For the best of both worlds, offering the fun, excitement, and shopping of both Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson, use the free parking in either the “Belk” or “Bass Pro Shops” parking lots and ride the free Down Town Trolley. It can be boarded near both the Belk and Bass Pro Shops main entrances, travels between Branson Landing and the Historic Downtown Branson shopping district at regular intervals, and provides the opportunity for a one of a kind shopping experience!

Unique Christmas Sweepstakes blesses winner and local Branson charity

161212 Christmas Sweepstakes Composite

Two “Winners,” Onyinye Elochukwu,” who won the $500 Grand Prize and the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri, who was designated by her to receive an additional $500 from the Branson Tourism Center.

When Mrs. Onyinye Elochukwu, of Sacramento, California, went to open her email on the morning of December 12, she certainly didn’t expect to find out that she had won Branson Tourism Center’s 2016 Ozark Mountain Christmas Sweepstakes. She said, “When I opened my email and found out that I had won I was so excited! I read it twice before I even grasped that I had won.”

Onyinye, a stay at home mom taking care of a two-and-a-half-year-old son, entered the contest through Facebook and really didn’t think she had a chance to win. Now that she’s won, she said, “I’m so grateful. It couldn’t have come at a better time; what a wonderful Christmas gift!”

“To us at the Branson Tourism Center, Christmas is all about giving, so in keeping with that spirit, we decided to have a special Christmas Sweepstake centered around the joy and spirit of Christmas giving,” said Tammy Johnson, the Vice President | General Manager of the Branson Tourism Center. “We offer our congratulations to Mrs. Elochukwu and share her excitement.”

Johnson also points out that another important element of the Sweepstake was that the Winner was empowered to brighten the Christmas of a local Branson charity by designating it, from those listed, to receive a gift of $500.00 from the Branson Tourism Center. Onyinye, who has never visited Branson, but hopes to do so someday, selected the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri because she is more familiar with the Red Cross saying,” I see what they do on TV, on-line, and in social media and I like what they do to help people in times of need.”

Stacy Burks, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri said, “We’re so grateful to Mrs. Elochukwu and the Branson Tourism Center for thinking of the American Red Cross during this season of giving. Our volunteers are ready to go when disaster strikes whether home fire, flood, or tornado and this donation will help provide relief and help to community members during their time of need.”

 

Shocked winner of $1000 Grand Prize in 2016 Spring Break Sweepstakes loves Branson shows

The first thing that Beverly and Rob Johnson, the Grand Prize winners in Branson Tourism Center's 2016 Spring Break Sweepstakes, are going to do with their prize is see "Moses" and the "Million Dollar Quartet."

The first thing that Beverly and Rob Johnson, the Grand Prize winners in Branson Tourism Center’s 2016 Spring Break Sweepstakes, are going to do with their prize is see “Moses” and the “Million Dollar Quartet.”

When Beverly Johnson of Arkadelphia, AR, opened up her email, after coming home from work the evening of March 4, 2016, she was shocked to discover that she had won Branson Tourism Center’s 2016 Spring Break Sweepstakes grand prize of a $1,000 Branson Gift Card! She said that she had to read it five times before she believed it. She showed it to her husband Rob saying, “I think I’ve won this.” He said, “What” before reading it, agreeing, and getting excited for both of them.

Earlier this week, Beverly (BJ) was kind enough to participate in a telephone interview with the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) about her initial experience with the Sweepstakes, how she feels about Branson, and more. The interview uses a “Question and Answer” format, and was conducted for BTC by Gary Groman, a 30-year resident of the Branson area and a local columnist, and freelance writer.

BTC: What is the first thing in Branson you are going to use your card to do?
BJ: My husband Rob, and I have been wanting to see Moses at the Sight and Sound Theatre and my husband wants to see the Million Dollar Quartet over at the Welk Theatre because he is a huge Elvis fan.

BTC: Have you been to Branson before?
BJ: Oh, Yes.

BTC: When was the last time?
BJ: Beginning of August 2014.

BTC: When will you be coming to Branson again?
BJ: We will be coming in the middle of April for a few days, but my husband wants to see Jimmy Fortune when he comes later in the year so I’m sure we’ll be coming back to Branson again.

BTC: In addition to seeing Moses and the Million Dollar Quartet what else do you plan to do?
BJ: A little shopping, we always have to hit the Bass Pro Shop and go over to the little Amish Store. As far as the other shows go, we will play that by ear after we get there.

BTC: What do you like to do most when you come to Branson?
BJ: We like the shows the most. My husband plays the drums so we are all for going to the shows.

BTC: Have you dealt with the Branson Tourism Center before?
BJ: Yes, a few times.

BTC: How did you find out about the contest?
BJ: I actually get the emails from Branson Tourism [Center] all the time. I had seen the contest on Facebook and then got an email about the “Sweetheart Packages” for February. I clicked on one of the packages to see what was in it and saw the contest on the page. I thought that’s the one I saw on Facebook the other day so I entered.

BTC: When you first saw it did you think it was some sort of “scam trying to set you up for something?”
BJ: No, not really. It depends on where it’s coming from, whether I have those doubts or not, but being from Branson Tourism Center I didn’t even think about it.

BTC: When did you receive your first phone call from the Branson Tourism Center?
BJ: I got the email late Friday evening. The first phone call I received from BTC was from Megan Miller on Monday.

“Our thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to Beverly on winning our Grand Prize,” said Preston Garrison, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “We look forward to meeting the Johnson’s again when they visit in April and being a small part in, what we know will be, another great Branson experience.

More Roads Scholars enjoy traveling around Branson with ease

Branson Tourism Center's Branson Map with Alternate Colored Routes.

Branson Tourism
Center’s Branson Map with Alternate Colored Routes.

At first glance, it appears that the wrong term, “Roads” instead of “Rhoades” was used in connection with the word “Scholars,” but that’s not the case. We are actually referring to “Roads Scholars,” as in making traveling around a more pleasant part of the Branson experience. Does Branson have a lot of traffic during its season? We sure hope so; but the challenges of getting around in that traffic are no worse in Branson than those encountered in most major travel destinations. With a little planning, these challenges can be reduced if not eliminated entirely.

As we use the term “Roads Scholar,” it simply applies to a person who knows the three things that can have them driving around Branson like a local. These three things are; knowledge about Highway 76, the key to efficient Branson travel; the Alternate Colored Route System; and targeting your destination to either Highway 76 or the Alternate Colored Route System. Let’s take a look at each of these in order:

1.  Highway 76, the Branson Strip, is the key:

Highway 76 is also referred to as “The Branson Strip.” It’s easily Branson’s most traveled road and runs east and west through the entire length of town. With its three block Main Street extension, running east from the intersection of Highway 76 and Business Highway 65, through historic downtown Branson to Branson Landing, Highway 76 extends from Silver Dollar City, on the west, to Branson Landing, and the shoreline of Lake Taneycomo on the east.

The majority of Branson’s theatres, including some of its most popular shows, are located on Highway 76. These include, among many others, Legends in Concert, Dixie Stampede, Grand Jubilee, Amazing Pets, Illusionist Rick Thomas, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, The Haygoods, Billy Dean In Concert With Jarrett , Ayo starring Voices of Glory, it starring the Hughes Brothers, and SIX. Most of Branson’s major attractions are located on Highway 76, including the Titanic Museum Attraction, The Track Family Fun Parks, Hollywood Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, White Water, the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure, and many more.

One way or another, either because of wanting to or having to, it is a virtual certainty that you will be traveling on Highway 76. The key to doing so efficiently, and avoiding frustration, is to simply keep direct travel on Highway 76 to a minimum during peak travel times, and to use Branson’s Alternate Colored Route System to help you do so.

Because it is the main east/west Highway link to and from Branson, and because most of Branson’s theatres, attractions and major shopping areas are on it, Highway 76 is heavily traveled throughout the day. Typically, this causes minimal if any inconvenience except for the peak periods.

The traffic generally becomes heavier and more concentrated during two peak periods; one is between approximately 5:30 PM and 8:00 PM when people are trying to eat and get to shows. The other is on Sunday, between about 9:30 AM and 1:00 PM, the time-frame when many people are try to exit Branson at the same time. These periods would be excellent times to use Branson’s Alternate Colored Route System to avoid travel on Highway 76 as much as possible.

 2. Use Branson’s Alternate Colored Route System:

Branson’s system of three alternate colored routes – Blue, Red, and Yellow – is overlaid on existing highways and roads. In general, these routes are an alternate to Highway 76, paralleling it, for the most part, in an east and west direction. A little time spent familiarizing yourself with these colored routes, and the “north-south” connector roads between them and Highway 76, will help you get just about anywhere in Branson you want to go with little, if any,

Here’s a couple examples of how Branson’s Colored Route System can help:

Exiting and Entering Branson: When exiting Branson, you can avoid the traffic on Highway 76 by getting over to the Red Route, as close to its western junction with Highway 76 as possible, and taking it east to its intersection with Highway 65 from where you can exit north or south. Simply reverse the process when entering Branson.

Getting To and From Branson Landing: The Red Route is also an excellent alternate to Highway 76 for getting to and from Branson Landing. Take it east past the Highway 65 junction to the roundabout and go into the Landing from the roundabout.

 3. Targeting Your Destination:

Investing a little time with a map and planning a route to your initial Branson destination, for your daily travels while in Branson, and to your exit from Branson can make your time here more enjoyable. A simple way to do this is to “target” your destination by relating it to Highway 76 or an alternate colored route on a map. This way, you have a point of reference should there be a problem.

Unfortunately, many online maps and GPS services ignore Branson’s Alternate Colored Route System. The good news is that, in the vast majority of cases, the maps available online through Branson based businesses and in printed form at many places in Branson, including the Branson Tourism Center, not only show the Alternate Colored Routes, but also a lot of the major shows, attractions, and other things that Branson has to offer, making it extremely easy to target your destination. The Branson Tourism Center’s online map, which can be viewed online or downloaded and printed in PDF format, is one such map.

If you have any questions about directions or need information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or if you need lodging arrangements, please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Bigfoot reaches iconic heights with its gigantic 200-foot adventure attraction

Artist's conception of Bigfoot, its iconic 200 foot tower, and its rides.

Artist’s conception of Bigfoot’s 200 foot tower.

The skyline of the famed Branson Strip will soon include “Bigfoot,” featuring what’s sure to become an iconic sight…a 200-foot high tower containing three electrifying high-flying rides, as part of the new Bigfoot Attraction. The attraction, approved by the Branson Board of Alderman at its January 12 meeting, will be located about .8 miles west of the Titanic Museum Attraction on Highway 76 on the site currently occupied by the $1 Shop, and diagonally across Highway 76 from Track Family Fun Parks #5 and its exciting, three-story LumberJack high-rise go-kart track.

Bigfoot’s centerpiece will be a multi-ride adventure tower, approximately 25 feet by 25 feet and rising about 200 feet above the Branson Strip. It will have three different action rides – two thrill rides, and a more sedate scenic ride – with all three having one thing in common; riders will have an exciting experience high above the Branson Strip! They’ll see the Strip and the beauty of the surrounding Ozark Mountains from a unique and constantly changing perspective.

Bigfoot’s three rides are:

Drop Ride: Passengers are strapped into seats outside the tower and travel up its side to the top; there they’ll have a breathtaking view of the Branson Strip and the surrounding scenic wonder of the Ozarks before being released for a thrilling “free fall” back down the side of the tower.

Saddle Sling Ride: Passengers are launched from the ground into the air, accelerating upward until they reach a max vertical height of about 150 feet; where they begin an exciting descent back to earth.

Aerial View Ride: Riders are seated in an enclosed gondola that gently rotates and rises to the top of the tower. At the top, it slowly rotates giving passengers that amazing view mentioned above, one that’s both unique and constantly changing, before being slowly lowered back to its starting point.

For the first time ever, outside of certain special-permitted events, Branson is permitting the operation of food trucks as part of Bigfoot’s Food Court which will have a variety of high quality food trucks near a covered patio area with tables. Diners can sit in comfort and enjoy their food while watching the Branson Strip and people enjoying the various rides of Bigfoot.

The building housing the $1 Shop will be remodeled and contain shops, a public restroom, and other facilities. A spokesperson for the project said that they are shooting for an opening in June, but that is dependent on weather and the manufacturing of the tower and its rides.

“Bigfoot is yet another thrilling and unique adventure that Branson visitors are able to choose from and, pun intended, it certainly is taking the attractions on the Branson Strip to ‘new heights,’” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center.

 

 

Branson Tourism Center welcomes new Branson Chamber and CVB CEO

Jeff Seifried, the new President/CEO of the  Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB.

Jeff Seifried, the new President/CEO of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB.

“We extend a warm Branson welcome to Jeff Seifried, who has just recently been announced as the new President/CEO Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. “Seifried was named the new President/Chief Executive Officer of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau, according to Randy Brashers, Chairman of the Board of Directors. Seifried is leaving his position as the Manager of Regional Development for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce [which he has held since July of 2007] and will begin the Branson job on March 2, 2015.

“Mr. Seifried’s professional career has largely been spent in the area of Economic Development. In July, 2007  he joined the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and had direct oversight of initiating business recruitment and marketing strategies for the Springfield region.

“Seifried is a graduate of Drury University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Global Studies and is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.”

At the time of his selection Seifried was serving on the city council of Springfield, Mo and was the “Mayor Pro Tem.” Upon resigning from the council it was reported that one of his fellow council members, Councilwoman Cindy Rushefsky, described Seifried as being thoughtful, intelligent and independent and willing to stick his neck out to come up “with creative solutions.”

“Buzzin in Branson” during January 2015

"New South" quartet, David Ragan, left, Luke Menard, Jon Brockelman and Mark McCaulley.

“New South” quartet, David Ragan, left, Luke Menard, Jon Brockelman and Mark McCaulley.

Branson “Buzz of the Month:”

Grand Country’s Grand Jubilee, staring the “New South” quartet, will be the first of Branson’s almost 100 shows to premier their 2015 season show. Mike Patrick, General Manager and Producer of Grand Country Shows, said, “We start rehearsing for next year’s show while we are doing our Christmas Show and actually premier it during our New Year’s Eve show and party. We are really excited about the new show with new music, fresh comedy and some really ‘grand’ surprises.”

“Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. It is in a concise and easy to read format that conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities for the month being “Buzzed” which, in this case is January 2015.

Buzzin in Branson during January 2015

Dec. 31: OK, so strictly speaking it’s not happening in January, but New Year’s Eve in Branson will sure be an exciting end to 2014 and beginning of 2015.
Jan. 1 – 31: The vast majority of Branson’s Attractions such as the Titanic Museum Attraction, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, the National Tiger Sanctuary, Promised Land Zoo, and many others are open year round. Branson’s retail shopping, including its major outlet malls and Branson Landing, are open year round.
Jan. 1 – 31: The majority of Branson’s shows are closed for their winter break and to prepare for the 2015 season during January and those that are open are operating on “winter” schedules. The following list includes some of the major shows that will be open, a general scheduling note and a link to additional information, specific schedules and ticketing information:

Amazing Pets
The Haygoods (January 3 Only)
Legends in Concert (January1-3 Only)
Dixie Stampede (January 1-3 Only)
Comedy Jamboree (Dark January 4-15)
Grand Jubilee (Dark January 4-13)
it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre (Starts Jan. 20)
Branson Country USA (Starts Jan. 30)

Jan 1 – Jan 15: White Flight at The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Jan 1: Chateau on the Lake – New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch
Jan 23: Titanic Museum Attraction’s Girls Sleepover
Jan 24: The Master Trout Fishing Tournament at Lilley’s Landing

Please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, for additional information, tickets or hotel reservations by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.