BRANSON, Mo.-- Nearly eight years after its grand opening, the Branson Landing developers release a third-party study to see if the attraction is carrying its weight in tax revenue.
The $400 million investment was developed by HCW. The company spent more than half of that money building stores, restaurants, and water fronts in hopes of bringing in new boutique-driven visitors. The other $150 million or so was footed by the City of Branson, through bonds, on things like the Convention Center and infrastructure.
"You know you always have to go into it with optimism, but the most important thing is do the numbers work?" says Robert Allen, Vice President of Operations for HCW. "The tax revenue it’s been generating over the last 8 years, in terms of revenues, has been paying for that debt service, so it’s a win-win."
According to the study, of the some seven million people that visit Branson each year, roughly one million say their primary reason for coming is to visit the landing.
The study says, since 2006, that has pumped an additional $50 million into the local economy that otherwise wouldn't exist.
"I think without it we might have seen numbers dip a little bit," says downtown business owner Steve Hartley.
He says Dick’s 5 and 10 has been a staple of Branson, decades before the Landing was built on Lake Taneycomo.
"If the stores in downtown Branson were doing their jobs, and making the storefronts inviting and fun, they were going to come back eventually," Hartley says referring to the foot traffic to and from the Branson Landing.
Hartley says overall his business has increased since the Landing was opened in 2006, but he says the family attraction needs to continue to separate itself from the other shopping centers so success in downtown Branson continues.
"I think (the Landing) has definitely been a "wow" for Branson, a "wow" that was needed, it just needs to continue to pay for itself," says Hartley.
The study goes onto say that in addition to generating tax revenue it has also help create more than 7,000 jobs.