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Rau returns to Silver Dollar City

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by Ann Bucy

SBJ Contributing Writer

She's ba-ack.

Lisa Rau, the former publicity director for Silver Dollar City Inc., has returned to the job.

The company includes Silver Dollar City, White Water, the Grand Palace, the Showboat Branson Belle and other properties.

Rau left Silver Dollar City and moved to Vail, Colo., to work with the Vacation Channel as its station manager in the ski resort town. The Vacation Channel, headquartered in Branson for 10 years, has stations up and running in Branson and Breckenridge, Colo.

According to Rau, the concept behind the Vacation Channel is to answer the most-asked questions of visitors and tourists to each area, questions like "What is there to do in this town?" and "How do I get around while I'm here?"

"I went to Vail in October and was given a channel that was less-than-up-to-par," Rau said. "But I ended up with a good channel."

The station had to achieve a must-carry status by carrying emergency services, weather, etc. to become a basic cable channel.

"I'm proud to have been a part of the start-up," she said. "We developed a news team, a production house, a morning show that's live and runs for two hours."

She describes her work in Colorado as "storm and form. That's the name given to the start-up of a TV station; moving it into the transition of normal operations."

Scott Earls is the president and general manager of the Vacation Channel Inc. He's known Rau for almost 18 years. They worked together at Springfield's NBC affiliate, KY3.

"Lisa orchestrated our Vail launch," Earls said. "In 1992, the president announced the Cable Act, meaning cable programming has to meet certain criteria. The local cable company didn't want to carry us. We had to make them do what the law required."

Rau said Silver Dollar City is an exciting place to be again. "My decision to return was a lot about coming home. We're taking over Stone Mountain in Atlanta, and there are a lot of other things going on right now. There's tremendous growth on the horizon" for the company. She said she was also excited about returning to the Branson area. "The Ozarks is home," she said.

Rick Baker, vice president of marketing for Silver Dollar City is "pleased and excited to have Rau back. I hated to see her go, and I'm glad to have her back."

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