Branson Landing hires local trio to spearhead opening year entertainment

A local trio of successful Branson entertainment producers have been secured to spearhead opening year events and entertainment for the $420 million Branson Landing project. America’s newest retail entertainment destination is moving full speed toward the next opening on May 26 and is making plans for a grand opening year full of major events and memorable entertainment.

Branson Landing has contracted with local producers to form a collaboration to create the opening year events and entertaining street atmosphere and characters. The team will be led by Bill Lennon with Joe Sullivan as a senior consultant and Gary Bartlett as co-producer.”I feel very comfortable with the skills and experiences that Joe and Gary bring to this team. We are going to have some fun,” Lennon said.

The team will create ribbon cutting events scheduled for May 26, a June 16 grand summer celebration with the christening of the Bellagio-style fountain, and the dramatic opening of the Christmas season on the Landing in October.

The audition and management of the street characters who will stroll the Landing will also be the responsibility of the team, according to Landing officials. “Branson Landing is designed to be a fun place to visit. I am pleased to have the opportunity to contribute some ideas to help create that fun, family atmosphere and experience,” Sullivan said.

“In a tourism market known for live entertainment like Branson, it is critical to create an atmosphere of celebration and good times day and night at Branson Landing,” President and CEO of HCW Development Richard Huffman said. “By hiring Bill, Joe and Gary we can be certain of the

quality of the events and experiences created for Branson Landing,” Huffman added.

The variety of late night experiences in Branson will be expanded with the opening of the Landing, which includes 10 restaurants, and the spectacular West Design custom water and fire show along the Lake Taneycomo waterfront in the new town square. “We feel that a stroll at the Landing, with the shops, lights, music and lake, will be a fine addition to the quality and variety of entertainment your can find in Branson everyday of the year,” Lennon said.

Branson Landing will celebrate a Grand Opening Year in 2006, which began with the Belk opening April 5. Retail openings continue on May 26 and Bass Pro Shops June 8, followed by the sensational summer celebration June 16. Special events will be featured monthly Maythrough December, celebrating the unique seasonal tourism of Branson.

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