The Ole Seagull

Is the peace and tranquility of Lake Taneycomo about to be shattered by a 1500 HP Jet Boat?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the March 31st, 2017

The peaceful, quiet, and relaxing nature of Lake Taneycomo is unique. There’s nothing else like it in Branson for visitors to enjoy.  “Most come to Lake Taneycomo for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, leisurely boat rides, and to relax at one of its lakeside resorts. They do not come for ‘thrill rides” or the recreational sports that many go to Table Rock Lake for,” said Lamar Patton, the owner of Scotty’s Trout Dock. The quiet relaxing character of Lake Taneycomo could be about to change forever!

For at least the last two years, Branson Jet Boats [LLC] has been operating under the public’s radar, to bring a “shattering” new experience to the peace and tranquility of Lake Taneycomo. When it goes into operation, the Ole Seagull believes it will be with a 37 x 12 foot Jet Boat powered by three 400 HP Ford Predator Engines with an additional three 100 HP Hamilton Waterjets. The boats bench seating is expected to seat 60 or more, depending on size, and operate up to eight trips per day out of Branson Landing.

For what it matters, the Ole Seagull is not against the new attraction, per se. He doesn’t know enough about it, or its impact on the environment, the resort and property owners along Lake Taneycomo, safety, and many other factors, to either be for or against it. What he is against is the way something of this import could get this far without a public hearing or the opportunity for input from the businesses and property owners that will be impacted. (more…)

Don’t Branson shows deserve the same marketing efficiency as Alderman Booth’s dog food?

Posted in Branson,Marketing,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the February 26th, 2017

The League of Branson Theatre Owners and Show Producers asked the city of Branson for a “Blue Ribbon Task Force.” It would advise the board about the marketing of Branson’s shows. To no one’s surprise, at its February 9, 2017 Study Session, the Branson Board of Aldermen decided not to make the request an official agenda item.

What was surprising, to an Ole Seagull, was Alderman Mike Booth’s comments at the session. (more…)

Does proposed Branson “thrill boat” attraction pose an unreasonable safety risk?

Posted in Branson,General,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the February 23rd, 2017

The plans for a new “thrill boat” attraction on Lake Taneycomo at Branson Landing are well underway. This is what a similar ride looks like:

Attractions like this operate in other areas of the country. Just not on waters anywhere near as congested as Lake Taneycomo. Staying well under the public’s radar, the attraction has an unmarked dock at Branson Landing downstream from its Fountains. Its anticipated opening date is sometime in May.

One can only wonder in amazement how the government agencies responsible for public safety could, in good conscience, let something like this get this far without public hearings to address safety, noise, environmental, and other concerns.  This includes the City of Branson, City of Hollister, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Water Patrol Division of the Missouri Highway Patrol, FERC, and Taney County. One would also think that the management of Branson Landing and Empire Electric would be interested in public comment on the issue.

Of even more consternation, is that Kanakuk Kamps, and the resorts  and property owners along the Lake Taneycomo shoreline are not up in arms. Safety issues aside, the operation of the new attraction will certainly add new meaning to “peace, tranquility, and relaxation on Lake Taneycomo.”


Can thoughts surrender the right to free speech?

Posted in Branson,Marketing,Opinion,Shows by The Ole Seagull on the January 29th, 2017

No one cedes, surrenders, the right to speak freely because of what they think! Mr. Dick Carlile’s Letter to the Editor, entitled “Be careful what you wish for,” appearing in the January 25-26 edition of this paper, doesn’t change that one bit. (more…)

Does the “typical Branson show” and the Branson Airport have a lot in common?

Posted in Branson,Government,Opinion,Shows by The Ole Seagull on the January 23rd, 2017

At first blush they do, but do they at the end of the day? They both participated in a record breaking year for Branson tourism! Per the latest reports by the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, 2016 was a record setting year, both for the number of tourist coming to Branson, an estimated 8.8 to 9.0 million, and “record high levels” of tax receipts. It was reported that “The City’s tourism tax receipts ended up 9.1 percent, with every business classification seeing annual increases” and that “theater tax collections were up 15.5 percent over the previous year.” (more…)

Isn’t the reality for Branson shows brighter if we all work together?

Posted in Branson,General,Marketing,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the December 11th, 2016

“The question is, are there those in power in this city who are grateful for the decades of growth which the shows have provided this community and who want to help the shows recover in a protected and logical way, preserving that special and important element that has made Branson unique?” asked Sheila Dutton in her letter to the editor, published in the Dec. 7-8 edition of this paper. It was entitled “Outlook for Branson shows bright if we all work together.” (more…)

Is Branson’s $480,000 CVB payment a SmackDown of shows or their marketing reality?

Posted in Branson,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the December 5th, 2016

After ignoring repeated requests by The Branson League of Theatre Owners & Show Producers (League) for the grant of some independent marketing funds and the formation of a “Blue Ribbon Task Force” to look into the way Branson is being marketed by the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB (CVB), the Branson Board of Aldermen awarded more than $480,000 to the CVB for use in their marketing of Branson. Depending on one’s viewpoint, some might call it a SmackDown of the Leagues efforts, but to an Ole Seagull the payment is not only consistent with, but a strong endorsement by the Board, of the CVB’s marketing plan that has been in place for over three years. (more…)

Don’t Branson’s shows deserve a significant marketing voice in their destiny?

Posted in Branson,Marketing,Opinion by The Ole Seagull on the November 13th, 2016

An Ole Seagull just has to believe that The Branson League of Theatre Owners & Show Producers” (the League) would answer that with a resounding, “Yes!” The League has requested the establishment of a Blue-Ribbon Task Force by the Branson Board of Aldermen, (the Board) repeatedly, both privately and during its public meetings. The basis of the request appears to be the Leagues dissatisfaction with not only the way that Branson shows and Ozark Mountain Christmas are being marketed, but that its feeling that the shows have very little say regarding that marketing. (more…)

Branson mayor “bests” Pelosi for dumbest political statement ever?

Posted in Branson,General by The Ole Seagull on the November 2nd, 2016

Until this week, the dumbest statement that the Ole Seagull had ever heard a politician make was the justification that Nancy Pelosi gave for passing “Obama Care” when she said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it…” Well, after hearing the comments of Branson Mayor Karen Best, regarding the request of the Branson League of Theatre Owners & Show Producers (the League) for marketing assistance, at the October 20 study session of the Branson Board of Alderman (Board), Pelosi’s statement is now the second dumbest thing he ever heard a politician say! (more…)

The best answer to Branson’s reduced show attendance?

Posted in Branson by The Ole Seagull on the August 28th, 2016

Last week’s column stated what the Ole Seagull believes is a simple truth necessary to the economic success of just about every Branson show. That was, “The ‘Best Ticket’ a Branson show can sell is one netting the show as close to the box office price as possible, that is sold to the ticket purchaser prior to their arrival in Branson.” In recent years selling enough tickets, “Best Ticket” or otherwise, to keep from losing money has been a continuing challenge for all, but Branson’s most popular shows. A challenge that surely must have some of them asking themselves, “Is it worth the effort to keep on in the hopes that things will change?” (more…)

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