BRANSON, Mo. – In just a few days the newest Branson attraction will be zipping and spinning up and down Lake Taneycomo.
The Branson Jet Boats, whose new dock is located on the north end of The Landing, is expected to launch for the first time early next week.
“The front row you feel the most on the 360 spins,” says developer, Mark Ruda, while giving KOLR 10 its first look at the 37-foot boat that will be traveling the lake at upwards of 35 miles per hour.
While Ruda is hopeful the new attraction, which can hold roughly 60 passengers at a time, will be a hit with visitors, he knows some regulars along the narrow body of water aren’t excited about its arrival.
But he believes many of those with concerns will have their worries alleviated when they see the vessel in action.
“Operations similar to this exist on a lot of other water ways that are as busy, as sensitive, as narrow, as challenging or more than this one is,” Ruda says.
While no resort owners would go on camera with KOLR 10 Thursday, off camera, many of them echoed the concerns of Blue Haven Resort owner, Gary Acton, back in March.
“I just have a concern this may not be the best venture for this boat to be here,” Acton said.
Several owners like Acton are concerned about the potential for noise pollution on the trout fishing lake, and what the wake could do to people on the water and boats in nearby docks.
“If the rope snaps [in the dock], they will be just hitting on the front of the docks,” said Acton. “Kind of tearing up their boats.”
“Having the boat here now, I think some of those concerns are decreasing,” says Ruda.
“The boat does produce a wake,” he says, “but I think that it is in line with some of the other boats that are on the water today.”
Ruda says the boat will stay downstream of The Landing. He says being further away from traffic is not only safer, it will also provide a more enjoyable experience for passengers.
He says his licensed captains will also use discretion before pulling any tricks on the water.
“So we’re trying to do things that will be considerate to the other lake users as well,” he says.
Ruda says rides are expected to last roughly an hour. He’s hopeful the first official ride will take place next Tuesday.