Ok Branson, enough fluff, “Where’s the Beef”

Ever since the words “Where’s the beef” were first spoken by actress Clara Peller, in a Wendy’s commercial in 1984 to point out that a hamburger should be more beef than bun, they have taken on almost iconic status. An Ole Seagull would ask “Where’s the beef” for the following questions or statements that he has heard recently.  His opinion, follows each.

“Branson shows and attractions shoot themselves in the foot when they ‘dumb’ down their ticket prices.” “The beef” for this one is prevalent. It breaks an Ole Seagull’s heart when he sees tickets representing the personal cash investment, sweat, blood, anguish and talent of some of the greatest entertainers and talent he has ever seen being sold at places other than their theatres at prices far lower than the theatre providing the entertainment is selling the same tickets. It’s one thing to offer a couple of bucks off a ticket, but where’s “the beef” in terms of getting anywhere near the full ticket price if your show is advertised somewhere else on a list of shows with up to 50 percent off?

“With our airport now being serviced by Frontier and AirTran Airways over 100 cities can access this great destination [Branson] from around the country.” The Ole Seagull has lived in Branson for about 24 years now and one of the reasons he moved here initially was because Branson had air access to 100s of destinations. Whoops, bad Seagull, that access doesn’t count anymore because it was through the airport that he believes, with the blessing of the Branson community, was renamed the “Springfield Branson National Airport (SGF).” On April 20 there will be how many United flights to SFG and how many Frontier flights to the Branson Airport (BKG)?

“The taxpayers of the city of Branson are not legally responsible for the TIF indebtedness of Branson Landing.” It’s interesting how many people still believe that even though, as soon as a former Branson City Administrator said words to that effect in a public meeting, the city’s own bond attorney immediately and publicly pointed out the practical fallacy of the statement. An Ole Seagull believes that the lack of “beef” in that regard will soon become apparent to all.

“Would we have the increase in tourists after 2005 without the Landing?” A rhetorical question posed to the Ole Seagull. The Ole Seagulls answer would be “Such as it has been in these challenging economic times absolutely!” The Ole Seagull knows someone else asked first, but let’s rephrase the question, “Would we have the increase in tourists after 2005 if the voters had not approved the 1% retail sales tax for marketing in Nov. of 2005? As neat a place as Branson Landing is, how many people would get to Branson Landing or many of the Branson’s other great shows, attractions, and activities if they were not aware of and sold on “Branson” first?

Silver Dollar City and the other properties owned by the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation (HFE), White Water and the Showboat Branson Belle and their superb marketing cause more people to chose Branson as their travel/vacation destination than Branson Landing, the Branson Convention Center and the new Branson Airport combined.” This is a compilation of comments of things that different people have said and the only “beef” the Ole Seagull has to back that up is his opinion and belief that the statement is true.

That’s sad. With the tens of millions that have been spent on market and research why isn’t there the “beef” showing more specific data about specific shows, attractions, and other things that cause people to decide to visit Branson? One thing for certain, Silver Dollar City, the Herschend family and organization have been doing it right for 50 years. Happy Birthday and thank you!

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