The Spirit of 76 will transform 5 miles of the Highway 76 strip with what amounts to an expansive streetscape project- new streets and broad walkways, modern lighting and trees and landscaping. There will also be gateways and signage for travelers.
"Even with all the decades of growth in Branson, 76 still- as a corridor- generates one third of the revenue of this entire community. So, it is still the heart and soul of economic vitality," explained Sabin Yanez, Spirit of 76 .
The project, costing between about $80-million, would be funded by a proposed Community Improvement District and possibly a 1% retail sales tax. A current tourism tax would also help. The mechanism still has to be finalized in the coming months.
For months, developers and city have met with the public to get their input on what they would like to see. On Friday morning, the project team met with stakeholders and property owners, to present details about the first phase of construction of this project.
"The improvements we are looking at with the city go far beyond roadways, sidewalks, bicycle. there is much more features to it," explained Sabin Yanez. "This really is the culmination of crating a linear amusement park on 76. So, when people come to visit here, they would no longer look and say they are going to ride the go-karts. They would say, 'Lets go spend the day on 76."
MoDOT, the City of Branson still have to sign off on the plan. If it all goes through, construction on the first phase of the five miles could begin sometime in the early part of this coming year.