An attraction that launched on the Highway 76 Strip in Branson at the start of the year is on the move to Springfield.
Selfie Vibes owner Shawna Smyth said she’s targeting a Feb. 1 opening in the Battlefield Mall for the museum attraction, which features interactive and themed photo booths for people to take pictures. Smyth said the venture first opened in January at 1615 W. 76 Country Boulevard but wasn’t generating enough interest, noting difficulty in competing with higher- profile Branson tourist attractions.
“I just wasn’t happy of what it cost to keep it open in Branson versus switching to the mall,” she said, declining to disclose financials. “Plus, the traffic is nonstop at the mall.”
She suggested the move to Springfield in August to then-co-owners Torrena Allison, Burt Cummings and Tommy Norrid. However, she said they decided to exit the business upon the Branson museum’s Oct. 15 closing. Smyth is now the venture’s sole owner, which is registered with the secretary of state’s office as Selfie Vibes @ Battlefield LLC.
Rostic Builders LLC started infill work today on the 2,700-square-foot space at the mall, Smyth said. Selfie Vibes is near a Dillard’s entrance, across from Rack Room Shoes. She said it fills space formerly occupied by It’s A Mother Daughter Thing, a boutique retailer that moved in October to 3862 W. Chestnut Expressway in the Orchard Plaza shopping center.
Smyth estimates relocation and renovation costs will be roughly $15,000. She signed a three-year lease with mall owner Simon Property Group for an undisclosed rate.
Selfie Vibes isn’t the only similar photography-based museum attraction in Missouri. Selfie museums also are open in Kansas City and St. Louis, Smyth said, adding hers is the first in southwest Missouri. She said a selfie museum in Des Moines, Iowa, served as her initial inspiration.
Smyth said several of the 15 booths will carry over from the Branson museum, including a room that is upside down. However, that one is among many that are being redesigned in the mall.
“They’re not just backdrops. You actually get on a bike; you actually are in a room that’s upside down,” she said of the interactive nature of the concept.
The museum’s prices in Branson were $20 for adults and $10 for children, according to its website. However, Smyth said the prices at the mall are still to be determined.
The expanded facility is expected to reach annual revenue of $650M.