George and Sally Kaup during 2011 Branson Trip.*
BRANSON, MO, June 2, 2013 – “The quality and quantity of Branson’s live shows is a major reason many people come to Branson,” said Tiffany Isnard, Director of Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “That’s not surprising, given the reputation Branson has for the variety and quality of its live entertainment, but it is a wonderful testimony to Branson’s shows and how important they are to Branson when people like George and Sally Kaup, from Woodridge, IL, come back to Branson year after year primarily to see them and have seen as many as 32 in one visit.”
The Kaup’s loyalty to Branson and its shows came to light while George and his wife were having a discussion with personnel from Main Street Cruise Lines in connection with a sightseeing cruise on scenic Lake Taneycomo aboard the paddlewheel river boat replica, “Lake Queen.” Although “Branson – Up Close and Personal,” a service of the Branson Tourism Center, normally provides readers with an up close and personal look at a Branson star or personality we thought it would be interesting to interview the Kaups. The interview with George Kaup (GK), with input from Sally, uses a “Question and Answer” format with the interviewing being done for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) by Gary J. Groman, a 27 year resident of the Branson area, local columnist and freelance writer.
BTC: How long have you been coming to Branson?
GK: Since 1996, at least once a year, sometimes by ourselves and other times, like last Thanksgiving with family members.
BTC: What do you like the most about Branson?
GK: Its shows, friendliness of the people and hospitality.
BTC: What is your favorite thing to do in Branson?
GK: Go to shows.
BTC: When was your last trip to Branson?
GK: We arrived late on May 22 and left on May 29. Our last trip prior to that was the week of Thanksgiving so that we could show our Grandchildren what Christmas was like in Branson.
BTC: How many shows did you see during your May trip?
GK: We saw 14 shows.
BTC: What were your favorite top three shows on this trip?
Rankin Brothers vocal cast performing a beautiful rendition of "Shenandoah," with Lori Kelly, left, Matt Rankin, Mark Rankin and Amy Coffer.
GK: Rankin Brothers, ABBA Tribute – Thank You for the Music and Ozark Murder Mysteries.
BTC: What is the most shows you have seen on one trip?
GK: We had a 13 day trip during which we saw 32 shows.
BTC: With all those trips to Branson do you have a favorite place that you stay?
GK: Over the years we have had the Branson Tourism Center book us into different hotels. This last trip they booked us into the Dutton Inn. We were very impressed with the continental breakfast, how clean their rooms were and their hospitality. I would put them at the top of our list and, over the years, we have stayed at a variety of different Branson lodging establishments. When we come back we are sure going to try to stay there because it really made an impression on us. Again, not only were the rooms extremely clean, but whatever people you dealt with at the hotel seemed to bend over backwards to do anything they could for you. Hospitality goes a long way.
BTC: On your last trip you took a sightseeing trip on Lake Taneycomo aboard the Lake Queen. How did you enjoy the trip?
GK: It was fantastic.
BTC: What did you like most about the trip?
GK: The relaxing ride, beautiful scenery and the narration the Captain gives about Branson history and the sites we were passing on the trip.
BTC: Would you recommend a sightseeing cruise on the Lake Queen to others?
GK: Definitely. As a matter of fact we did already while we were down there.
BTC: What other Branson attractions did you see?
GK: None this trip, but we saw the Titanic Museum Attraction on one of our recent trips and really enjoyed it.
BTC: About how many times have you used the services of the Branson Tourism Center to plan a Branson vacation?
GK: For at least the last ten years.
BTC: Would you recommend the Branson Tourism Center to others?
GK: Oh definitely!
GK: It’s the only way to go. You make a call to them, decide what shows and attractions you want to see, the type of lodging you want and they arrange it all. You just sit back and wait for the call from them confirming your reservations, where you are staying and pricing. Everything is locked in. It’s a super place to work through, friendly, hospitable and ready to bend over backwards to help you. On our last trip we decided to come a day early, called the BTC about getting an extra night lodging at the Dutton Inn when we were about 20 minutes out of Branson and by the time we pulled into their reception center at 8:00 PM, they had made the arrangements with the Dutton Inn for our extra day.
BTC: When are you coming back to Branson?
GK: Next year in May.
BTC: Is there anything in Branson that you haven’t done yet that you are planning to do on your next visit?
GK: We have never been to Silver Dollar city and we are talking about going next year.
BTC: Anything else you would like me to include?
GK: Great place to visit and we would love to live there.
*Photo courtesy George and Sally Kaup.