Tornado-2012 Update – March 26, 2012
Branson's experience with the February 29 Branson tornado was minor when
compared with last year's tornado in Joplin, damage was extensive to some homes
and businesses. We'll highlight a few of
the businesses that were affected and their current and future status.
Information has been gathered from multiple sources including the "Branson
Tri-Lakes News", the "Branson Independent", explorebranson.com,
personal observations or references and individual business websites.
with many obstacles that we face, some positives can surface and such is the
case with Branson. The most evident positive is that there were no serious
injuries. The volunteerism and community support for both residential and
business has been amazing and uplifting. Beyond that, the renovating and
rebuilding may rejuvenate the strip in ways that may not otherwise have been
done. There is a positive attitude in Branson for this year and the future. And
of course, most of Branson was not affected and business is as usual.
tornado-2012 damage in Downtown-rose on our area map:
the lake on Mt Branson, several homes and the Candlestick Inn were hit. The
famous eatery sustained damage to the roof and windows during the Branson
tornado. No announcement has yet been made on the re-opening date.
the Branson Landing received some damage from the tornado, businesses, workers
and other volunteers quickly pulled together for the clean-up. Branson Landing
Scenic Railway is open. Trains were inspected and found to be sound with no
Hilton Convention Center and Hotel sustained considerable damage but work is
progressing and hopes for opening of the convention center within 30-60 days.
The hotel has already started receiving new glass for the windows and renovation
of the rooms will begin likely a floor at a time. Most of the planned
conventions and meetings for this spring will be relocated at other facilities
Downtown Branson was in the line of the tornado but most businesses escaped
damage and Downtown was open later the same day.
area along Main St. and Hwy 76 between Business 65 (Veterans Blvd) Downtown and
Roark Road on the other side of Hwy 65 overpass was not hit by the Branson
tornado and business is as usual.
Branson tornado-2012 damage in 76 East area-light green on our area map.
area between Roark Road (just west of the Baymont Inn) and Fall Creek Road
(next to Dick Clark's Theater and Dixie Stamped) suffered considerable damage.
Veterans Museum and some motels and restaurants are open but extensive damage
occurred at several other locations along this strip.
Branson Heights Shopping Center was destroyed and will likely be rebuilt. In
the meantime, some businesses are re-opening in different locations. Duane
Gerken, manager of the center expressed the good that came from the storm,
commenting in the Branson Tri-Lakes News that the "outpouring of the
community has been truly a blessing". He mentioned that he'll always
remember the actions of local contractor George Cramer who drove some heavy
equipment to the center at 3 AM to help start digging out.
Branson Auto Museum also sustained considerable damage as did the Ozark
Mountain Motel. No word yet on re-opening dates.
in the 76 East area but west of Fall Creek Road, damage was non-existent in
places and heavy in other locations.
Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater was hit but is
proceeding on renovations with plans to open soon while across the street, the
Dixie Stampede was spared any damage from the storm with nary a flower
Further west on the strip damage was fairly light except for the area around Wal-Mart and the Branson Mall. Damage in this area included:
Holiday Inn Express-repairs and renovations are under way and should re-open soon.
Motel had extensive damage (shown at right) to the top floor. No information of
Taco Bell, the Burger Shack and TCBY sustained damage and repairs are under
way. The new Burger Shack which opened
in February should re-open soon after losing most of a wall from the storm.
is open but the attached Branson Mall, including the theater and shops had
extensive damage and re-opening information has not yet been released. The
Jubilee Grocery Store which is also a part of the complex was heavily damaged.
Our understanding is that they will begin rebuilding the store with
tornado-2012 damage in 76 Central area-Light orange on our area map:
A few of the motels on Green Mountain Drive just west of the Jubilee Store sustained damage but repairs are in progress and re-opening will be soon.
the strip, the Branson Variety Theater, home of "Hooray for Hollywood,
"The Twelve Irish Tenors", "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and
"The Songs of the Four Seasons and Beach Boys" suffered damage from
the Branson tornado at the south west portion of the Theater and have delayed
their opening by 4-8 weeks. While the tornado damage has delayed the start of
the season, the positive note is that they will improve the theater and renovate the appearance at the same time they
the road to the west the Branson tornado left damage to a shopping center, 1st
Branson Inn and Melody Lane Motel. The shopping center is undergoing repairs
and most of the businesses are now open. No word yet on re-opening dates for
the 1st Branson and Melody Lane.
Further west on the north side of the strip, the Hall of Fame Hotel, Charlie's Steak House and the Riverboat Inn all sustained heavy damage. The Riverboat Inn located directly east of the Starlite Theater is likely either closed for much of the season. However, plans are to either completely renovate or tear down and rebuild. No word yet on the Hall of Fame Hotels and Charlie's Steak House.
On the south side of the strip heavy damage occurred at both Ozarkland and H&J Gift stores. 2nd floor of Ozarkland is gone.
tornado-2012 damage in 76 West area-Light yellow on our area map:
On the north side of the strip heavy damage occurred at
the Ria Motel as well as the office of the Adventure Helicopters and rebuilding
plans have not been announced.
The Track Amusement Park is open though extensive damage
was done to the arcade building.
Branson tornado-2012, Photo: downed yellow plane on right in photo
Across the street, Professor Hackers Miniature golf
sustained damage. The yellow airplane atop the course is gone but the course
will hopefully be open soon.
To the west, the Blue Bayou Motel incurred lots of damage and we have not had word on re-opening of the motel or of Starvin' Marvin's restaurant
We have not listed every business that sustained damage
fron the Branson tornado but many of these locations are already open for
business or will be soon. We regret the damage that occurred at some
businesses, but we again remind you that most of Branson is open and wishing
that you would come to see them. The vast majority of the 18,000 rooms in
Branson are available for guests and most of the restaurants were unaffected
and those that were will be open soon.
Of the 50 theater Venues, only a couple will have to
delay their opening and they should not be for long. Most of the golf courses
and nearly all of the attractions are in operation today.
Come to Branson and support this beautiful town. Fun is still the word for Branson.
UPDATE: February 29, 2012
Our condolences and prayers today are for those families
that lost friends and loved ones in the storms and tornados that hit the
Midwest last night and early this morning as well for all who have been
affected by the loss or damage to property.
In Branson we are thankful that minor injuries are all that have been reported thus far. The storm hit between 1:15 and 1:30 AM and moved from the lake town of Kimberling City coming into Branson along Hwy 76 just east of the Jim Stafford Theater. It followed a path along the Hwy 76 strip hop-scotching into the downtown area, across the lake into the community on Mount Branson that overlooks Branson Landing.
Branson tornado-2012, Photos: Downtown Hilton and American Bandstand Theater on Hwy 76
Branson tornado-2012 damage is extensive in places with the Branson Variety
Theater, Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater, the Branson Heights shopping
center and the Hilton Convention Center Hotel taking hard hits. Power was out
most of the day for much of Branson with a few areas looking at likely 3-4 days
before being restored.
Cleanup and restoration started immediately and city leaders feel most of the city will be back in business by the time the season gets into full swing. Much of Branson was unaffected by the storm and business is as usual in many places. Most theaters, attractions, motels and hotels will likely open according to planned opening dates if they are not already in operation.
On Table Rock Lake at Kimberling City docks and boats
took the first hit. The Kimberling Inn which also had extensive damage had a
full house of fisherman in town for a bass tournament. Only minor injuries have
We will continue to provide information on the Branson tornado-2012 as things develop.