Branson Park Operators Anticipate Busy Camping Season
Advance reservations at several campgrounds, RV parks and resorts in the greater Branson, Mo., area were running well ahead of last year's figures prior to last week's tornado.
Park operators are therefore concerned about negative effects of media publicity, according to a news release.
"We're hopeful that reporters will use caution in reporting about the tornadoes and not exaggerate the relatively minor damage that was reported in the Branson area," said Larry Helms, president of the Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (MOARC).
Only one campground reported damage as a result of the storms.
"Our major attractions are totally untouched," said Lynn Berry, director of public relations for the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau, adding, "We estimate that things will be very much back in total swing in about a month, with the exception of the convention center and convention center hotel, the Hilton."
"From my standpoint, (the storms produced) minimal damage," said Kim Newell, who operates the Branson KOA, adding that her advance bookings are double what they were last year at this time at the 160-site park.
Newell added that business typically picks up after April 1 as the weather warms up.
Other Branson area campground owners also said their advance bookings have been up, including Lenny Ammerman of Treasure Lake Resort in Branson. "We are ahead of schedule by about 7 percent through March and April," he said. "We're looking good so far."
Sue Alkire of America's Best Campground said her group reservations are also running ahead of last year's figures. "We didn't even lose a tree branch (in the storms)" she said, adding that she hoped media would use care in reporting about the storms.
For more information about campgrounds in the Branson area, please contact Larry Helms at (573) 759-7294 and visit www.CampInMissouri.com.