The City of Branson and the 76 Entertainment CID have established Missouri’s largest public/private partnership to revitalize Branson’s famous Highway 76, transforming it into a state-of-the-art entertainment district. With over 300 property owners comprising the 76 Entertainment Community Improvement District working in partnership with the City of Branson, the 76 Entertainment Community Improvement District could quite possibly be the largest public/private partnership in the nation.
“Together we are in pursuit of a huge dream to create five miles of new sights, sounds, a pedestrian promenade and mall areas, iconic structures and interactive features, making Highway 76 itself a spectacular destination,” says Larry Schmitt, Chairman of the newly formed 76 Entertainment CID. “Working together as local business investors in partnership with the City of Branson to breathe new life into Highway 76, the project consists of over 300 commercial property owners collaborating to create a fun, safe, high-tech and pedestrian-friendly experience for Branson visitors.”
Many months of meetings and visioning sessions have taken place with stakeholders to finalize the plans for the Highway 76 transformation, a historic $80+ million project. Cook, Flatt and Strobel Engineering (CFSE) is leading on behalf of the City of Branson. The City of Branson will provide project management oversight and serves on the Board of the newly formed 76 Entertainment Community Improvement District. “Business and property owners along the five-mile 76 corridor have taken a vast interest and ownership in the project and its evolution, and they have come to the table to share their ideas, expertise and overall support of the project,” says City of Branson Mayor Karen Best. “The collaboration of all of these entities truly demonstrates the strength of the community as these stakeholders unite in a common mission to improve not only the infrastructure, access and safety along the corridor, but also ensure the end result is a unique, family-friendly experience for our visitors.”
Working on behalf of these parties is a dynamic group of volunteer marketing and communications professionals from the City of Branson, the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB, and private businesses to communicate a “Branson Forward: Together We Shine” message in local, regional and national markets. The Branson Forward committee is tasked to present high-quality, consistent communications on behalf of this and other City of Branson initiatives to improve, refresh and advance the sharing of information related to project plans, timelines and community updates. The recently launched website at www.BransonForward.com will host the latest news about these City projects and also provide open source communication materials for stakeholder use.
Information is also available on the City of Branson website at www.BransonMo.gov where daily updates are posted related to infrastructure improvements and alternate transportation routes available during each phase of construction. Additional information, including details about the Master Plan and the project timeline continue to be available from Cook, Flatt and Strobel Engineers on the Project Team website at www.BransonSpiritof76.com.
For specifics about the newly formed 76 Entertainment Community Improvement District, citizens, business and property owners can go to www.76CID.com. This new site is focused on the important process of establishing the District, the full five-mile annexation and sales tax implementation, and project oversite on behalf of the CID stakeholders.
Project stakeholders are working diligently to advance and publicize efforts of interest to citizens, visitors, business owners and the travel and tourism industry. In addition, the Spirit of 76 Project Team and the 76 Entertainment CID are communicating primarily with business and property owners along the corridor about the project specifics, the timeline and its Plan of Finance. Those stakeholders are being asked to support a 1% retail sales tax to finance the project and to annex into the parent CID for the entire five-mile long District.