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Old February 21st, 2009, 11:31 AM   #41
mwg12a
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Yeah, we'll have to wait and see. Branson airport is mostly attracting LCCs, I believe AirTran openned up it's door with direct flight from Atlanta. So far, no other airlines are indicating interests. Branson's new airport which is set to open almost at the same time as the new Springfield's Midfield airport in May 9 (may 6 for springfield) has no taxiway and jet bridges, in my observation it might turn off airline companies, although, Springfield's plan to attact Southwest airlines to service the area might not take effect anytime soon because as you have mentioned already, might take some of the businesses away from Springfield because Southwest expressed that if Springfield reached a one million two hundred thousand passenger yearly, they would open a new route out of springfield.

Incidentally, Springfield Branson National airport just openned a direct flight to LAX , nonstop direct through Allegiant Air. It's a big plus and relief for springfield travellers since it would be alot cheaper and easier to fly in and out of Springfield. Alot of people are very excited with this plan. This plan would commence in May as well coinciding the openning of the new midway terminal. It sure beats other airlines with an introductory rate of 89 bucks one way. Full service airlines usually cost around $480 bucks or better and has no direct service out of springfield. now we have direct flights to Orlando, tampa, Phoenix, Las Vegas and LAX via Allegiant Air while the full service airlines like United, Delta and NW has direct service to Dallas, Denver, Minneappolis, Detroit and Atlanta.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:50 AM   #42
urbanjim
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^Not to be a pessimist... but getting 1,200,000 yearly enplanements is an extremely lofty goal, considering the airport had 390,626 in 2008.

Springfield-Branson National will definately need to market itself to lure the Branson-bound travellers so as not to become just a Springfield airport.
Having "Branson" as part of the name is probably the wisest decision of all. It gives the impression that it's conveniently-located near Branson-- which isn't entirely true, but then again it's not completely false.

Playing up the features and advantages that Springfield's airport has over Branson's should be the main focus. Like you mentioned, having the taxiway and jet bridges are two. Close proximity to the interstate would be another.

And too, the city of Springfield must market iself as not just a place to deboard a flight, but as another destination. Give visitors the idea that a trip to Southwest Missouri would be even more enjoyable with a couple nights spent in Branson and a couple in Springfield!
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:52 PM   #43
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I agree with you, it would be a lofty goal, especially now that Branson has it's own airport. It's probably nearly impossible for now with the current economic crisis we are experiencing in the country as well as world wide.

Bass Pro is the only major source for tourism for the City of Springfield. The Wonder's of life is considered a flop but the BassPro owner is taking over it's management and currently giving the Museum a facelift which incidentally being connected to BassPro shop and museum. Other possible source of passengers would be business people, leisure travelers to L.A. Vegas, Orlando and Tampa. otherwise, students from the four major universities here in town.

I have no idea what happened to that plan about World War or aeronotic Museum that was set to rise somewhere along I-44.

I don't think Branson airport is real close to US highway 65 that's the advantage of the Springfield Branson National Airport, it's right off I-44. Greene County population is over 500,000 then you have the neighboring counties. Branson has alot lesser population than that so the airport clients would definitely come from out of town and out of state.

We'll just have to wait and see but I know for sure that Branson airport would have an impact on Springfield.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:02 PM   #44
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The stats I found say that Greene County had a population of 263,980 in 2007. Maybe you were referring to the MSA (400,000+).
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:15 PM   #45
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Might have been. I kind of look at the Roadatlas and found greene country's population there. I know the city proper is alot lesser than that.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 02:48 AM   #46
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I don't think that Branson and Springfields airports are going to be competing for travelers. Branson airport is something like 10 minutes south of Branson, making it like over an hour drive from downtown Springfield.

I read somewhere that Springfield Airport passengers are like 5% or less tourists to Branson so maby the new airport will get more tourists flying into the area while the Springfield Airport will continue to be the buisness airport so they will compliment each other and hopefully both bring more tourists dollars to the ozarks.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 04:53 AM   #47
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mwg12a said: "Bass Pro is the only major source for tourism for the City of Springfield."

Don't sell the city short! There are lots of things to appeal to visitors, beyond Bass Pro. Such as:

Air and Military Museum
BalloonSport USA
Battle of Springfield Driving Tour
Battlefield Mall
Calaboose
Commercial Street Historic District
Crystal Cave
Dickerson Park Zoo
Discovery Center
Dr Clarke History Museum
Fantastic Caverns
Gray/Campbell Farmstead
History Museum for Springfield-Greene County
Honey Heaven & The Vineyard Tearoom
JumpMania
Lake Springfield Park Boathouse & Marina
The Library Station
Mediacom Ice Park
Missouri Institute of Natural Science - Riverbluff Cave
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
Mizumoto Stroll Garden-Nathanael Greene Park
PFI Town
Pythian Castle
Railroad Historical Museum, Inc.
Softball Museum
Springfield Art Museum
Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Springfield Hot Glass Studio
Springfield Raceway
Ted E. Bear's Toy Factory
USS Lapon Sail and Memorial
Wild Animal Safari
Wild Bill Hickok Shootout
Wineries
Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium
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Old February 24th, 2009, 04:15 AM   #48
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I've lived in Springfield most of my life and have no idea what most of these things are, I bolded the ones I've never heard of.
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanjim View Post
mwg12a said: "Bass Pro is the only major source for tourism for the City of Springfield."

Don't sell the city short! There are lots of things to appeal to visitors, beyond Bass Pro. Such as:

Air and Military Museum
BalloonSport USA
Battle of Springfield Driving Tour
Battlefield Mall
Calaboose
Commercial Street Historic District (whats historic about it?)
Crystal Cave
Dickerson Park Zoo
Discovery Center
Dr Clarke History Museum
Fantastic Caverns
Gray/Campbell Farmstead
History Museum for Springfield-Greene County
Honey Heaven & The Vineyard Tearoom
JumpMania
Lake Springfield Park Boathouse & Marina (I didn't realize our pond had a boathouse)
The Library Station
Mediacom Ice Park
Missouri Institute of Natural Science - Riverbluff Cave
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
Mizumoto Stroll Garden-Nathanael Greene Park
PFI Town
Pythian Castle (closed due to city zoning or something but is a cool place)
Railroad Historical Museum, Inc.
Softball Museum
Springfield Art Museum
Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Springfield Hot Glass Studio
Springfield Raceway
Ted E. Bear's Toy Factory
USS Lapon Sail and Memorial
Wild Animal Safari (isn't this in Straford, not Springfield)
Wild Bill Hickok Shootout
Wineries
Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium
Some better things to add to that list would include
Gilloz & Landers theatres
Juanita Hall for Performing arts
Hammons Field
Friday Art Walk
Ozark Blues Fest
Galloway village
Springfield Brewing Co.
JQH Arena
Tournement of Champions (one of if not the best high school Bball tourney in country)
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Old February 24th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #49
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Believe me, there are always local attractions that get overlooked. I continue to discover new things in my city that I didn't know existed, (even though I've lived here all my life!)

As far as your highlighted items, my sources say:

Balloon Sport USA offers hot air ballon flights over the Springfield area.
Battle of Springfield Driving Tour is a self-guided tour related to the Civil War.
Calaboose is an historical building opened as a jail in 1891.
Dr Clarke History Museum relates to scouting in the Ozarks.
Honey Heaven is the Ozark's largest apiary.
JumpMania is an indoor inflatable park for kids.
Lake Springfield Boathouse rents canoes and kayaks.
The Softball Museum is located in the Killian Sports Complex.
Springfield Hot Glass Studio is a working classmaking center on S Campbell.
Springfield Raceway is located adjacent to the airport.
Ted E Bear's Toy Factory is similar to /Build-a-bear Workshops.
The USS Lapon Memorial features the famous cold war nuclear submarine.
Wineries- International Wine Center on S Glenstone, and OOVVDA Winery on N Berry Lane, north of I-44.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 06:29 AM   #50
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I myself doesn't know those you listed above really existed. JumpMania for instance is just a place where kids can slide and jump on an inflated giant toys. There is a place however that is worth seing, it's called Discovery Center. It's like a science project kids would enjoy and I must admit adults find it very informative and fun as well, it brings out the kid in them.

The springfield park boat and Marina is somewhat new although the tourist doesn't really pay much attention to it, neither do local residents, I mean some residents go there for peace and quiet time.

You do fail to mention Fantastic Cavern, that is worth seing as well for tourists.


Battlefield Mall? That's just so so, it's nothing like the huge malls like up in St Louis, they did renovate it and carries a bit more close to high end brands , sorta....
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Old February 28th, 2009, 02:56 AM   #51
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So going back to my original point: Springfield should actively promote itself as a tourist destination. And the greatest available source of tourists would be the 8 million annual visitors to Branson.

To some, it may seem like there's too much distance between Springfield and Branson for the two cities to "share" the same visitors. But they're just 44 miles apart... I mean, not exactly a day's drive. (To put it into perspective for St Louisans reading this: That's about the same distance that someone staying in a Collinsville hotel would be from Six Flags.)

I think Springfield has a lot of plusses, and also a tremendous potential for growth and gained regional importance.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:57 AM   #52
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Branson is definitely not far from Springfield, it is actually connected via US higway 65 from I-44. US65 has been widened and expanded several years back, so, the communute or drive between springfield and branson is a breeze. US 65 actually extended down to arkansas leading down to LittleRock so it is as good as interstate highway down south quicker, we can now actually go to four points in two in a half hour one way each directions(St Louis, Kansas City, Tulsa and Little Rock).

But you're right, Springfield should actively promote itself as a tourist destination, most tourist check both cities anyway when they travel down to Branson, majority of the tourists would try and make their way up to Springfield and check the city out and especially BassPro ofcourse.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #53
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I dug up some other stats on the area:

*Springfield has about 6,000 hotel rooms
*Around 3 million annual visitors stay overnight in city hotels or with family and friends
*Officials put the annual number of overnight visitors in Branson at between 4 and 5 million
*Bass Pro is currently the number one tourist attraction in Missouri with about 4 million annual visitors
*Total retail sales for the Springfield MSA: $5.9 billion per year
*The Springfield Economic Area is a 29-county region with a population of more than 977,728

Good quote: "When it comes to tourism, we feel that Branson compliments Springfield and Springfield compliments Branson, so I really see no competition there" says Tracy Kimberlin, Director of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 06:26 AM   #54
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Thanks for that info Jim. I do believe Branson and Springfield compliments each other when it comes to tourism. We will see how much more impact we'll get since there are direct flights to LAX and springfield.

I tried to take pictures today when I had a chance but i called it off since it l didn't feel it is safe when the road is sleek and icy from the earlier today's snow fall.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:39 AM   #55
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Although I've been a Missourian all my life, I had never visited Springfield; just drove by it to get to Branson. That is, until a few summers ago. I finally got the chance to see part of central Springfield. It was too brief a visit though, because admittedly, I was actually trying to get to Eureka Springs, AR.
But what I did see of Springfield was impressive: It's a pretty bustling place, yet the streets are clean, and it felt welcoming.
Of course I did the mandatory Bass Pro thing. Which was a novelty at the time, because there was nothing like it in St Louis. Now we have our own Bass Pro, (as well as a Dick's Sporting Goods and a Cabella's,) but they are no match for Springfield's Bass Pro.
Incidentally, I discovered an "expressway" running along the southern edge of the city. Is this something new to Springfield?
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Old March 4th, 2009, 05:48 AM   #56
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You mean Kansas expressway which is also business US highway 13? That's not really much of an expressway. I guess when it was first built, it's supposed to serve the purpose but with city's growing population, it serves no less than an avenue with stop lights and intersection along it's whole stretch. There is also the West Bypass that ended up in the same faith as kansas expressway, the city seems to be spreading towards west.

If you were refering to Schoolcraft freeway, that's US highway 65 that would lead you down to Branson and LittleRock once you cross the MO-Ark border. It also connects with US highway 60 which is also known as Veterans memorial freeway that leads and connects you to I-44 west.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #57
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Well, on my map, the highway I drove on is called both Rte 60 and the James River Freeway. And the portion I drove on was definitely a limited-access freeway.
So don't I-44, Rte 60 and Rte 65 form a continuous non-stop loop around Springfield? That's what it looks like on the map.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 05:21 AM   #58
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Yes on I-44 (know known as Payne Stewart highway), RTE/US highway 60 (also called Korean Veterans memorial freeway) and Rte/US highway 65 (Known as Schoolcraft Freeway) as a continous non- stop loop around Springfield.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 02:52 AM   #59
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I'm curious: What's the current status of the College Station development in downtown Springfield? Has ground been broken yet?
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Old March 8th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #60
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It's has been built and there are establishments running already. I haven't been going downtown for months and months. I'll take some pictures if I happen to wander around that direction. It starting to warm up already, I'm sure one way or another, I'd end up around that area. Last time I went there was during the openning of The Hollywood Theaters.. There are new level parking built and there were lofts available around or close to it.
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