I drove up and down Music Country Boulevard Highway 76 yesterday, on the eve of the Branson Leapday EF2 Tornado six month anniversary, today, taking a few photographs to share with you. I observed three categories of circumstances among the businesses affected by the storm. These six months have well represented the resiliency of the Ozarks cultural heritage of which we can all be proud. Many businesses were able to fix what needed fixed and got right back to business, serving the millions of visitors we have had in the interim (1 of 3, yesterday). The second group, perhaps, faced some greater obstacles, and are just now getting back on track, or still struggling (2 of 3, here). The third group, for a variety of reasons, have found they have to start all over again (see 3 of 3).
Over the months, I have reported on progress of many of the businesses affected by the tornado. One I’ve been watching (see photo slideshow) that I’m pleased to see back in service is the Conoco Station at the corner of Highway 76 and Highway 165, even though a couple of the signs on the corner have not been replaced. Down the road to the east, it appears little has been done on the old Ozarksland building, that lost its second floor, but it has not been torn down, so it appears they plan to rebuild. Shoney’s has finally begun to show signs of renovation, at long last.
The Branson Variety Theater is now in the midst of a major facelift, at least, on the north side of Highway 76. We are very pleased to see this work moving forward. The Branson Mall location has been an interesting one to watch. It now appears that several acts are perfuming in the center of the building, even though a big L is still missing on the sign out front. The Big Sign out on Highway 76 is fully restored, but the west half of the building shows no sign of what will be done with it. Finally, Starvin Marvin’s popular restaurant was able to open fairly quickly, but is now doing so face-lift renovation, it appears. Good for them. Unfortunately, the Blue Bajou Motel across the parking lot is no more. More on that in my 3 of 3 report.
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