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Business leaders weigh in on $5M downtown revitalization

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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 2:19 pm

The downtown Branson revitalization team held a public information meeting Thursday to share, discuss and get feedback on the project with business owners and residents.

Steve Prange, project manager from Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc., estimated 70 people showed up for the meeting.

“If I had to put a percentage on it, I’d say it was about 75 percent business owners,” Prange said.

The team has made efforts to get as much input as possible for the project since it began. The first event, an ice cream social, drew in approximately 50 guests who gave their opinions and input on ideas for improvements downtown. Prange said part of the design process is to get input, create designs, get more input and refine those designs and ideas.

One resident, Bill White, of HCW Realty in downtown Branson, saw the presentation for first time Thursday.

“I just found out there are going to be some green areas downtown, which is really positive for the area here downtown,” White said. “They have so much going on that’s positive, I don’t know that my input is what they need because everything I’ve seen, I’m very pleased with.”

Thursday’s public presentation was the first of three scheduled through August as the design team works toward updating the downtown area.

“I think it went fantastic,” Prange said. “I do these things all over the place and I sound like a broken record, but the people of Branson are so active in their community. To have them come support this and continue to give their feedback is just outstanding.”

Most recently in the project planning, Prange presented an update during a Branson study session and it was decided a parking experiment would be conducted. The experiment aims to determine if more parking could be created by giving business owners and employees temporary free parking passes for a parking garage.

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