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Branson Recovery Update from Chamber of Commerce

  
  
  
  

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Pointe Royale Properties, Inc.

 
The following is a press release from the Branson Chamber of Commerce.  Lots of great information about how far we've come, and how we've come together.
 
BRANSON CVB STORM RECOVERY UPDATE
MARCH 7, 2012
 
ONE WEEK AFTER STORM, BRANSON RECOVERY PROGRESSES
 
One week after an EF-2 tornado touched down in Branson, MO in the early morning hours of February 29, 2012, recovery and rebuilding progresses quickly.  There were no fatalities in the Branson/Lakes area, although several minor injuries and significant property damage occurred.
 
“We are blessed that no one died due to this tornado, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those families who did lose loved ones as a result of all these recent storms that have struck much of the Midwestern and Southern parts of the US. It is clear that we will each need to share our stories of this event for many days and weeks to come.  Where we were, what we felt, how we coped. I hope we take the time to truly understand the power of this storm and be forever grateful that our families and friends are here to hold and cherish.” said Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley. 
 
Recovery and rebuilding efforts continue, with many of the affected businesses reopening or scheduled to reopen in the coming days.  “I drove down The Strip, and I’m so impressed with the determination to recover and get back to business for our citizens and guests,” says Dean Kruithof, Branson’s City Administrator. 
 
Business Re-openings/Status
 
Major attractions such as Silver Dollar City, TITANIC Museum Attraction, Hughes Brothers Theatre, RFD-TV The Theatre, IMAX Entertainment Complex, Tanger Outlet Mall, Sight & Sound Theatres, Showboat Branson Belle and numerous other theatres, lodging properties, attractions, restaurants and retail stores are undamaged, open as previously scheduled and are welcoming visitors to the Live Music Show Capital of the World.
 
Plans for Branson’s April 1 Centennial Celebration and Museum opening at 101 Veterans Blvd. are right on schedule according to celebration producer Bogie Bohinc. 
 
The Veteran’s Memorial Museum has reopened after the storm and sustained no major damage.  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.”
 
Dick’s 5 & 10 Co-Owner Steve Hartley said merchants in Historic Downtown Branson are taking care of customers in their “usual friendly way,” and have been since just hours after the twister. “We were down a very short period; now we are ready to go. Branson’s spirit has shown what we are made of,” Hartley said.
 
Branson Landing was closed for two days following the tornado, and is now open.  The famous Branson Landing fountains have resumed their scheduled performances.  There are still a small number of stores that are still closed for repairs, and consumers can visit www.BransonLanding.comto find out more information.
 
Only two of the more than 50 theatres in Branson have had to delay their show schedules more than a week or more as a result of the storms. A list of scheduled show opening dates is posted on www.ExploreBranson.com.  The majority of shows will open on schedule or have already opened for the 2012 season. 
 
Celebrated tribute artist production ‘Legends in Concert’ announced today that repairs have commenced on its home in the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater.  Restoration plans have been completed, delivery of replacement building materials has begun and dozens of construction workers are in full swing making all the needed renovations, after receiving confirmation that the theater suffered no structural damage. Legends in Concert will soon announce the resumption date for its 2012 performance schedule. For more information please call 417-339-3003 or visit legendsinconcert.com.
 
Initial estimates are that the convention center will be up and running in 30 to 60 days.  Meetings and conventions that were scheduled for the Branson Convention Center in upcoming weeks are being contacted regarding relocation in the area, many to Chateau on the Lake, which sustained no damage as a result of the storm or The Hilton Promenade, which sustained some damage but is still open to guests.
 
22 of the more than 200 hotels in Branson have sustained damage as a result of the storms, with varying degrees of severity.  Estimated opening dates for those affected hotels will be posted on www.ExploreBranson.com.  Branson has more than 18,000 lodging units, and can host up to 60,000 visitors a day.  The storm damage has not substantially affected Branson’s lodging capacity, and the vast majority of lodging properties are open for business as usual.
 
Branson Area Golf (BAG) courses were spared from any damage during the recent tornado that came through Branson. The courses include three of the top five “Best Courses You Can Play” in Missouri, as rated by Golfweek magazine.
 
Assessment Information/Business Resources
 
Most of the storm damage to commercial areas is in localized sections of W 76 Country Boulevard and the Branson Convention Center area.  33 moderate or slight injuries have been reported as a result of the storm in Branson. Most of the injuries were cuts and bruises although one more serious injury was reported.
 
All of W 76 Country Boulevard (also known as the world famous “Branson Strip”) reopened to traffic on March 1, and visitors are traveling to and from attractions, shows and restaurants with only infrequent restricted access to certain sections to accommodate utility crews. 
 
Post storm information and resources for business owners can be found at www.bransonchamber.com/storminfoforbusinessowners.php.
 
The City of Branson has secured the resources of the Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation (SAVE) Coalition to inspect the damaged commercial properties in the community. That report will be made available by the City of Branson.
 
The Emergency Operation Center has been taken down and ongoing coordination of recovery efforts will be moved to Fire Station #1.
 
Power has been restored to the majority of the affected area, with only a handful of utility customers still without electricity, about a dozen located on The Strip. 
 
FEMA has completed their assessment of the damage done by the storm. 71 residential properties sustained damage ranging from slightly affected to total damage.  147 commercial properties sustained damage ranging from minor to major. For the complete report please contact FEMA at 800/621-FEMA. 
 
Donations and Volunteering
 
The Community Foundation of Taney County, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, has established the Branson Tornado Relief and Recovery Fund to accept donations to support clean-up and rebuilding efforts following the Leap Day storm.  Donations can be made online at: www.cfozarks.org/donate.
 
The American Red Cross: Southern Missouri Region is partnering with other local agencies to provide a “one stop shop” of relief resources to the victims of the tornado that affected more than 300 residences across multiple counties. This resource center is open to all victims across the Region.  For additional information please contact Nigel Holderby: holderbyn@redcross-ozarks.org
 
Taney County tornado volunteer efforts to assist area residents with homes damaged by the storm are being managed by AmeriCorps St. Louis.  Representatives are currently working out of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau located at 269 MO Hwy 248.  For assistance or to volunteer, individuals should call 417-243-2161, email ACSTLBranson@gmail.comor visit www.VolunteerBranson.org.
 
AmeriCorps is currently in need of work boots, bath towels, toothbrushes, shaving cream, conditioner, feminine products, diapers- sizes, n,1 and 4, baby wipes, toilet paper, garbage bags, paper towels, bleach, laundry detergent, reusable grocery bags, backpacks, blankets, flashlights, batteries, school supplies.
 
Mayor Raeanne Presley might have said it best when she said, “It is humbling to face the power of a destructive force such as this tornado.  Yet this is exactly the time our community has gathered their strength to rise above daily chores - to volunteer, donate, work long hours in cold and heat. While I am so sad for the loss of property, I am heartened to know our Branson will rise up stronger than ever.”
 
For up to date information, situation updates, road closures, show schedule changes, affected attractions, restaurants, shops, etc. consumers should visit www.ExploreBranson.comor call 800-296-0463.

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Branson Leap Day Tornado

  
  
  
  

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Pointe Royale Properties, Inc.

Early this morning, a tornado tore through the heart of Ozark Mountain Country, leaving several families homeless, several people injured, and several questions looming. 

Photo from KOMC

1.  Is Branson Open for Business?  First of all, and this is very important, Branson is still open, still ready to entertain.  I recall the national news from the flooding in years past leaving the impression that Branson was under water, and to stay away.  That wasn't true then, and it isn't true now.  We're Open!  The vast majority of Branson's entertainment venues, shopping centers, and eateries were untouched by the tornado.  And your tourism dollars will aid greatly in getting this town back to full strength.

2.  What Was Damaged?  Several homes, businesses, and a few of the theatres.  The most important of these damages is the damage to the homes.  Families have lost everything, businesses have lost everything.  But no life was lost in the Branson area.  There were between 30 and 40 injuries, mostly minor.  That is such a blessing!  The homes and businesses can and will be re-built.  The theatres that sustained substantial damage are the Branson Variety Theatre, Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theatre, and the Americana Theatre.  And those are not total losses, and should be re-openning this year, hopefully by the summer.  Also, the Veteran's Museum and the Branson Auto Museum sustained damage, as did several other businesses.  For a more complete list of properties damaged by the tornado, Click Here.  The path of the storm stayed, for the most part, on 76 Country Boulevard, or within a block or so to the north or south as it leapt around town.  There was also damage at the Hilton Convention Center and other nearby businesses at the Branson Landing.  The path of the storm was very narrow, but very long, about 20 miles total and about 7 miles of that right through Branson......long enough to go from the west end of town clear to the east. 

3.  How Can I Help?  The authorities are asking that volunteers not "self deploy."  So, don't just show up.  One way to offer your assistance is by going to the website set up for just this purpose:  http://www.volunteerbranson.org/.  SEMA and local officials will be announcing other ways to help in the days ahead, likely through local churches and the Red Cross.

4.  When Can I Come Back to Branson?  The short answer is, as soon as you want to, as most of Branson is undamaged.  There is debris on the road in some places, but city officials expect that to be gone in 1 or 2 days.  Seriously.  This town is tough, and this town is together.  We are gonna pull together and get this thing done!  So, please, don't hesitate to visit our lovely city.  We'll have a bit of construction mess on 76 for a bit.........but we'll have it back better than ever before you can believe! 

God Bless!

Branson Variety DamageLegends Sign @ Dick Clark Theatre

Branson Auto Museum Damage resized 600

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Christmas in Branson | Ozark Mountain Christmas

  
  
  
  

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Pointe Royale Properties, Inc.

When I first moved to Branson nearly 9 years ago, I was so stunned by the abruptness of the switch from Fall to Christmas in Branson.  Literally, one day you've got jack-o-lanterns & skeletons decorating your home or business, and the next day you've replaced them with Jesus in a manger, wise men, Santa and reindeer.  I'm accustomed to it now, but it sure was a shock to the system that first year.  Nine years later, I mostly look forward to the early Christmas season.  Branson is always friendly, but the early Christmas season here just means Branson's Christmas cheer spreads all the farther, and shines all the brighter.  
Miracle of Christmas

Here's a list of some of Branson's Must See Shows, and some Hidden Gems, as well.  Please note that, were it not for Andy Williams sudden announcement that he'll miss this Christmas season to undergoe treatment for bladder cancer, The Andy Williams Christmas Show would be First, Second, and Third on this list.  Andy Williams is, in large part, why there is such a thriving Christmas Season in Branson.  Thank you, Andy.  And God bless you in your battle against cancer.  We're praying for you!

Must See:
1.  Silver Dollar City, An Old Time Christmas.

     With over 4 Million lights decorating the park, a wide variety of Christmas music shows, Christmas Carolers, a 5 story Christmas tree light & music display, the Gifts of Christmas Parade----which the kids will absolutely LOVE, and SDC's wonderful production of A Dickens Christmas Carol, it is an absolute must see.

2.  Tony Orlando's Great American Christmas.
     Tony Orlando is another Branson Christmas institution.  Tony sings all your holiday favorites, and mixes in his timeless hits, as well.

3.  Gatlin Brothers with Debby Boone.
     Start with the sweet as honey voice and personality that is Debby Boone, add 3 legendary country music brothers, the Gatlins, mix together with tight harmonies and Christmas spirit, and you end up with a show that is quickly becoming a Branson staple. 

4.  SIX.
     If you've never heard the a capella magic that is these 6 brothers, then you absolutely must get to Branson this Christmas season.  You won't believe your ears as six unaccompanied voices blow your mind with amazing harmonies, vocalized percussion, and showmanship.  Throw in the fact that these guys are hilarious, and you've got yourself a Branson must see show. 

5.  Miracle of Christmas.
     The Sight and Sound Theatre hosts this amazing musical about the birth of Jesus.  With elaborate scenery and Broadway quality actors/singers, there's nothing quite like it in Branson.

6.  Andy Williams Christmas Variety Show.
    
Even in his absence, Andy has left a great Christmas present for Branson's Christmas visitors.  It's an elaborate, engaging, and endearing variety show featuring the Lennon Sisters, the Oh! What a Night quartet, the Warnocks, Pasha and Alonia--adagio dancers and quick change artists, Mike Cathcart, Dean Church, and Bob Anderson.  Andy produced this show himself, and you'll be glad you went to Moon River this Christmas.

7. Christmas on the Trail, at Shepherd of the Hills.
     The Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills is absolutely spectacular.  Quoting their website, "2-1/2 mile display of lights, sound, and motion, you'll see millions of multi-colored Christmas lights and themed, animated displays, winding its way through the 160-acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead."  The kids will love it, the adults will love it, it'll be a great Chrismas memory for everyone.

Hidden Christmas Gems:  These are some wonderful Christmas shows that you may not be as familiar with.......but you should be.  They're great, too.
1.  Hamner Barber, Wings of Christmas.
    
Magic, music, comedy, illusion, and a stunning winged finale make you glad you celebrated the Christmas season with the Hamners, and the Barbers.

2.  A Christmas Snow, at Starlight Theatre.
    
This stage production adapted from the popular movie stars Muse Watson and Catherine Mary Stewart, reprising their roles from the film.  Heartwarming and beautiful, everyone I've talked to has loved it.

3.  Brule, American Indian Christmas.
     You've truly never experienced anything quite like the rhythmic beauty of this show.  If you'd like a change of pace from the Christmas Standards, this is your show.

4.  The Allen Family, Simply Christmas.
    
This family of 10 is sure to win your heart as they pour out theirs.  This is a celebration of faith, family, and the wonderful love surrounding the season.

5.  Tillis Family Christmas.
     Mel Tillis is another Branson institution.  Through November 17th, he'll be sharing the stage with his daughter, Carrie April, in a family musical event full of tradition and toe-tapping. 

I'm sure you'll enjoy any of these great shows/attractions.  There's always so many choices here in Branson!  Merry Christmas, everybody!

"And God bless us, every one." Tiny Tim 
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Titanic Wood Carving Event in Branson

  
  
  
  

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Pointe Royale Properties, Inc.

Coming up October 7, 8, & 9 is the Titanic Museum's 4th Annual World-Class Wood Carving Event & Competition.  You'll want to plan to be in Branson for this special, and unique event.  Competitors come from all across the country to compete in this 3 day event.  Admission is free, and you'll get considerably more than you pay for as you witness 1st hand the artists' process of taking a chunk of wood, carving, chiseling, chipping, and charing it into a breathtaking work of art.  If you enjoy the creative process from a specator's standpoint, or if you're looking for inspiration or ideas for a wood carving hobby for yourself, you have a great opportunity to watch these talented artisans in action.  The chips will definitely be flying!

 4th Annual Wood Carving Event

Things get under way Friday, October 7th, at 9am, and will continue till 4pm.  Same schedule is on tap for Saturday.  Then 9am to 3pm on Sunday.  There will be an auction of the wood carvings both Saturday and Sunday beginning at 4pm.  So you've got a great opportunity to pick up some beautiful art as a keepsake and display. 

Here's a link to a great blog by an atendee of last year's competition.  It's loaded with information and photos from 2010.  It has some wonderful photos of the event itself, and, more importantly, the amazing art that was produced at last year's event.  Breathtaking stuff.  Look for you in the sawdust Saturday! 

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Branson in the Fall

  
  
  
  

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Ozarks Autumn

Autumn in the Ozarks is a beautiful time.  The hills in and around Branson are thickly forested, giving us so many picturesque views year round.  But autum in the Ozarks is especially lovely.  Add to that the fact that we have such a diverse array of trees gracing our Ozark landscape, trees which turn colors at differing times, and you get a fall foliage season that can last as long as 4-6 weeks, peaking in mid-October.  Our fall temperatures are very comfortable, and the October skies are usually blue and bright.  Below is a quick video from the Branson Chamber of Commerce featuring many of the joys of a Branson fall getaway.

Fall is a great time to enjoy the Ozarks outdoors, hiking, taking pictures, or just enjoying the great scenery and weather.  It's also a good time for all the live music that made and keeps making Branson famous.  This fall, Lee Greenwood & Louise Mandrell are performing right across the highway from Pointe Royale at the Welk Theatre.  The Gatlin Brothers, who can often be seen playing golf here at the Pointe, also make their way back to Branson this fall on Tuesdays-Thursdays over at the Mansion Theatre.  And special 1 or 2 night performances are scheduled this fall for Don Williams & Little Jimmie Dickins, Marty Stuart, Michael Bolton, Vicky Lawrence, and also Tim Conway & Friends.  Throw in the Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City, and autumn in Branson is truly a must see.  So I hope to see you soon!

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The Ironman Cometh | Branson Ironman 70.3

  
  
  
  

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Pointe Royale Properties, Inc.

Seems like each & every morning, and some afternoons, I seem to pass cyclists & runners out there on the Ozarks roadways.  Either the percentage of Branson residants who cycle & run has gone up dramatically, or the Ironman is right around the corner.  (Which it is.)

Branson Ironman

This years Branson Ironman 70.3 is coming up this weekend, with the international event scheduled for Sunday, September 18th, with the actual start time for the race set for 7am.  Of course, there are events going on all weekend leading up to the race, including a welcome concert at 8pm on Friday at the Branson Landing, featuring the group, Chain Reaction.  The race itself begins Sunday morning with a 1.2 mile swim in Table Rock Lake, followed by a 56 mile bike ride primarily on the beautiful Ozark Mountain Highroad and Hwy 248, and finishing with a 13.1 mile run to the finish line at the Branson Landing.  Whew!  That sounds like a workout.

The Weekend concludes with the Awards Ceremony and Rollout at 4pm on Sunday.  It's always exciting to watch world class athletes compete.  But to have the chance to see them compete right in your back yard is something special.  This is the 2nd year for the race, and we in Branson would love to have it back each and every year.  Volunteers are still needed to help with running the event.  If you'd like to volunteer, contact Angie Zeller at bransonvolunteers@ironman.com.  Below is a list of some of what they still need:

Bike Course Marshalls:  Sunday, September 18th from 7am to 1pm, $400 donation available
25 adults (must all be over 18)
Expect to be on your feet most of this time
Group will be spread out along the bike course

Course Set Up:  1 group of 20 volunteers each needed for each time slot, $300 donation available for each group
Thurs., Sept 15 {9am-1pm}  or  {1pm-5pm} 

Course Clean-Up:  1 group of 20 volunteers each needed for each time slot,  $300 donation available for each group
Sunday, Sept. 18  {10am-3pm}  or  2 groups needed from  {4pm-8pm}
*All course set-up and clean up groups need to be 16 years of age or older and able to lift 35 pounds easily - will be lifting metal bike racks, barricades, tents, etc.

Invidivual volunteers are still needed for various jobs as well.  To see a full list of individual jobs or to sign-up as an individual volunteer click here.  Hope to see you out on the course!

Be sure to book your condo today!

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Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival

  
  
  
  

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Pointe Royale Properties, Inc.

Each year, downtown Branson comes alive to the sweet sound of fiddles ringing through the Ozarks as the Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival & Mid-American Fiddlers Championship takes the spotlight.  This year's festival is coming up fast, this weekend, August 26-28.  It's a great event every year, and this year is the 23rd year for the festival & contest.  Fiddlers & fiddle music lovers from all over the country to our neck of the Ozarks this weekend, and it promises to be a memorable event. 

Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival

The contest itself is Saturday-Sunday, with preliminaries Saturday from 10-6, and finals Sunday from 12-5.  But there are festivities all weekend, including the Kick-Off Street Dance Friday night from 6:30-9:30.  Another Street Square Dance is on tap for Saturday night from 6:30-9:30.  There will be seminars & demonstrations all day, food vendors, pony rides, sidewalk sales, and general musical frivolity all weekend.  Special guest appearance all weekend by actress & author Mary Mcdonough, who played "Erin" on TV's The Waltons.  You might just want to pick up a copy of her book Lessons from the Mountain.  She'll be doing book signings & Q & A.

Mary McDonough (aka Erin)

Sunday morning before the finals there will be a special Sunday Morning Gospel show, featuring Bob Hubbard & Matt's Family Jam.  You definitely don't want to miss any of it.  For full details, including schedule & prices, visit: the Downtown Branson website at http://downtownbranson.org/?page_id=2447.  We've also just lowered our Discounted Lodging Rates at Pointe Royale, giving you all the more reason to come see us at the Pointe, and hear some great fiddling downtown.  See you there!

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Branson Cares: Concert & Telethon

  
  
  
  

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On Sunday, June 26, beginning at 6pm, Branson's Mansion Theatre will host a variety of Branson entertainers in a Concert/Telethon to support Tornado ravaged Joplin, Missouri.

Joplin

Joplin is special to me.  I didn't grow up in Joplin.  I didn't grow up near Branson, either.  But I moved to Joplin right after high school, and attended Missouri Southern State University, though it was MSSC back then, not MSSU.  I lived in Joplin for 13 years.  And, though I have now made my home in the Branson area for over 8 years, I still think of Joplin as my real home, the Joplin people, my neighbors still.  The good people of Joplin took me in as if I'd always been there, as if I were a native son.  All of my Good Old Days took place in Joplin, Missouri.  

I was in Joplin on Saturday, May 21st for my cousin's wedding.  One day later, Joplin was changed forever.  A tornado of unprecedented power and destruction tore through that town, destroying thousands of buildings, homes, businesses, schools, churches, and lives.  You've all seen the pictures, watched the videos.  I've no new or insightful words to give to describe the horror or the subsequent heroism.  Words are too mild to describe the horror, too weak to describe the heroism.  

So, what can we do.  We can give, whatever we have to give, let us give it.  Branson's entertainers are stepping up to give their time and their talent in a Concert/Telethon to benefit those in Joplin.  On June 26, you can see the show live at the Mansion Theatre for a $50.00 donation.  Or you can watch on TV and donate from home.  You can even go to the Branson Cares website and donate online.  Whatever you can give, please give.  Our neighbors are in need.  Let's truly be a neighbor to our neighbors in Joplin.

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Branson, Beyond the Music

  
  
  
  

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Branson is the live music capitol of the world.  But, have you ever wondered what else there is to do in Branson, besides just the music?  Or, might I say, Beyond the Music?  If so, then you’re in the right place.  Branson is music and much, much more.  Join me below, as we travel on our 1st ever tour of Branson, Beyond the Music.

2 17 2008 053 resized 600

The first stop on our Branson, Beyond the Music tour is the Branson area’s assortment of lakes: Table Rock Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and Lake Taneycomo.  Before the construction of the area dams, these three lakes, and others, used to form much of the old White River.  Each lake is different, and offers it’s own claim to fame.  One might describe the 3 lakes this way:  Table Rock Lake is great for boating, and also fishing, while Bull Shoals and Taneycomo are great for fishing, and also boating.   The depth and size of Table Rock Lake make it well suited for larger boat traffic than Bull Shoals or Taneycomo.  Bull Shoals is great for bass fishing, and the cold waters of Taneycomo make it perfect for championship trout fishing.  So, whether you’re into fishing or boating, there’s something here for you.  In addition to fishing and boating, Table Rock Lake features a great beach, Moonshine Beach, for swimming, splashing, sunning, and general summertime fun.

The next stop on our Branson, Beyond the Music tour is Silver Dollar City theme park.  If you’ve never been to this 1800’s American frontier themed park, then it’s a definite must see.  There are awesome rides, roller coasters, and authentic American craftsmen at work on everything from glass blowing to candles to furniture to ironworks to quilts to pottery to……well, just about anything they needed on the American frontier.  (They do have several music shows, also.  But, as this is Branson, Beyond the Music, forget I mentioned that.)

Stop number three on our tour without tunes is a stop to shop.  Branson has lots of shopping, with everything from quaint, local shops that have been here for 50 years (Dick’s 5 & 10) to our selection of outlet malls (Factory Merchants & Tanger) to the downtown lakeside Branson Landing area.

Next up on our Branson, Beyond the Music tour is a walk through the Ozark Hills at one of our local hiking trails.  The trails are diverse, some challenging, some leisurely, some paved, some very primitive. So there’s something for every level of hiker.  There’s lots of great scenery and wildlife to be appreciated along the way. (See my previous blog on Branson area hiking trails.)

Pointe Royale 12th Hole

If we're talking about Branson, Beyond the Music, we definitely have to talk about golf.  With a such a variety of great golf courses, Branson has become very much a great golf getaway.

It can get a tad dark on our next stop, as we enjoy one of the area caves.  Talking Rocks Cavern is over in Branson West, and well worth the short drive.  And Marvel Cave is the attraction that started Silver Dollar City to begin with.

Somewhat new to the Branson area are the Ziplines.  There are 4 local Zipline companies, with a full array of Zipline choices, from short trips to 1 ½ long adventures. (See Art’s previous blog on Branson Ziplines.)

To be honest, that’s just the tip of the iceberg (Titanic Museum) of all the Branson, Beyond the Music activities to choose from.  And it may be odd (Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium) that I would leave off there.  But if I don’t stop now, I may tend to wax nostalgic (Hollywood Wax Museum) about all there is to do here in Branson, Beyond the Music.

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BRANSON'S CLAY COOPER COUNTRY MUSIC EXPRESS SHOW

  
  
  
  

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Clay Cooper  

Saturday night my wife and I had the opportunity to see the Clay Cooper Country Music Express show.  We both enjoy country music so this show was right up our alley.  As we entered the auditorium we were treated to live music was being performed by a middle school from Park View.  These kids were really good, most were in the eighth grade and some were only seventh grade students.  Clay participates with Chamber of Commerce and allows school musical groups to perform on his stage.  A very pleasant surprise that we enjoyed.  It nice to see when someone gives back to the community.  Great job Clay!

Now for the show.  As you can imgaine it is full of country music new and old.  Clay has great voice and fills the theater with his voice and desire to put on a super show.  A cast of 22 fills the stage with dancers, musicians and singers.  This is a family show as his wife Tina and son Colt are part of the cast.  Buckets and Boards, a high energy duo, has been added as part of the evenings entertainment.  Clay's show would not be complete without a real funny man, Matt Dunn is hilarious.  His character is woven into the the entire performance from before the curtain rises to the very the end.  You never know when he will appear or what he is up too. 

Clay interacts with his audience and comes down off the stage and talks to the guests seated in the front row.  He is really quick to keep the coversation going at full speed.  Lots of laughs and fun.  Branson for years has been known for being just country music and Clay Cooper is keeping that tradition alive.  Enjoy a fun filled evening at the Clay Cooper Country Music Express, you won't be disappointed.  Visit www.claycooper.biz or contact us for show information and schedules.  

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