Ripley Entertainment confirms Ride the Ducks will not operate in 2019; new business venture

BRANSON, Mo. -- Ripley Entertainment confirmed to KY3 News in a statement the Ride the Ducks attraction will not operate in 2019.

Courtesy: Ripley Entertainment

The company Thursday announced a new attraction called Branson Top Ops. Branson Top Ops will offer a patriotic-themed experience with an interactive outdoor maze, indoor laser tag, and other adventures. Ripley will open it in the same location as the former Ride the Ducks business on the Highway 76 strip.

Ripley Entertainment closed Ride the Ducks business after the deadly July 19 sinking of one of the boats on Table Rock Lake. The amphibious duck boat sank amid strong winds, killing 16 passengers and a crew member. A boat captain and 13 passengers survived the sinking.

Since that tragedy, there have been lawsuits filed against Ripley Entertainment, including a suit filed on behalf of the Coleman Family, who lost nine family members during the incident.

Ripley Entertainment released this statement to KY3 News.

"Branson Ride The Ducks has been an important part of the Branson community for 47 years. We are deeply appreciative of the support we have received.

Due to the ongoing investigations into the tragedy last summer, Branson Ride The Ducks will not operate this season. Our building and property are a gateway to the economic engine of this community, however, and we want to ensure it continues to contribute during the upcoming season.

To do so, we will be offering an all-new visitor experience at this location. Branson Top Ops will be a patriotic-themed experience offering an interactive outdoor maze, indoor laser tag, and other adventures.

Ten percent of all proceeds for the 2019 season, with a minimum amount of $100,000, will be donated to First Responders, specifically to Local Police, Fire Department, and EMS, who put their lives on the line to make the Branson community a safer place to live, work, and play.

In addition, all First Responders and Military will be offered discounted admission at Branson Top Ops.

More information about the attraction is coming soon, and look forward to working with the community to bring this new attraction to Branson.

For the latest information, please visit www.BransonTopOps.com."