Branson Missouri Gambling - Booze - Prostitution Oh My
(Caption Above) Clayton Buthinhouer cracks open a can of Budweiser and drinks it along the boardwalk of the Branson Landing.
Branson City Hall has asked Huffman to "rethink" the issue of drinking on the Landing. The Landing, though publicly financed is clearly a private facility. There are different school's of thought on this topic; however, some locals believe that Branson's old watch is on its way out. Herschend recently described Branson's Christian culture as fragile in an interview earlier this year he described the climate as much bigger than him, suggesting he's taking a backseat to the conservative political activism that once defined the family persona. Rumor’s have circulated suggesting a more liberal perspective on issues the family has publicly taken a hard line on. The values that have defined the community seem to be in question. It hasn't been suggested that a new breed of conservative religious leaders will take place of a much more liberal "newer" perspective on what form Branson should take in the future.
As the issue of Gambling takes the forefront on the Eastern side of the county some business leaders appear to have taken a more accepting view of the idea. Opponents cite higher instances of violent crime to proceed the acceptance of gambling in communities that have previously embraced the idea. Powerful players from outside the region promise to push the fight through substantial capital contributions whose counterbalance in previous fights may dwindle in the years to come.
*Branson Edge Perspective*
The Branson brand is clearly about family values, a culture of music and majestic scenery. This is why one of the largest publications in America syndicated through countless newspapers around the nation cited Branson as the way "America Ought To Be". We have extremely low crime, low unemployment, excellent schools and a strong moral culture unique to America. This is a unique economy and because of its uniqueness people want to come here. We have our problems - just like anywhere else in America - but no where near the scale. Casino's are in much shorter proximity surround and cutoff all major tourist routes into the tri-lakes area. All of our major markets have casinos on the way or in the cities people actually leave to come to Branson. Still, people drive here and I think we should be asking ourselves ...Why? Those of us "outsiders" - those who've lived here for decades and the 7 million of us who visit understand something perhaps those staring into the light bulb of short term trends may fail to see. The Branson area is unique because the Chief of Police has to tell you to remember to lock your doors. There is innocence and a comfort living in a safe place brings. Those gambling on gambling, and it appears the numbers are rising, believe "God will soon be Dead in Branson." By God, I mean community leaders who believe in the religious values as political platform. This isn't my argument; however it's true that if a younger generation of leaders don't arise gambling and its sister prostitution will take the role a despotic desert in the west has done such a fine job of creating a brand of. The landscape near Vegas is so ugly nuclear bombs were tested there with little protest. What does Nevada have to offer besides selling her daughters into prostitution? We have something more, something unique and I maintain little hope that we'll create a better Babylon. I really don't think we have it in us. There are countless casino's within a four hour drive but no town in the world can claim the type and density of live entertainment offered in Branson. No city can claim such a low ratio of visitors to crime. Something about Branson is inspiring and those that leave these hills bring with them an indescribable gift they can find nowhere else. They don't come here to play the slots. They don't come here for high crime. They don't come here to see a city government who fears a prayer before meetings. They don't come here to stuff strippers g-strings with dollar bills. Why would they? They can find these things at home. Most don't even have to drive far if at all. I know firsthand that we have problems. .
The Branson Landing has created as Huffman called it "A new Center of Gravity" some of which is pulling from our existing economy. Vendors here for years are seeing the pull and in combination with high gas prices wonder how permanent and if the Landing itself is creating somewhat of a vacuum. This was anticipated early and studies conducted by the Branson Edge show the majority of visitors come from a short radius to the new mall - galleria - or unique shopping experience that is the Landing. They’re mostly locals (does it really matter if they have a beer?)
You have to admire Rick, or at least I do for making the right political moves and having his project financed in such a creative way. He is a business leader not a moral leader - I respect him because he doesn't claim to be anything else. I hope our religious leaders are as forthcoming with the agendas they bring to the table.
I warned them after the last vote....we have some problems...people in communities that are suffering. I asked them to do something about it. They built a church. Good, but not good enough. It's not just about a church - in fact the church isn't even needed - the faith - goodwill and mission of the church is! Perhaps, feeding the poor through good economic structures is demonstration of the faith. Isn't this what Silver Dollar City is about?
The casino industry is slicker than ya'all - they have been bred by a different code and have little concern other than the checkbook balance. Don't think you can control them because as certain as they'll sell your daughters into prostitution they will certainly make you one as well. Branson, you are too kind, you have too much virtue, you will never make a better Babylon - so for the brand's sake...Why try?
Many think gambling arrival is inevitable - many believe that God will soon be dead in America.
If you are from the outside area and have strong feelings about the gambling issue or like the idea of a vacation destination with live entertainment and a strong view against gambling - don't march in the streets with your picket signs right before elections. If you’re a family in the Midwest - If you're a church from Kansas City - If you're a church from Tulsa,- A church from Oklahoma City..If you're a, youth group planning a family reunion - military reunion - support Branson now. Come and spend your vacation here. That's what it will take for the city to make a gamble against odds we can’t win.
Prepared by: Darin Codon