Aquarium Proposed For Grand Palace Property
Kuvera Partners has announced its long-awaited plans for the Grand Palace property. The group is proposing to build and operate “Aquarium at the Boardwalk” on the northwest corner of the site, with the goal of starting construction early next year and opening March 2020.
The company purchased the parcel on September 30, 2014 from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation through its associated entity, Branson Entertainment Center – Branson, LLC (BECB). Since that time, the group, which also owns and operates the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center in Branson, has been studying the best use for the highly-visible property at the center of the Branson strip.
“We are thrilled to finally be able to reveal our vision of bringing Aquarium at the Boardwalk to the Branson community,” says Tej Sundher, Partner. “Three years ago, even I would not have guessed that this is the direction we would go, but an aquarium tested best by far in consumer research, and we are really excited about what we’re proposing to offer,” he says.
One of Kuvera’s hallmarks is using real data to validate its hunches and drive its decisions. In this case, the group commissioned eight consumer studies with H2R Market Research of Springfield, MO, a leader in providing consumer insights in the travel and tourism industry. The research showed that an aquarium would be a popular addition to the Branson market, noting “The aquarium was the overarching winner by far. It casts the broadest net and earned the highest overall appeal across consumer segments.”
Kuvera says that Branson’s aquarium has been planned to be different than any other aquarium. “Aquarium at the Boardwalk will be focused on fish and fun,” says Sundher. “Right at the start, we’re creating the atmosphere of a classic boardwalk and then taking you under the sea to explore and play and get great photos, along with enjoying spectacular views of a wide variety of sea animals.”
Currently, special legal counsel and financial advisors for the City of Branson are conducting a review to recommend whether the project qualifies for tax increment financing needed for Kuvera to green light the Aquarium. If the City approves tax increment financing, Kuvera has the rest of the financing in place to begin construction immediately and open in March of 2020.
To stay up-to-date on the Kuvera Partners proposed Aquarium at the Boardwalk, visit www.aquariumattheboardwalk.com.