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

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.”

“Well Seagull, the shows were reported up, but the report didn’t say anything about the Branson Airport (BKG) being up. Isn’t that kind of strange being as how KY3 News recently reported that ‘Springfield – Branson National Airport (SGF) officials say 2016 was the second straight record-breaking year for the airport. More than 950,000 passengers got on or off flights, which is a 4.3 percent increase from 2015, the previous record year?’”

So very true but, then it doesn’t take a Solomon to realize that, more than likely, there will be no similar announcement coming from the Branson Airport. To an Ole Seagull, in view of the reported success going on all around it, economically within the Branson area and the air travel into the area, that’s so sad, and illustrates both the dangers and risks of being, and dealing with, one of the very few, if not the only, U.S. commercial airport(s) not owned and operated by a public entity.

“But Seagull, Branson’s shows don’t have that sadness in common with the airport because the CVB reported that ‘theater tax collections are up 15. 5 percent over the previous year. Doesn’t that indicate that they are fully participating in the economic benefits of Branson’s record breaking 2016?”

Apparently not! If the “typical Branson show” was, why has the Branson League of Theatre Owners & Show Producers been pressing the Branson Board of Aldermen, very publicly and persistently, since September of 2016, expressing their extreme displeasure with the marketing effort of the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB and the show’s lack of input into the marketing process?

Could it be that the “typical Branson show” is not financially benefiting from Branson’s record 2016 growth? “But Seagull, from an overall show tax perspective, what is a ‘typical Branson show?’” “Who knows, but how about starting by subtracting the tax revenues of three the top and bottom contributors and averaging the remainder?”

If there are a total of 100 Branson shows, let’s see if the 94 shows left, after taking off the tax revenues of the top and bottom three, are averaging anywhere near a 15.5 increase in revenues for 2016? “Sounds pretty simple Seagull, think they will do it and publicly announce the figure?” “Only if it coincides with the picture they want to paint.”

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