In January 2017, the City of Branson and Project Branson entered into a service contract agreement for the development of creative concepts for the Highway 76 revitalization, with a special emphasis on the gateways and icons envisioned for the Entertainment District in both the Branson Community Plan 2030 (2012) and the Spirit of 76 Master Plan (2014).
Project Branson is a private, non-profit coalition of successful businesses who represent more than twenty locations on or adjacent to West Highway 76. Based on their belief in the power and importance of this entertainment hub to the continued prosperity of the region, they volunteer time and contribute resources to help ensure its ongoing success.
These private and public sectors agreed to a shared vision for the creative features of the entertainment district. The vision recognized the revitalization as a “once-in-forever opportunity to welcome visitors” while “showcasing our unique and appealing attributes in a tangible way for future generations of residents and visitors to appreciate and enjoy.”
Project Branson combined city icons and gateways to better serve the purpose and resources of the revitalization, and then implemented a six-step process to secure and consumer test various creative concepts. Six creative concepts that met the established criteria were tested with Branson visitors, non-visitors and residents in September 2017 by H2R Market Research. Two of the six concepts scored very well with the consumer audience and provided key learnings that directed concept finalization. Research strongly showed that the Ozarks natural beauty and active engagement are essential components of an appealing iconic gateway and Entertainment District corridor in Branson.
Based on the results of that research, Project Branson has recommended the merging of the two most popular concepts for a design aesthetic and iconic gateway(s) concepts to be implemented as design work for the West Highway 76 revitalization continues.
Project Branson recommends to the City of Branson:
Guiding Principle: Ozarks Nature + Active Fun (Play)
Overall Theme: “Naturally Playful”
Iconic Gateways: Treehouse Tower and Wonderfalls
Streetscape Features and Amenities: Celebrate the Natural Beauty of the Ozarks and Provide Opportunities to Play
Corridor Renaming: Branson Boulevard
Project Branson believes that this creative concept package fulfills the shared vision, meets our agreed upon criteria, is aligned with goals for the Entertainment District and will be loved by residents and visitors alike for many years to come. The next steps are to incorporate these concepts into streetscape design for the remainder of the revitalization project, determine specific iconic gateway resources and retain designers with expertise in public and interactive water features, Ozarks-themed structures and natural playscapes for further development of these concepts.