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Branson Businesses Continue to Bounce Back from Tornado

BRANSON Mo.- The road to recovery following the Leap Day tornado in Branson has been longer for some than others, among them businesses like the Auto and Farm Museum.

BRANSON, Mo. -- The road to recovery following the Leap Day tornado, in Branson, has been longer for some than others, among them businesses like the Auto and Farm Museum.

The Museum, which also sells cars, reopened its doors in April after being closed for two years.

"Seven destroyed in that back room, 15 damaged, and the one left outside wasn't even touched," says Branson Auto and Farm Assistant Manager, Jack Baker, "In fact two of them that were lost, were two of eight left in the world."

Leading up to the opening, Bakers says the owner built up his stock and built back bigger and better than before. Now some 90,000 square-foott house 120 iconic cars, and 80 classic steam engines, tractors and farm equipment.

"My opinion is this is going to be a new destination in Branson," says Baker.

"There were a lot of tears, and a lot of heartache," says Charlie's Steak, Ribs & Ale Manger, Krista Hermann, "It was home."

The restaurant opened a year after the tornado, in March of 2013; rebuilding from the ground up while incorporating a new wrap-around deck and downstairs dining room.

"The business owners were excited to roll up their sleeves and bring Branson back to life," says Joel Hornickel. Branson’s Director of Planning and Development says the city is nearing the end of the recovery process, but challenges remain with the handful of damaged buildings that are still standing.

"They're just built really well, concrete slabs, and to drop them is going to take a substantial amount of money," says Hornickel.

Hornickel says the City is pursuing grant money to help with the demolition on those projects, but he says new developments are also going in.

"Its going to be called Pasghettis," Hornickel says about the construction going on near the Starlight Theater. "It will be a restaurant. They are actually looking at doing some interesting features: A meatball with a fork, and spaghetti hanging down, to go along with our gorilla and chicken. It's exciting."


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