Branson puts brakes (for now) on Spirit of 76 streetscape project

Published: Jun. 12, 2017 at 10:21 PM CDT
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The Spirit of 76 project is a major renovation that'll eventually add some new pizzazz to the Branson Strip.

"I like it. It is much more progressive and modern. We are getting a whole different demographic moving in," stated Cheryl Porter, a Branson resident and realtor.

"I feel like they need places to walk around 76 because a lot of people that come here might not have a car here so they will stay on the strip," said Mackenzie Messenger of Pasghetti's Italian Restaurant.

The Spirit of 76 Streetscape will give visitors the chance to leave their cars behind and stroll down broad walkways with lighting and landscaping.

Renee' Johnson, Assistant General Manager of The Starlight Theater, explained, "So far, everybody here at the Starlight and even down the strip and businesses around our area really happy with the improvements that we have seen."

From the concrete light bases to the conduit, and cones: You can see construction is finally underway. Work began late last year.

"I think it is kind of an OK time and when they get the money, they will finish it," Porter explained.

Now, the city is putting the brakes on the project for the time being. Leaders say it needs to time to look at financing options and to save and secure the money before continuing forward. Business owners say they've been told the delay could be a year or two while the city works to secure more money.

"I think it is kind of an okay time and when they get the money, they will finish it," said Porter.

Johnson said, "I love that our city is willing to wait until they have the funds to continue the process as opposed to continuing the process without the funds." She added, "I think it is the best move they can make in this situation."