(The image above is the property of Time Share Guru Larry Milton. It is not the official site of the city of Branson, nor is it the property of the Chamber of Commerce, however, the private company enjoys a special relationship with the tax-funded organization that enables special privileges including input on employment and setting prices on tax-funded websites. They also contract with two members of city council and financed another Branson Alderman's campaign after Milton's failed bid on a mayoral run.)
You've heard of the land of milk and honey - but Branson once had a dominate industry which created institutionalized coke and money. One prominent time share attorney called it the "Wild West Days" of the industry which was far less regulated than it is now after several high profile lawsuits.
Perhaps, the easiest way to view Branson's Time Share / Travel Club industry is a mafia minus the more utilitarian attributes - such as honor, integrity and protecting the community's most vulnerable. These guys were selling air and with a constant influx of senior citizens to rob - business was good.
To this day, the Branson Police Department won't file charges - nor file reports on citizens who feel conned by Time Share Companies or through Time Share Promotion Entities such as Larry Milton's Branson.COM - the largest existing time-share syndicate - making a killing impersonating the Branson Chamber of Commerce.
To this day many unsuspecting tourists think Branson.com and the Branson Tourism Center BransonTourismCenter.com are straight ticket resalers as opposed to Time Share Booking Firms- or their latest con - leading people to believe they're the city itself. And in in sense they are - bilking millions from impersonating the entity and controlling the flow to legitimate psuedo-government entities through seats on committees allocated with the responsibility of managing taxpayer funds.
Recently, another time-share solicitation firm started encroaching on Branson.Con territory opening a sales office just north of the Branson Tourism Center's Time Share Solicitation operation. With the help of the multi-million dollar tax payer funded funded privately controlled Chamber of Commerce they solicited state resources to shut the operation down. To some it looks like a protected racket.
Backing up a few years, Branson.com was in big trouble. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was swarming on the Time-Share / Travel Club Sales firm.
In the end, a record judgment was issued by Missouri's 38th Circuit.
Milton made his move.
Contrary to Milton and Jeremiah Froyland (Little Milton)'s self issued press releases, Branson.Con wasn't purchased for 1.6 millon dollars. In fact, only a small fraction was actually spent to pay off debts accrued after the Feds shut the Branson.com operation down.
(Note: Gary Groman disputes this one portion of the article)
Running flank for the operation was Gary Groman who had an equity stake in Branson.com. While Groman attacked the Branson Chamber of Commerce on domain issues via the Branson Independent, his former employer, he was communicating with Milton and eventually the family closed a direct deal, all the while Earl Streasak was publishing an investigative piece about Time-Share/Travel Club Fraud - ads for Branson.com running in between the two authors.
An unlikely hero eventually emerged. The industry in its form was eventually destroyed by the creation of the Branson Landing. Legislation leading to higher regulation federally, state and locally has decreased Travel Fraud moving off the Top 5 complaints to the Missouri Attorney General's Office many years running.
Locally, the Branson Landing contracted with Westgate Resorts giving them exclusive ticketing rights in sequence with a crackdown on Travel Scams and tightening of solicitation methods time share booking companies could use.
Consider this, all the public discussion and Trash Talk about HCW - constant accusations. Rick Huffman legitimized the industry bringing the city of Branson on board to help the process.
Branson City Council? Meet the new boss, same as the old Boss.
PRESLEY THEATER INC. BRAND FAMILY VALUES
Why Mayor Raeanne Presley criticizes the Branson Landing - she's doing dirt with time-share guru Milton by offering special rates to push theater tickets . Last visible contract rate was a 20% discount.
Consider the sources of what you read and how profitable a piece labled opinion could be to the author that drafted it. After all, everyone needs to feed thier family -right?
Perhaps, when you hear the words Family Values in Branson, it should be rephrased "Time-Share Mafia Family Values" aka "Brumafia " eventually crushed by the building of the Branson Landing.
Man is corrupt, each of us, thus we can all speak about corruption with authority. Due to a long lineage of politicians, priests and practitioners of law I feel sufficiently trained to elaborate on the art. Just becuase it's been this way, doesn't mean it always has to be this way.
Rousseau said, "Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains" - a result of our own shortcomings and inability to obtain courage to believe positive change can occur.