Can Aquariums in Branson and Springfield Both Be Successful? Yes!

Since Kuvera Partners announced its plans for the proposed Aquarium at the Boardwalk, there have been some questions about a potential conflict with Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield.

“Our study of this situation and experience in the attractions industry tells us that there is nothing to worry about here,” says Tej Sundher, Partner. “We have seen, time and again, that having more than one type of attraction in a region actually heightens overall public awareness, and that turns out to be beneficial for both facilities. In fact, there are ‘like attractions’ even closer to one another than an hour’s drive that are all quite successful.”

Some examples of multiple aquariums that are thriving in the same marketplaces are:

  • Seaquest in Littleton, CO and Downtown Aquarium in Denver, CO are 14 miles apart.
  • OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, AZ and Sea Life Arizona Aquarium in Tempe, AZ are 16 miles apart.
  • Atlantic City Aquarium in Atlantic City, NJ and Seaport Aquarium in Wildwood, NJ are 43 miles apart.
  • Downtown Aquarium in Houston, TX; Aquarium Pyramid at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX; and Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson, TX are all within 54 miles of each other.

In addition to visiting aquariums throughout the United States, Kuvera Partners commissioned H2R Market Research to learn how visitors would react to having an aquarium in Branson.

The study was conducted in July 2018 – with W.O.W. already open and well-publicized.

H2R concluded that Aquarium at the Boardwalk is considered appealing and noteworthy. “After reviewing the Aquarium images and description, nearly nine in ten (86%) like the idea, significantly higher than H2R’s Proprietary Industry Norm,” according to CEO Jerry Henry. “Likewise, eight in ten revealed the Aquarium would generate market buzz, causing them to talk about it with friends, a figure that is also significantly higher than H2R’s Norm,” he says.

Additionally, the study showed a large increase in the number of people who said they would be likely to come to Branson if Aquarium at the Boardwalk was available. The Aquarium ranked highest as an attractor for people who have never been to Branson before (Non-Visitors) and people who have not returned to Branson for at least two years (Lapsed Visitors).

“Our goal was to create an attraction that will bring new customers to Branson,” says Sundher. “H2R asked people what they wanted, and an aquarium was the hands-down winner. It was data that pointed us to the conclusion that this attraction will be good for Branson and will be successful, despite having the beautiful Wonders of Wildlife available in Springfield.”

If Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is approved by the City of Branson, the proposed Aquarium at the Boardwalk could open at the corner of Glory Road and Highway 76 on the Grand Palace property in March 2020.

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