BRANSON, Mo. After 15 years in business, KY3/KSPR News has confirmed that Branson's biggest craft mall will close next month.
Employees of the Branson Mill Craft Village say the store on Gretna Road will shut its doors, for good, by the end of April.
Foot traffic was very good on Tuesday. A lot of people were visiting on Spring Break. But some of the vendors inside say it's just simply not enough consistent foot traffic.
"People are coming in, but we weren't getting the traffic like you will on 76 or downtown Branson," said vendor Rattlesnake Eddie. He is moving to the 76 strip upon the closing. He deals in customized leather, and is one of the 110 vendors with hand-made crafts of all kinds. It's out with the old, and likely in with something new in its place.
The outdoor anchor stores such as Tequilas Mexican Restaurant, Leather Trading Co. and Coleman's will stay open, but the craft village section is closing. Commercial developers, and those who lure in development, say this is moreso a re-development, than an all out closure. Branson's retail space currently has a 93 percent occupancy rate.
"Some things that are going off and not maybe as popular or successful as they have been in the past, they tend to recycle and we get new development and re-development and things for our guests to do," said Jonas Arjes, Executive Director of the Taney County Partnership.
The Mill will be closing down April 30; a lot of the vendors are running specials to try to get rid of inventory before that.