Some Branson shows, attractions open with safety precautions

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 3:59 PM CDT
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The pandemic has slowed the start of vacation season in Branson, but some businesses are hopeful for an uptick this holiday weekend.

Many places are back in business, from museums to shows to go-karts.

"We want to be open and hosting people," The Track Family Fun Parks CEO and Owner Craig Wescott said. "We are just happy to see smiling faces again."

However, Wescott says opening in time for Memorial Day came with many hours of planning.

"Fifty percent [of the go-kart riders] would be out riding, where the other fifty percent of the karts would be cleaned with a quick-dry product that gets rid of all germs," Wescott said.

He says guests will keep their distances and staff will wear masks.

"[We will be adding] that layer of protection. We also have plexiglass at our sales counters," Wescott said.

Inside attractions, like shows, are being extra safe, too.

Yakov Smirnoff is prepping to perform a comedy show about the pandemic itself in front of a live, but limited audience.

"[We will have] no intermission. We are not doing concessions, so there's not much connection. When people are seated, they're going to be seated on the aisles," Smirnoff said.

Visitors to Branson will find plenty to do, however, some business owners say they might be relying more on local travelers this weekend.

"Then, as time goes on, as people feel more comfortable, maybe that distance goes back to what Branson is used to," Wescott said.

Leaders of the tourism industry are welcoming those who are ready to enjoy Branson once again.

"To use humor for healing," Smirnoff said.

"It's in our blood to do this. So, we are doing the best we can to do it the right way," Wescott said.

A Branson travel agent says there are a lot of lodging vacancies. It you're wanting to get a room, you can likely just drive up to a hotel, but it doesn't hurt to call ahead.

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