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The Branson TIF Commission approves $119 million in tax increment financing for CP Branson LLC’s planned $446 million attraction near the strip.
SBJ file photo
The Branson TIF Commission approves $119 million in tax increment financing for CP Branson LLC’s planned $446 million attraction near the strip.

Branson TIF Commission approves planned water park

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Plans for a $446 million whitewater rafting and water park attraction near the Branson strip cleared the city’s commission on tax increment financing.

The commission voted 7-4 on Monday night to recommend approval of the project dubbed Branson Adventures, sending it next to the Branson Board of Aldermen for review on March 27. CP Branson LLC proposed the park. TIF funding would contribute about $119 million to the project, said Branson City Administrator Stan Dobbins.

Jeff Seifried, a TIF commission member who supported the project, said two main themes emerged from those who voted against the planned development.

Seifried, who’s also president and CEO of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, said one theme is more obvious: a potential negative impact to local public schools, where public funding levels might not later cover the cost of additional incoming students.

If TIF funding for the attraction were approved, the money would come via sales and property taxes diverted from a related community improvement district for 23 years — in addition to about $18.6 million in supplemental funding from city sales tax revenues, according to the TIF plan.

The planned development would sit on 302 acres, roughly bound to the east and west by Henning State Forest and Table Rock Lake, respectively, and to the north and south by Silver Dollar City and the Branson strip, respectively, according to city documents.

Dobbins said the related community improvement district would share the same boundaries of the planned development, the 302 acres.

The acreage currently generates about $17 in annual tax revenue, he said, later noting the development would grow that sum to $10 million-$12 million annually, with excess tax revenues for the project going first to the school district.

Seifried said the second objection centered on whether the development would attract new visitors or simply siphon patrons from existing businesses.

Dobbins said the park includes an outdoor mountain biking trail, a 4-mile-long whitewater rafting course, an indoor water park and a hotel. He said overall projections indicate the attraction could draw between 400,000 and 600,000 annual visitors.

The park’s hotel, Dobbins said, could lodge about 200,000 annual visitors at full capacity, with the rest spilling into the surrounding area.

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