Missouri… Enjoy The Show!
Branson shows are big business in Southwest Missouri and Congressman Billy Long showed his support and concern for the future of tourism the week by visiting the Hamner Barber Theater for an informal chat with area entertainment industry leaders.
This first stop on the Congressman’s “Missouri 7th District Tourism Tour“ was both entertaining and informational as a group of area business leaders discussed current issues of concern in the tourism industry as well as the interesting seventeen year history of the Branson theater that is now home to the comedy and magical illusions of the Hamner Barber Variety Show.
Topics discussed during the visit were varied and included motorcoach and group travel, gasoline prices, national economics, sales tax revenues, and how Veterans are honored everyday in Branson.
“Tourism is vital to Missouri’s economy, and the 7th District is blessed with several attractions and related industries, including the world renowned family friendly destination of Branson. Tourism is an important job creator in our state. I am looking forward to visiting with these businesses that play an important role in Missouri’s tourism industry.” - Congressman Billy Long
Congressman Long has been honored as a Guardian of Small Business and for his ongoing efforts to strengthen our Nation’s manufacturing sectors. In order to better understand how businesses in Missouri are faring, he has recently undergone a series of personal tours across his district to focus on job creators, agriculture, and tourism in Missouri.
The tours will give him the opportunity to visit different industries in Missouri’s 7th district and learn more about the details of their business, how tourism impacts their business and why it is important to them. It will not only allow the Congressman a chance to meet the business owners, but it also gives him the chance to meet with the employees at each stop and learn more from all of them about the work they do and how they think DC can be a help – instead of a hindrance.
Several Branson business leaders and press reporters were in attendance to chat with the Congressman at the Hamner Barber Theater. Included in the discussion were Jim & Diane Barber, Dave & Denise Hamner, Jan & Cliff Braschler, Vance Hebblethwaite, Lex Pearson (Hamner Barber Theater Staff), Chip Mason (Silver Dollar City), Ross Summers (President & CEO – Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce), Larry Wilhite (Mansion Entertainment), Diana Lynn Allynn (A Neil Diamond Tribute Show), Jonas Arjes ( Taney County Business Development Partnership Director), Representative Don Ruzicka (MO House of Representatives – District 132) and others.
In addition to the Hamner Barber Theater, other Branson area stops on the Congressman’s two-day tourism tour included the Taney County Airport, Avis Rent a Car, Branson Travelhost Magazine, Copper Run Distillery, Grand Rental Station, KC Bakery and Bistro, Sky Harbor Resort, and Silver Dollar City.
Reporter Matt Reinig from Branson Tri-Lakes News was also on hand to report on the Congressman’s visit to the Hamner Barber Theater. His article and photos were featured in the October 10, 2012 issue as well as online at BransonTriLakesNews.com. (Download PDF Scan)