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Silver Dollar City (SDC) Discussion Thread

P. 261: Arvest Bank announces 10 year sponsorship deal

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^Has the town pissed you off or are you just generally negative towards the town? With just under 8 million visitors last year Branson is far from a ghost town. Palace is in process of trying to be revived and hope that it is as it's a nice iconic property. Branson is no different than the Wisconsin Dells or Pigeon Forge, they all make the vast majority of their $$ between Memorial Day and Labor Day. July and November are reportedly Branson's busiest months.

 

Even though visitation fell slightly last year, it was also hot as hell for weeks on end in July/August with record highs. SDC might be able to stand on it's own if all other entertainment dried up but highly doubt it would have the same attendance numbers. Who would want to stay there past 6pm if their sole purpose was to visit SDC and there was nothing else in town to do? Not me, I'd be one day in and out, if that. But if SDC wasn't around anymore people would still have a purpose to go and stay as shows are offered from late morning to evening. Tourist trap stuff is open until 11 or later. Add a nice Cirque Du Soleil show and not the generic Cirque show they have and people will come, they will re-invent themselves as needed, just like other tourist destinations. It's not all doom like you are making it out to be and not every town needs a Casino to survive.

 

www.cityofbranson.org/ecodev/index.htm

Edited by chadster
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^ Agreed completely.

 

Springfield/Branson is one of the few 'bright spots' in the airline world right now- as the city grows its' reach to other places; people are coming more from further afield to visit: In the past year alone, AirTran, Frontier and United/Continental have added nonstop service to seven cities- and countless hundreds of others to increase tourism growth there. Southwest Airlines has made a commitment to serve there in the future as well- and that's not a sign of a city that has a dying future.

 

SDC adds to the area, as do all the shows, attractions and other stuff. Branson is starting to market itself as a broader place than just shows and SDC; look at the area that's around it: Pretty mountains sell, too.

 

A city that is having troubles will not attract airlines- ever. Airlines go where there is growth, and if a city like Branson can attract Southwest Airlines, that's a very good sign for the future of the city.

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I don't hate Branson, But I see it's flaws cause I have visited the area multiple times a year during every season and since my first trip in 80 with my grandparents in their camper to SDC and it having nothing more than a couple of theaters, a waterslide or two and what not. I imagine I take on average of about 5 to 6 six trips to Taney Co. each year. SDC isn't going anywhere but to say Branson wouldn't get knocked to its butt without it crazy talk. I know that more and more folks in Fayetteville are buying season passes to SDC and that's why the are going. It helps that SDC changes the offerings several times a year with it's Fests. I have an older co worker that only goes during the bluegrass event. I hope to see SDC grow cause it's basically my home park an it's one that I'll visit every year with my kids and hope to take grandkids one day just like my grandparents took me. But it's all about SDC for many folks and the rest just benefit from that a great bit. In two weeks I'll take 7 people to SDC. But we'll never venture into Branson, the Sonic in Kimberling City will be happy to see us.

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^^^You really do think Branson is a ghost town yet you avoid the strip because it's too crowded. Branson Landing and the Outlet Mall put the original mall out of business. It happens in every town, something new and better opens up, people flock to it.

 

Chad "That town is not going anywhere so deal with it" Carter

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I love Southwest airlines. And would love to have Branson as a stop for them.

 

Yeah, they are going to serve Memphis too, reduction in airfares aren't expected to be that great.

 

Guy- Branson is on the map for 2013- they're keeping the service to Midway, and adding Dallas/Love, Nashville, Atlanta and Phoenix- just a heads up for that.

 

Chittlins: Memphis is not on the schedule for conversion... yet. Southwest doesn't have a real interest in keeping MEM on the network, as it has the softest yields of any of the new AirTran cities that have not been cut. The market there has terrible yields, very seasonal traffic patterns, and is dependent on Shelby Co. and it's financial subsidies to keep some routes in play. The only reason Northwest Airlines kept MEM as a small hub for as long as they did was the contract with Fedex on the side. Had they not had that, MEM would have, as a hub, closed up shop and moved on.

 

If Branson wasn't an attractive city, it would not be drawing airline coverage from around the country- in particular Southwest Airlines. Airlines don't randomly choose to serve a city- especially SWA. While you might not go into Branson, SWA sees otherwise- and enough to merit service to five cities to start in 2013. And SWA doesn't just 'pick a city' then start service. They spend YEARS analyzing a city before entering it- and then do so according to how the city's traffic demands allot it to. If Branson were for any reason faltering, I can assure you that you'd not see a colourful red, yellow, orange and blue 737 there.

 

Branson had over 8 million guests last year through it. Even with the tornado damage, that number isn't expected to budge, and with projects planned for well into the future, it has a bright future. I will be making my first foray to Branson this year- including SDC - as I'm interested in seeing what is there. I will be flying in there- most likely on one of the new airlines that have moved in there in the past year.

They are investing for the future by creating programs to attract people to Branson- working with airlines, growing the hotels there, and adding more family-friendly (and not so family friendly!) attractions to the city. Branson has had a stellar growth rate in the past 25 years, like it's cousin Pigeon Forge, for much the same reasons.

 

(And mind you, the airline analysis is coming from somebody in the industry- and has been studying these things for 15 years now...)

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I love Southwest airlines. And would love to have Branson as a stop for them.

 

Yeah, they are going to serve Memphis too, reduction in airfares aren't expected to be that great.

 

Guy- Branson is on the map for 2013- they're keeping the service to Midway, and adding Dallas/Love, Nashville, Atlanta and Phoenix- just a heads up for that.

 

Chittlins: Memphis is not on the schedule for conversion... yet. Southwest doesn't have a real interest in keeping MEM on the network, as it has the softest yields of any of the new AirTran cities that have not been cut. The market there has terrible yields, very seasonal traffic patterns, and is dependent on Shelby Co. and it's financial subsidies to keep some routes in play. The only reason Northwest Airlines kept MEM as a small hub for as long as they did was the contract with Fedex on the side. Had they not had that, MEM would have, as a hub, closed up shop and moved on.

 

If Branson wasn't an attractive city, it would not be drawing airline coverage from around the country- in particular Southwest Airlines. Airlines don't randomly choose to serve a city- especially SWA. While you might not go into Branson, SWA sees otherwise- and enough to merit service to five cities to start in 2013. And SWA doesn't just 'pick a city' then start service. They spend YEARS analyzing a city before entering it- and then do so according to how the city's traffic demands allot it to. If Branson were for any reason faltering, I can assure you that you'd not see a colourful red, yellow, orange and blue 737 there.

 

Branson had over 8 million guests last year through it. Even with the tornado damage, that number isn't expected to budge, and with projects planned for well into the future, it has a bright future. I will be making my first foray to Branson this year- including SDC - as I'm interested in seeing what is there. I will be flying in there- most likely on one of the new airlines that have moved in there in the past year.

They are investing for the future by creating programs to attract people to Branson- working with airlines, growing the hotels there, and adding more family-friendly (and not so family friendly!) attractions to the city. Branson has had a stellar growth rate in the past 25 years, like it's cousin Pigeon Forge, for much the same reasons.

 

(And mind you, the airline analysis is coming from somebody in the industry- and has been studying these things for 15 years now...)

 

That's great, but I bet that decision wasn't based on Branson alone but with Springfield and NWA growing economically and in population as well. I'm willing to bet that lots of students based out of the UofA will use the airport due to more incoming freshmen coming from Texas than even Arkansas. The metroplex is sending tons of kids to Arkansas due to the UofA giving them in state tuition rates. There's over 200 million is student housing projects in the "go" stage right now in Fayetteville. The NWA area has a unemployment rate of 5.9 right now with folks still moving in totally independant of the University.

 

Besides, AirTran was subsidized at Branson, meaning they were paid tax money to provide service. Southwest buys out Airtran so Southwest keeps the the subsidized routes. Well, color me shocked. Wonder if Branson service is profitable enough to stand alone at this point. It doesn't seem like such a tough decision when you're getting free money. Here's how financially sound the Branson airport is:

http://sbj.net/main.asp?SectionID=18&SubSectionID=23&ArticleID=89446

 

Anywho about the coaster, a reliable poster at SDCfans is saying the drop will be around 160ft. and at 81 degrees. That's exciting.

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^ It's definitely still just a rumor at this point, no matter how reliable the poster is, but it does match the other rumors that were going around about this project a few months ago about a record-setting drop angle being included. The construction itself is also beginning to indicate that this is true. I guess we'll see for sure soon enough - they'll probably be working on the drop by next weekend if anyone can get photos.

 

I believe a 81 degree drop would be the steepest ever on a wood/hybrid coaster, and a 160ft would be larger than both T-Express and Texas Giant... I think we've got a definite top-ten coaster shaping up here.

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I believe a 81 degree drop would be the steepest ever on a wood/hybrid coaster, and a 160ft would be larger than both T-Express and Texas Giant... I think we've got a definite top-ten coaster shaping up here.

Yes, if legit (or close), those stats bode VERY well for this coaster, considering the company's past work.

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Silver Dollar City has sent us a press release regarding their upcoming, expanded Bluegrass & BBQ festival.

 

With top accolades showing Silver Dollar City (SDC) leading in the presentation of American bluegrass music, the Branson, Missouri theme park is launching its biggest ever Bluegrass & BBQ festival, adding more days, more bands and more barbecue to the event, May 10 – June 3. This 8th season of the festival marks a year of top awards: “Event of the Year” from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), plus “Bluegrass Promoter of the Year” for park entertainment manager D.A. Callaway (SPBGMA*).

 

“Bluegrass is a uniquely American art form that has changed and evolved with what the audiences demand, creating crossover popularity that encompasses traditionalists and newer country audiences,” said festival manager D.A. Callaway, who visits bluegrass festivals all across America to find the best of both traditional and contemporary groups. “While much of today’s bluegrass doesn’t sound the same as grandpa’s fiddle-playing, the base is still there, and Nashville is selling more bluegrass-inspired records than ever before.”

 

The festival celebrates the all-American music genre, presenting more than 60 bands and hundreds of performances, featuring top artists and award-winning performers in bluegrass today, including Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, the Grascals, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and the Kruger Brothers. Plus, guests can see the top up-and-coming bands in bluegrass, such as the Gibson Brothers, Balsam Range, Little Roy & Lizzy and Jerry Butler and the Blu-J’s, and bluegrass comedy kings, The Cleverlys.

 

National Bluegrass Competitions

 

The festival highlights two national competitions featuring entrants from across the country. The 6th Annual National Single Mic Championship, May 19-20, highlights performance skills as each band gathers around a single microphone and balances their sound by moving toward or away from it, a technique revived by many of today's top bluegrass bands. The Youth In Bluegrass Band Competition, May 26-27, promotes and encourages amateur bluegrass musicians 21 years of age or younger as they compete for top honors and cash prizes.

 

Food, Flavor and Variety ~ The House of BBQ, a Rib Feast, Hundreds of Sauces plus New Visiting BBQ Connoisseurs

 

The House of BBQ serves up Silver Dollar City’s famous flavor feast from St. Louis ribs and smoked chicken to Texas brisket and sweet roasted corn on the cob -- direct from large outdoor charcoal grills and a custom-made 9-foot smoker. Another back-by-popular-demand feature is an all-you-can-eat BBQ rib feast each afternoon with fall-off-the-bone ribs in four flavors, plus SDC’s signature 18-hour smoked brisket.

 

New this year to the park’s food offering is the addition of visiting, award-winning BBQ connoisseurs, adding a whole new dimension of barbecue variety. Bringing a straight-out-of-the-Ozarks flair is Richard’s Hawgwild BBQ out of Aurora, Missouri. Adding even more heat to the grills is Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, based in Texas. These new taste opportunities are designed to bring even more flavor variety – which is on overload on the City’s Square, with guests welcome to taste-test hundreds of sauces from smoky chipotle and sweet hickory to Carolina vinegar and honey habanero, plus the park’s own Honey Blackberry.

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That's great, but I bet that decision wasn't based on Branson alone but with Springfield and NWA growing economically and in population as well. I'm willing to bet that lots of students based out of the UofA will use the airport due to more incoming freshmen coming from Texas than even Arkansas. The metroplex is sending tons of kids to Arkansas due to the UofA giving them in state tuition rates. There's over 200 million is student housing projects in the "go" stage right now in Fayetteville. The NWA area has a unemployment rate of 5.9 right now with folks still moving in totally independant of the University.

 

Besides, AirTran was subsidized at Branson, meaning they were paid tax money to provide service. Southwest buys out Airtran so Southwest keeps the the subsidized routes. Well, color me shocked. Wonder if Branson service is profitable enough to stand alone at this point. It doesn't seem like such a tough decision when you're getting free money. Here's how financially sound the Branson airport is:

http://sbj.net/main.asp?SectionID=18&SubSectionID=23&ArticleID=89446

 

Color you shocked then: Southwest did not take over AirTran for the subsidized routes. That is, to say the least, the least-thought out comment I've seen in years on the boards here. Read below as to why.

 

1.) College kids generally don't fly- anywhere. They either don't have the money to do so, or have too much stuff to carry.

2.) AirTran was subsidized... but then again, so were they at ATL (Atlanta/Hartsfield-Jackson Intl.) via lease reductions on gate space, reduced landing fees, etc. Most commercial airlines are in fact subsidized by airfields through the world, as an incentive to fly there. It may not be the cash payment that you see at Branson (Or at Ft. Meyers, or at Ft. Walton Beach, or Rochester, or Islip/Long Island...) but there is always an incentive to get new airline service anywhere.

3.) Those incentives are -pennies- compared to the actual costs of service into/out of an airport.

4.) AirTran was acquired due to three things: a.) Southwest wanted to strengthen their route network in the East coast markets, as well as add international route accesses to Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America; b.) AirTran featured a similar pricing system and model. c.) Southwest Airlines wanted ATL access- and a turn-key operation was the best way to do so. Route subsidies had -absolutely nothing- to do with the takeover at all. They are not even mentioned in the documentation for the Southwest-AirTran merger papers- anywhere.

 

A $900,000 subsidy for an airline is exactly squat in the financial side of things.It is only a revenue guarantee that the fund pays out to an airline if the plane doesn't carry the requisite number of passengers to make the route profitable. Guess what! They have not touched that fund- not once. Southwests' decision to move into Branson is, for the record, at their own accord and independent of the AirTran operations- which will eventually be blended into their own in 2013/2014.

 

Branson is a new airport- and like Newport News/Patrick Henry intl. has a battle for the first decade of flying. That is true of every new airfield in the USA. This is no exception here, and I would be shocked that BKG didn't lose money. However, the lending partners behind the airfield knew that going into this in the beginning, or they wouldn't have sponsored the project in the first place. It is a privately held airfield, though- and that is where there is a difference. However, having two major airlines add service in two years, plus a third coming shortly thereafter is a pretty good sign in the long run.

 

SDC, like most of Branson itself, has a vested interest in growing their market reach, as do all parks in the USA. SDC has a huge amount of wherewithal that has shown for the past decade, and is growing accordingly. Attracting airlines is a feat that is daunting- but it can be done.

 

IN the end, SDC isn't the only attraction for Branson/BKG. There are many growth opportunities being seized, and this is only the beginning of a new future for the entire region.

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About the only significant revenue growth Branson has had in the past five years is due to Branson Landing and Branson Hills up 65 a couple of exits from Downtown. Those two places account for nearly 20% of the City of Branson's revenues now. What does Branson do with that. Pay a private airport a subsidy for every person flown in to the owners of the airport and they pay the theaters subsidies so tickets can be drastically discounted to help them keep going. Considering that the Mayor is a Presley, these payments continue to go up. The theaters are stagnant growth wise and heavily subsidized. I'm not sure how an average open air mall and a suburban sprawl shopping center consisting of a walmart, target, kohls and the usually suspects are major tourist magnets. They feed off local customers from the burbs south of Springfield and North Arkansas like Harrison and Mt. Home along with the tourists that hit it up. Last I heard ,the Landing's further development is on hold due to lawsuits over who actually owns the land. It could use some entertainment options like a theater or bowling alley for guests that would like to stay at the Hilton or linger after the shops close. I do miss the Budweiser store.

 

And if you don't think college kids fly, you have never seen the ones from the metroplex. Different type of beast.

 

Bass Pro in Springfield is a major draw, no other Bass Pro compares but the one going in the Pyramid at Memphis is going to be quite something as well.

 

Branson's airport reminds me of Fayetteville's Drake Field back in the day in terms of size before XNA. It's quaint. I'm sure the air show is a draw. I haven't got anything against Branson, just that the theaters aren't driving it's future growth and that how all this got started.

 

The whole Nelly concert mess was quite something, Heaven forbid a rapper from St. Louis perform in Branson.

 

Anways, according to midwest info guide man this is the first of three major projects SDC has lined up. It's going to be an exciting decade.

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Haha I heard about that Nelly concert...that is quite strange, though he sort of seems to be losing any tough guy image that he used to have with this new music he puts out...

 

And Good for SDC! I'm glad they're planning on some more major additions after this one!

 

Now I've got my hopes up for this new ride, because the more I think about it, SDC has added so many family attractions over the last 10 years...maybe they are ready to let loose and build something big. I also didn't realize that RMC helped construct many of these incredible Intamin wooden coasters, so I have less fear that this ride will be some sort of prototype rather than an "A-lister." I haven't ridden a pre-fab woodie, and if this is indeed a pre-fab then I can't wait!

 

I still think SDC could go for something gimmicky, like:

 

"OMG! Let's build a water....coaster!" - Buzzsaw Falls,

or "What if we just let the guests choose to ride forward ORRRRR backward?!" - "OMG CALL ARROW!" - ThuNderaTion

 

In all seriousness though - a rumored 81* drop....I'd be fine with 70 on a woodie! Can't wait to hear more!

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For those that don't know that story...

 

The then, and maybe still is, owner of the Grand Palace wanted to host a Nelly concert there but outside because the inside was still under renovation or something from the incident. The thing was almost soldout when the city nixed it with some questionable tactics. They wanted to censor it cause no one uses cuss words in Branson. The owner even had the support of the neighbors like the Andy Williams Theater.

 

Yeti. I got kids. They want one of the spinning coasters and a drop tower. By all accounts this new coaster seems like an out and back, hey why not a kickass twister style as well. I have feeling they are going to gut Spash Harbor and rework the area. I think with today's tech they could bring back a new diving bell attraction that would rock. As a now six straight years season pass holder for a family of 4, I don't want repetition. It's got Wildfire for inversions, Powderkeg for the quick launch, Thunderation for the mine train. A eurofighter with a beyond vertical? Or and intamin with the really tight corkscrew and ground hugging curves in that terrain. One of Gravity Group indoor/outdoor woodie could be themed to a place like SDC well.

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^If they use that name, it might take me a while to stop thinking about Outlaw at Adventureland. But that hardly matters...it does seem to be a fitting name for SDC and their new ride.

 

I'm not really sure how they're planning to tie this into the area, but I'm sure they have some awesome ideas cooked up.

Agreed!

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^If they use that name, it might take me a while to stop thinking about Outlaw at Adventureland. But that hardly matters...it does seem to be a fitting name for SDC and their new ride.

 

I was thinking the same thing...but I have a feeling that, despite the insane airtime I got near the front seat on Adventureland's Outlaw, after riding SDC's The Outlaw I'll bet you will have no trouble forgetting. I love the name - now how about a layout....

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I was thinking the same thing...but I have a feeling that, despite the insane airtime I got near the front seat on Adventureland's Outlaw, after riding SDC's The Outlaw I'll bet you will have no trouble forgetting.

That's a great way of putting it. (And I agree about the airtime on the existing Outlaw.)

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I think it's an OK name. I wouldn't mind it at all if it weren't for the fact that another wooden coaster in the same state has this name already... I think they could have changed it up a little with that in mind.

 

Like I've said though, as long as it has immersive thematics I don't really care about any name they give it. I'm hoping the entire area interacts with the train route going through it and pays homage to the fact the very site the station sits on used to be the train robbery location for some 40 years.

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