by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First
City and business leaders gathered in Branson for a special luncheon Tuesday. The purpose was to talk about 2018 and to unveil what’s new for the 2019 tourist season.
The luncheon took place at the Chateau on the Lake, where CEO and President of the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB, Jeff Seifried led a discussion about what was in the — and what’s to come.
“Of course not all the numbers are in.. but we are tracking on one of the best years we’ve ever had in Branson in 2018,” said Seifried.
With a successful 2018 behind in the books, city leaders say they’re predicting strong growth in Branson for 2019 — with nearly a billion dollars in the pipeline.
The agenda this year includes a continued focus on workforce development, discussions about sports activities and a new campaign called “We Believe.”
Also on the agenda for 2019, giving back to a community that’s still reeling from Hurricane Maria.
“One of the initiatives for 2017 and 2018 is working with Puerto Rico to recruit temporary workers to Branson..the Branson area. We’ve been very successful,”
Seifried said, it’s all about giving back.
“We’ve chosen the city of Humacao on the eastern side of Puerto Rico, to work with that community and give back…Anything we can do, as a community to help give back and do the right thing — and make sure truly it’s a two-way street..that’s what we’re going to focus on in 2019.”
The city also plans to take an in depth look at the Branson theater industry.
“Whether an individual is a show person, or not — wants to visit shows or not..it’s a very important piece to the Branson community,” said Craig Westcott, owner of Tracks Family Fun Parks.
The city plans to do a study that spans outside of Branson.
“There’s a great task force of folks that are big and small theaters, Westcott said, “So, everybody is represented. Because we all want the same thing..and that’s for Branson to keep growing and the theater industry to be as healthy as it can.”
Branson is also getting a brand new Chamber building — which they’re hoping will be open for public tours next month. A grand opening is slated for sometime in May.