The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 14, 2013

Branson resort offers fishing, relaxation

Longtime Lake Taneycomo fishing resort offers modern amenities, nostalgic flair

By Dave Woods

BRANSON, Mo. — Phil Lilley is no stranger to the lakes surrounding the Branson area. He loves the lakes for their Ozarks beauty, outdoor activities and the people. And the fishing isn’t bad either, he said.

“We moved here because we like people and like Branson,” said Lilley, a native of Parsons, Kan.

Lilleys’ Landing Resort and Marina, Phil’s family-friendly resort and marina, has been his home for more than three decades.

“We settled on Branson because it has and had a family atmosphere,” Lilley said. “My wife’s parents and family vacationed on Taneycomo, and my family vacationed on Table Rock. We made many trips down to both lakes growing up and decided to raise our family in the Branson area. That’s why we stay here.”

Lilley and his wife, Marsha, purchased the resort from a Chicago couple in 1983. The operation was much smaller then, he said. The couple soon acquired additional land — and several children — and started expanding the operation, adding boat docks, family-style accommodations and other amenities. Several of the original cabin units, which were built in the mid-1970s, still exist today, although many renovations have been made.

Lilleys’ Landing Resort and Marina is a family affair. Phil’s son, Greg, serves as chief operating officer and works in the resort store. His daughter, Meagan, handles marketing and guest relations; Marsha pitches in where needed, and Phil’s mom keeps the grounds clean and well-groomed.

And Phil does whatever else is needed.

“I guess I’m the manager,” he said, laughing.

‘It’s serene’

For more than 30 years, Lilley and his growing family have hosted guests, offered advice to fishermen — novice and advanced — outfitted trips, suggested guides and developed many friendships.

“We’ve seen two and three generations of families grow up here,” Lilley said. “Families who brought their kids here are now bringing their grandkids here. We have lots and lots of stories from the generations.”

Some families have made Lilleys’ Landing their summer resort destination for decades, he said.

“They stay here for weeks during the summer,” he said. “We hear lots of stories about how ‘Junior caught his first trout on a fly rod here’ kind of thing. We’ve even had guests’ kids born in the Branson area while vacationing here. We are just happy to be part of it.”

Located five miles below Table Rock Dam and four miles upstream from the Branson Landing on Lake Taneycomo, Lilleys’ offers the quiet of the Ozarks and White River Basin but isn’t so far away that it’s a long trek to catch a show or do some shopping.

“When you get here, you don’t know that Branson is just two miles up the road,” said Lilley. “When you get here, it’s quiet and secluded. The lake’s here, and there’s a great bluff across the river. It’s just beautiful. It’s serene. We built a pavilion on the lake front, which serves as a place for folks to get together when they come down in the summertime. We still have an old, quaint river appeal to the resort.”

Want to go?

Want to learn more about Lilleys’ Landing Resort and Marina or trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo, go to, or call 888-345-8383 for additional information and reservations. Boats, boat stalls and fishing guide services are available. Fishing licenses and state issued trout stamps are requires for those fishing Missouri waterways.