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Old 04-03-2006, 04:45 PM   #1
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Titanic Grand Opening

Regis Philbin said he will be there this Friday for the Titanic Grand Opening.
He also said that 2 of the Grandchildren of Survivor "The Unsinkable" Molly Brown will also be there.
Anyone from the Board going to attend?
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Old 04-03-2006, 05:59 PM   #2
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Sweet. I'll be in attendance.

Branson is getting great reviews right now. Here's one from the Associated Press:

Titanic growth in Branson, Missouri
Museum dedicated to famous ocean liner latest of new attractions

Monday, April 3, 2006; Posted: 1:30 p.m. EDT (17:30 GMT)

BRANSON, Missouri (AP) -- The bow of the Titanic rears above the spray of waves, the fatal iceberg jammed in its black and riveted iron flank.

The museum built to resemble the ship is part of Branson's efforts to continue growing by widening its appeal beyond the elderly tourists who first helped it boom in the early 1990s, drawn by wholesome country music and crooners.

Branson is adding more upscale shopping, family attractions and pop music fare aimed at newly retiring baby boomers and parents with children. The southwest Missouri town also is seeing a surge of commercial and residential development as it becomes more of a year-round resort.

"It means we are not an attraction-only destination. It's a mix of shopping, commercial and residential development, and it means more year-round employment," said Jerry Adams, Branson's city communications director.

Visitors are expected to number 7.6 million this year, Branson tourism officials say. That would be a 4 percent increase, double the national growth in vacation travel that the Travel Industry Association of America forecasts this year.

Branson is not about to turn its back on its country music roots. But to appeal to aging baby boomers and more families with children, there are more pop music attractions this year, including Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater Complex, opening in April and presenting 1950s and 1960s rock.

Theme parks are also expanding. Silver Dollar City, a mix of crafts and rides with a late 19th century atmosphere, is spending $8 million (euro6.7 million) to add 10 rides in a new area called the Grand Exposition that echoes the era of world's fairs and expositions.

Also opening this spring is Branson Landing, a shopping mall with a marina and boardwalk on 95 acres (38 hectares) on Lake Taneycomo. About 80 percent of an expected 100 stores and restaurants, including Belk Department Store, will be ready for the development's May 26 opening.

Later this summer, a Bass Pro Shops, the Springfield-based hunting, fishing and outdoors retailer, will open at Branson Landing, followed by a Hilton Hotel in October. A convention center and a second Hilton are due to follow in 2007.

Branson Landing is part of a development boom here. The value of new construction was a record $173.5 million (euro144 million) last year after $76 million (euro63 million) the year before. This past January alone, new construction worth $44.6 million (euro37 million) broke a record of $10.3 million from January 1994.

Titanic attraction
The Titanic attraction, officially named "The World's Largest Titanic Museum Attraction," opened in March.

Museum owner John Joslyn is a former television producer who dove to the wreck in a submersible in 1987 and produced the documentary "Return to the Titanic ... Live."

Joslyn has been a collector of Titanic artifacts and opened a smaller, similar attraction in Orlando, Florida, that he sold to build the Branson museum.

The Titanic building looms above Missouri 76, Branson's Strip. The 100-foot-tall building recreates the bow of the ship, complete with a pool at its base that sprays water as though it were cutting through the ocean.

The entrance is through a mock iceberg tip that juts out of the ship's side. Inside, visitors take a 90-minute walk past more than 400 artifacts and reconstructions of the ship and the life stories of many of its passengers.

The grand staircase from first class is rebuilt, as are first- and third-class cabins. Visitors step out on a darkened deck chilled to feel like the fateful night in April 1912 and can barely make out the outline of an iceberg ahead under a field of stars.

Joslyn said he has been coming to Branson for years and decided it made more sense for his attraction to be here, rather than Orlando.
"I love the Branson demographics," Joslyn said. He said both the families that tend to come in summer and the older visitors in the spring and fall have an interest in the Titanic story.

City economic development director Michael Rankin said Branson Landing will help meet a city goal of increasing year-round business and employment to make up for a seasonal drop when most entertainment and tourist venues close from December through March.

The shopping experience at Branson Landing also fits into efforts to increase tourism. Shopping is a major activity for vacationers and complements the shows and theme parks, according to Dan Lennon, vice president for marketing at the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

"It's still all about tourism and all about entertainment," Lennon said. "But one of the challenges we have is getting more first-time visitors."

A resort destination needs a certain percentage of first-timers to keep growing. That rate in Branson has been running in the low 20s since a peak of 35 percent in 1995, and the chamber wants to get it back to an industry benchmark level of 25-30 percent, Lennon said.

That's where new attractions such as the Titanic museum and a greater variety of music shows come in.

Branson is also a drive-to destination, which can work to its advantage, despite high gas prices, according to the Travel Industry Association of America.

"We've seen time and time again when gas prices spike, people still tend to travel. That can benefit an area that is within a drive of a number of large metropolitan regions," said association spokeswoman Cathy Keefe.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:49 PM   #3
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Man, I wish that I could! We just went thru it on Friday....and we LOVED it...it's a great attraction!
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:16 PM   #4
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Anyone from the Board going to attend?[/QUOTE

We've talked about going on Friday, because we have a little time to kill that day. Nothing carved in stone yet though. It'll probably be really crowded that day, and we've got some young kids going with us....I'm not sure they'll be up for a long wait to go through it. We'll play it by ear I guess.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PatiCake101
Man, I wish that I could! We just went thru it on Friday....and we LOVED it...it's a great attraction!


How long did it take you and DH to tour the Titanic we are wanting to come this summer with our kids(16,11). Someone mentioned allow 2 hrs. at least.

Great Trip Report in an eariler post really enjoyed it and answered my question about Plantations Breakfast we like their lunch and supper buffet and my son and husband are big breakfast eaters so we will pass this up for breakfast.

Thanks Shannon
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:04 PM   #6
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Did anyone go to the Grand Opening today?
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:37 PM   #7
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Yes. They did not get the 20k they were expecting. City did not close the streets off as planned. Regis threw the bottle off the side which was tied to a rope that swung it back toward the ship to break it. Then they had some fireworks launch from the deck of the ship. People waited outside the ropes for about an hour then quickly dispersed as soon as it was over.
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:46 PM   #8
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Our local news had a clip of the opening. It looked like a lot of people there. I wish I could have been there. I hope to go through it sometime this summer.

This link should take you to the Rankin Brothers FB Fan Page.
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Old 04-08-2006, 04:23 AM   #9
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Here is the link to the Springfield News Paper about the Titanic opening.

They showed clips on the news, and it looked like a good size crowd.


On the main page of the news is some pictures of the event.


I've been once but would love to go back. There was so much to see! I've been pushing for the visitors I come in contact with to be sure and see it.
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Old 04-08-2006, 08:12 AM   #10
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Thanks Branson Miss for filling us in on the opening...it looked like a big crowd. I wish that we could have been in it !!

Thanks also for the links...the pictures were great...especially the one of the crowd, and the one of the "Ship Captain" throwing the bottle off of the ship to "christen" it.

I'm really glad that someone who is happy that the attraction is there and happy that it is a big hit posted about the grand opening! Thank you.
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Old 04-08-2006, 02:39 PM   #11
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One of our new editorial columnists at Branson Critic was there and even had a private interview with Regis.

I am also finishing my review from my trip to the museum a couple weeks ago.

My review of the museum and her interview with Regis should both be up at www.bransoncritic.org next week.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:02 PM   #12
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We drove by over the weekend (got into town Friday after the Grand OPening was already over) and considered going through it, but the parking lot was packed so we decided to skip it this trip and catch it sometime when the new-ness has worn off and traffic through it has slowed down a little.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:15 AM   #13
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WOW! Just watched the beginning of Regis and Kelly and Regis talked about his trip to Branson and he showed alot of pictures of the Titanic. It is really a neat place. And very nice of him to speak about it on his show.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:03 PM   #14
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Sounds like it was a fun GRAND OPENING!

We'll have to take a looksie when we get there in June

I can't wait !!!!
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:08 PM   #15
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Yeah he did a great job about speakin about Branson and the TITANIC.
I have personally been to museum. It is AWSOME. I have also had the chance to go to the one in Orlando that he also mentioned. They are both great, but I the one there in Branson is on a much bigger scale it seems. John and Mary are great friends of our family and I am so happy to see something of such history come to Branson. They have such a passion for the TITANIC. They along with others that got this rolling did a great job. When in Branson go check it out.
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