Branson Area Business Leaders Support Tourism

Posted In: Press Release by BART Campaign Chairman

BART Campaign Chairman
Branson Area Regional Tourism
Branson, MO   65616

Friends of Branson Area Regional Tourism (BART) is pleased to announce that Jim Barber has accepted to lead the team of independent business leaders as Campaign Chairman to promote the renewal of the Branson/Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District 1% sales tax in April.

A new website to promote the campaign will go live January 1st, but in the meantime, all area residents and business leaders are encouraged to sign-up for current updates by visiting

BART Campaign Officers include Rod Glaze – Treasurer, Mike Pitman – Secretary, Steve Critchfield – Fund Raising Chairman, and Derek Smith – Financial Advisor. Additional business leaders serving the committee include Renee’ Johnson, Mel Bilbo, Randy Brashers, and Arno Wehr.

Barber is a nationally recognized entertainer who has based his career in Branson since first joining the Glen Campbell Goodtime Show in the mid 1990’s. In July he announced his year-end departure from the Hamner Barber Theater where he has co-starred for the past decade.

His strong background in broadcasting and multimedia marketing, combined with over 35 years in the entertainment industry, uniquely qualifies Barber to represent this initiative. Behind the scenes, he has actively promoted tourism in our area for many years. He currently volunteers as Chairman of the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, President of the League of Branson Theatre Owners & Show Producers, and is a member of the Branson Area District Marketing Council.

“I am honored and excited to accept this position on behalf of the Branson Area Regional Tourism committee, and the thousands of residents and businesses who make Branson their home,” says Barber. “Tourism is the life-blood of our community. The renewal of the TCED Tourism Tax on April 8th will ensure continued growth in the area and a prosperous future for us all.”

Since collection of this tax began in 2006, it has generated approximately $7 million annually for marketing the Branson region as a major tourism destination. This has benefited residents, businesses, organizations, and visitors not only in our area, but across the state of Missouri.

“Most of the money collected from this tax is derived from millions of tourists who come to play, shop, and be entertained in our unique community,” Barber states. “These visitors are introduced to Branson as a destination, and choose to vacation here as a direct result of these marketing efforts.”

The cost of this sales tax to local residents is minimal, while the benefits are enormous. In fact, an independent study showed that if an average resident made every single taxable purchase within the district, their additional expense would be less than $27.00 over an entire year. Most items consumed by locals are not included in this tax at all. Items such as groceries, prescription drugs, gasoline, all utilities, telephone service, cable television, motor vehicles, boats, trailers, outboard motors or funeral services are not affected in any way.

Barber went on to add, “My family and I love this community and have been earning our living here since 1994. During that time, Branson has experienced growing pains, both good and bad. Many of our local businesses are currently going through struggles, but I reject the notion that this town is dying as some might suggest. On the contrary, I believe that Branson is on the verge of an exciting period of renewal in which we will see a major increase in our popularity as a travel destination, with new and exciting opportunities for our residents, shows, attractions and local businesses. Renewal of the TCED tourism tax on April 8th will keep us on track for future success.”

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