The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

May 25, 2012

Dave Woods: Branson attractions welcome Memorial Day visitors

JOPLIN, Mo. — People ask me the same question time and time again: How are folks in Branson?

They come up to me in grocery stores, restaurants and bars wanting to know how the entertainment and resort community’s residents are faring in the wake of their leap year tornado.

Memorial Day weekend is here and I figured this was a good time to update Joplin residents and potential Branson travelers on the progress made along the 76 Strip. No community understands the ravages and recovery of -- and from -- Mother Nature’s assault more than Joplin.

On Feb. 29, an EF-1 storm bounced its way through the Midwest’s Music City. It ripped roofs off of theaters and motels, damaged dozens of glitzy showbiz signs, collapsed the walls of retail outlets and dampened the spirits of a community ready to kick off the spring travel season. No lives were lost and Branson residents and officials stress that their weather event paled in comparison to the EF-5 that leveled miles of Joplin more than a year ago.

Like Joplin residents, Branson folk are a scrappy lot. In the same way Branson residents rallied and raised funds in support of their neighbors only a couple hours to the west -- Joplin residents were quick to help.

Instead of canceling their spring break trips to Table Rock Lake and to Lake Taneycomo, they showed their support for Branson by hitting the highway, making hotel reservations and buying show and attraction tickets; lending a hand with debris clean up and storm recovery.

Most of the storm’s wrath left along the Strip is gone. Damaged theaters, restaurants and retailers now sport new signs, roofs and a lot of hope. Plenty of accommodations are available and, as the old saying goes, the show must go on.

A few updates

The storm-damaged Branson Landing quickly cleaned up the debris and reopened. I was down a couple of weeks ago and it’s business as usual downtown.

The Convention Center Hilton, which lost windows and suffered significant damage, is on schedule to reopen later this year. The Convention Center is serving its business get-together clientele.

Level 2 Steakhouse a favorite dining spot of mine -- relocated to The Hilton Promenade. Black Oak Grill has opened on the Landing. The all-American steak and chophouse offers a great Taneycomo view from the patio, a meaty menu and solid service.

Cantina Laredo remains one of my favorite spots for Sunday brunch on the way out of town and Waxy’s, The Landing’s Irish pub, still draws ‘em in.

The former Shorty Small’s is shuttered, but rumors regarding it’s rebirth are running rampant. I’ll keep you posted.

Up the strip, at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre, Legends in Concert is open for business. The theater suffered damage in the storm and closed for a while.

Now open, the show is back on schedule. Performing for summer 2012 are musical doppelgangers for Elvis, The Blues Brothers, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Michael Jackson.ÊDownstairs from the theater, at Dean Z’s Club ’57, live music, a full bar and a good spot for a nightcap add flare to the attraction.

Text Only
Lifestyles
  • r070714palacedrinks2.jpg Spirits school: Drink-making lessons taught at downtown bar

    Some patrons have dubbed it "Drinks with Daniel," but the official name is "Cocktails 101," which has been attracting "students" for the last several weeks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071114_steve cindy head.jpg New exhibit combines works of married couple

    Steve and Cindy Head create different types of art, which means they can be each other's best mentor. Steve makes mixed media works assembled from photographs, headlines and more; Cindy paints vivid patterns and fanciful scenes with bold color palettes.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tantric tours in support of latest studio album

    "37 Channels," the latest album from Hugo Ferreira's band, features a lineup of guests including Hinder's Austin Winkler, Shooter Jennings, 3 Doors Down drummer Greg Upchurch, Uncle Kracker guitarist Kevin McCreery, Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett and Leif Garrettt.

    July 11, 2014

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Globe Phone Test: Concept is clever, but transitions tricky with Asus PadFone X

    It's kind of embarrassing to point this out, but "Candy Crush Saga" is one of the best ways to illustrate how well the Asus PadFone X, a smartphone and tablet combo really works.

    Anyone who has more than one device will understand this situation completely: Let's say a player fires up "Candy Crush" on his tablet computer and really digs the game. A lot. So much so that he downloads it to his smartphone.

    Only there's one problem: All the progress made on the tablet is stuck on the tablet. The smartphone has a completely separate path of progress, meaning the player has to play each level twice. This makes progress through the game twice as long. (This problem can be fixed by signing up for the game on Facebook, but no one really wants their Facebook friends to know they spend so much time crushin' candy.)

    The Asus PadFone X is the dream solution to this nightmare of a problem.

    Available exclusively from AT&T, the device is actually two devices. A standalone smartphone can be plugged into a tablet computer, meaning the owner can take his pick of how he wants to play the game, and all the progress he makes is saved on one device's hard drive.

    AT&T loaned us a device that we tested for more than two weeks -- didn't like having to send it back -- and we found a lot of its qualities and quirks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071014_sugar rush1.jpg Sweet summer: Candy factory opens floor for tours, tasting

    When family from Kansas City came to visit Christy Albertson in her family's Webb City home, she wanted to find something entertaining for five kids.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_108172906 Benji Tunnell: 'Transformers' reaches new level of terrible filmmaking

    Then there's "Transformers: Age of Extinction," a film so bereft of originality, spontaneity and life that one would assume its creator must be a talentless hack. That's when you remember that it was directed by Michael Bay.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marta-mug.jpg Marta Churchwell: Crystal Bridges' coup makes art world cry foul

    I find Eastern art snobs insufferable. I have little patience for their pretentious eyebrow-raising over anything unworthy of their refined tastes.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jermiah-Tucker-020812.jpg Jeremiah Tucker: Power pop plays perfectly for Fourth of July

    One of the best bits from the long-running -- and sadly now defunct -- "Best Show on WFMU" with Tom Scharpling was the character Power Pop Pop Pop. The independent call-in and comedy radio show explored this menacing, Godfather-like figure of the power pop community via one of his minions, played by the brilliant indie rock drummer and comedian Jon Wurster.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Joe Hadsall: Found-footage tornado movie may be terrifying

    Funny how all it takes is one little thing to bring back the full onslaught of tornado-related dread, desolation and depression. This time, it was a movie trailer.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • aisha-sultan-mug.jpg Aisha Sultan: Study shows popular kids peak too early

    It was, of course, a popular mean girl who made my life miserable in middle school.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

Speaking of Gardens

Facebook
Poll

A study, to be reported on in Sunday’s Globe, recently reviewed the market conditions across the region. Do you think this is a good time to start a business?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter