Developer proposes $446M water park, resort in Missouri

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — A $446 million indoor-outdoor water park and resort is being proposed as a new attraction for a city in southwestern Missouri.

The Branson Adventures project would include a 100,000-square-foot water park and resort in Branson, including restaurants, a spa, alpine bike and rope courses, along with a whitewater rafting course.

Project developer David Cushman told the Springfield News-Leader that an indoor water park resort with a whitewater rafting course would be the first of its kind in the United States. He said the park could accommodate 200,000 people per year on site.

Cushman’s company, CP Branson LLC, will meet with a commission to determine whether the project could receive tax-increment financing. A so-called TIF plan would help pay for the project with tax abatements over a 23-year period, though some community members oppose the idea.

“It doesn’t seem to me that (Branson Adventures is) offering a lot of new things. Lodging and indoor water parks, I mean, we have those,” said Peter Marcellus, president of Branson’s school board.

He said siphoning off money from existing businesses doesn’t seem fair for a project that’s similar to others in the area.

Branson Mayor Karen Best supports the project, saying she believes the city is balancing economic development with protecting taxpayer interests.

“I am very excited about projects wanting to come to Branson that will provide year-round employment, which this project does,” Best said.

If the TIF commission recommends the park, the city’s board of aldermen will consider the project on March 27.

Construction could begin next year and be completed in phases until 2023.

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