Springfield, MO

SBJ file photo
SBJ file photo

A Conversation With … Jeff Seifried on evolving Branson

Posted online
At this time last year, Branson was on track for $350 million in developments. How’s 2017 shaping up?
The last four years, we have seen year-over-year growth, breaking all of our growth records. Last year was unique in the fact that we were tracking over $350 million in announced development. We don’t have a number for release yet, but we will have another number for what 2017 holds. We are confident it’s going to be a very strong number. Branson is in growth mode; it’s in development mode. Current attraction and show owners are putting new product on the market. You can see the transformation, upgrades and enhancements in the entire community.

Some haven’t started yet. What’s the progress on The Alley development at Grand Village?
That is a strong area of the strip for visitor traffic and opportunity. The Alley, we hope, will get under construction sometime this year. It has plans for everything from a hotel to a brewery to more family fun.

Springfield has had a spate of brewery openings. Can Branson sustain another?
Today’s visitor expects it. You hear, “Hey, what’s the local brew here?” They are looking for a beer or moonshine. Currently, we have the moonshine thing taken care of, but when it comes to brewery options, there are only a couple small ones.

One of the biggest on tap is the $100 million Highway 76 streetscape project. How will that impact visitors?
There is no doubt the Highway 76 Revitalization project is critical for the long-term health of our community. It really is in need of attention. We are no different than other tourist destinations; it is time for some attention to our main destination.

With all these new attractions, is Branson’s persona moving away from a music city?
The foundation will always be live music. Moving forward, it’s digging deeper into the brand we have always had, which is family friendly, and seeing more investments in all attractions and shows. We’ve always had the bones of being family friendly and we always will, but what you’re seeing is a deeper dive into that brand.

How does that change the CVB’s marketing message?
We are going to continue digging deeper and re-educating people on what Branson is. Branson is known for live entertainment, but there is more to do. We’ve done focus groups in St. Louis and Kansas City and many times those folks don’t even know there is a theme park here or outdoor-related activities. The goal is to increase visitation overall. It’s job security in a way. It’s our role to penetrate into other markets what Branson has to offer. No matter how many millions of dollars we spend marketing, it still amazes me that people didn’t know of Silver Dollar City here.

What are visitor numbers for last year?
Visitation has been up year-over-year for four years straight now. There is no turnstile  on the highway, so to say I know exactly how many visitors come into the Branson market – I couldn’t tell you that. But we do have a formula that we’ve used for a long time that other markets like Orlando use. It tells us we have had growth – 10 percent last year – and we know the baseline is strong. That number ranges between 8 million and 9 million.

Jeff Seifried is president and CEO of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau. He can be reached at


No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick

Crossroads in Republic ripe for industrial park

Two buildings in a budding Republic industrial park just might be the welcome mat officials need.

Most Read
SBJ Live logo
Giving Employees a Career Choice

“We think it’s a good thing if every employee has a number of choices. Maybe they’ll want to stay and make a career at Amazon and we welcome that,” says Juan Garcia, Director - Associate …

Training Bootcamp: Training Needs Assessment All workplace problems have root causes. When will training be the solution? Sherry Coker, OTC Center for Workforce Development business development director, provides you the framework of a training needs assessment, which will uncover the root causes of a workplace problem and help you determine if training is the solution. A download is available at with a complete outline for an effective training needs assessment. This is sponsored content. Duration: 2:29
Don’t Micro-Manage Are you guilty of micromanaging your employees? “If we’re going to require them to be that educated when they come to work for us, should we not let them do their job? They should know so much …
Seek Wisdom from Many “My whole life goal is to change the world, one connection at a time,” says Keisha Mabry. Mabry, who is an author, speaker, and social entrepreneur, says she had a “quarter-life crisis” and …
DNA Uncovers Best Version of You A simple swab of the inside of your cheek can lead to optimizing your nutrition and fitness program, personal medication profile, in addition to your ancestry. According to Austin O’Reilly, owner …