Industry Update

April 1, 2008

The NEW Branson Airport

The Branson area’s new commercial airport is now under construction within the Branson Creek development, and will be approximately 8 miles south of the center of Branson. Access to the Airport will be by Branson Creek Boulevard. This site will be owned by, and is entirely located within, Taney County, Missouri. The airport will accommodate various types of commercial aircraft (except wide-bodies such as 747s), enabling non-stop and direct air service from anywhere in the continental United States. When completed, the Airport will have complete auto rental and ground transportation capabilities. The airfield will consist of a single, 7,140-foot-long, 150-foot-wide runway.

The Airport will be the first privately financed and operated commercial airport in the United States. There has not been a brand new, non-replacement airport built in the United States in more than 30 years. Groundbreaking was Tuesday, July 17, 2007. Construction is scheduled to take approximately 22 months, with the airport scheduled to open in May 2009, in time for the spring/summer tourism season. The terminal facility will be approximately 45,000 square feet of floor space and 6,000 square feet of canopy-covered area. The terminal will be designed to comfortably process 500,000 deplaning passengers per year. The new terminal is designed so that it can be added onto as needed and will eventually be able to handle up to 750,000 deplaning passengers per year, should the need grow as expected.

For more information, contact Executive Director Jeff Bourk at (417) 334-7813 or visit

Creative Producers Group Recognized by the Business Marketing Association with 2007 TAM Awards

Creative Producers Group (CPG) won three TAM Awards in the 2007 competition created and judged by the Business Marketing Association (BMA). CPG walked away with a Best in Class, a Gold and a Bronze award.

The Best in Class was awarded for the entry titled, “United Van Lines – Van Operator of the Year.” It was a collection of videos entered in the Electronic Presentation category. Produced for United Van Lines, the world’s largest moving company, it was made especially for the company’s annual convention where the best of United’s van operators are honored for their exemplary performance throughout the year.

The Gold award was won in the Business Meetings/Events category and was presented for “2007 Family Reunion,” an entry produced for Panera Bread. The “Family Reunion” is Panera’s annual convention, which – though used as a platform for achievement recognition and goal setting – consistently maintains the familial spirit of the company’s roots. CPG created a meeting that was focused on the people of Panera, utilizing pictures and imagery to attract the largest audience in the company’s history.

The Bronze award was given for the entry “Chief Executives Organization: Experience Uncommon Connections.” This award was achieved in the Identity Package category. This was a submission of marketing pieces reflecting the re-branding of Chief Executives Organization (CEO). CPG designed the company’s new Web site,, and collateral to match. This includes CEO’s new brand mark and tagline, “experience. uncommon. connections.”

Creative Producers Group is a marketing, training and communications company that provides strategic solutions through Web, video, collateral and events. Based in St. Louis, Mo., CPG is part of a network of companies with offices throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Vin de Set Open for Lunch

Hoping to replicate the success of St. Louis sister restaurant Eleven Eleven Mississippi, Vin de Set officially opened for lunch on January 8, 2008. Lunch hours are Tuesday thru Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Now you can enjoy the creations of chef Ivy Magruder for lunch as well as dinner. Magruder says, “the a la carte lunch menu includes smaller versions of our most popular dinner entrées as well as a new lineup of sandwiches and salads created especially for lunch.” Vin de Set is open all afternoon for a late business lunch or an afternoon meeting. Four private dining areas are available for large groups and business meetings as well.

For more information or to take a tour, contact Director of Operations Jason Arnold at (314) 517-0671 or email  [email protected].

KLEERTECH GOES green with new biodegradable badge holders and accessories

Unfortunately, waste generated per event by convention and trade show participants is significant and well documented. For suppliers to this industry, the unspoken challenge is  how to get the same things done, but with environmental sustainability?

KLEERTECH has found a type of plastic material available today that answers this question: PLA (Polyactide). All BIOTECH™ Badge System products contain plant-based PLA, which has an accelerated rate of decomposition.

PLA is a biopolymer derived from an annually renewable resource found in natural plant sugars (corn) manufactured by NatureWorks®. Peer-reviewed and published life-cycle analysis (LCA) data show that PLA requires fewer fossil resources and generates fewer greenhouse gases than traditional plastics.

Composting is the new method of recovery for bioplastic and it is also the only way to actualize the degradation process. Badge holders made with 100% NatureWorks® will compost in municipal/industrial facilities according to ISO, CEN, ASTM-6400, BPI and DIN regulations.

Ecotoxicity testing after composting shows absolutely no toxic or harmful by-products. NatureWorks® PLA uses 62%-68% fewer fossil fuel resources in its manufacturing and is the world’s first family of commercially available polymers, with significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, derived from 100% annually renewable resources with cost and performance.

Only after materials have been independently validated by certified ASTM laboratories will they be used to manufacture BIOTECH™ Badge System products.


Wonders of Wildlife, the National Fish and Wildlife Museum, is moving forward with major expansion and renovation to the museum and aquarium, now in their sixth year.

The expansion will enhance the visitor experience with more water features and live animals, a new atrium/ticket space connecting the museum to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and all-new Wildlife Galleries. The renovations will allow visitors to see the Wildlife Galleries at Bass Pro and the WOW Museum & Aquarium in one experience.

Flanking the aquarium will be a large reflecting pool that will set the stage for the visitor experience. The new entrance will allow the Wonders of Wildlife attraction to expand its usable exhibit space and animal collection, bringing the overall facility to more than 150,000 square feet.

The renovation and construction began in December 2007. WOW could be closed for up to six months during construction.

For more information contact Wonders of Wildlife at (417) 225-1008 or Susan Wade at the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, (417) 799-0401.

Places to Go Things to Do Travels to the Web

Places to Go Things to Do Travel is pleased to announce the launch of This Web site allows you to see all of the exceptional travel services that Places to Go Things to Do Travel has to offer. When it’s time to travel, experience the difference in Places to Go Things to Do Travel!

For more information, contact Geneva Smith, Travel Agent/Owner, at (314) 438-1166. Certified MBE/WBE.

Missouri Tourism Director is Optimistic for 2008

Blaine Luetkemeyer, Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism, gave an optimistic outlook for Missouri tourism in 2008 during his luncheon talk to the Missouri Society of Association Executives on November 2, 2007, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.

“According to surveys, vacationing is the number one thing that people over 55 want to do,” explains Luetkemeyer. The desire to get out and see something new, or do something new, made tourism the number two industry in Missouri, just behind agriculture. More than 289,000 people are employed in Missouri’s tourism industry, which generated $13.1 billion in revenue last year.

Luetkemeyer explains that when the Division of Tourism was created in 1967, it received funding from general revenues. In 1994, innovative new legislation changed the method, so that funding now comes from a percentage of tax revenues generated from businesses in the tourism industry. This way, no new taxes are created to finance the division’s marketing efforts. In addition, using a formula as tourism revenues grow, a percentage of those revenues will go to the division to increase its budget, with a cap of $3 million per year. Luetkemeyer noted that tourism revenues increased enough for the division to receive an additional $2.89 million for 2007, and it has qualified for the maximum additional amount of $3 million for 2008.

Luetkemeyer notes that Missouri ranks 13th in visitation, but only 19th in revenue. “We’re one of the best weekend destinations, but one of the worst week-long destinations.” One of his goals is to increase the length of visitor stays.

Statistics predict that international visitors will increase in the coming years, from five to seven percent, so the division is working to attract international tourists. “Many international visitors want to see the Midwest. They want to see ‘real Americans.’ Fifty percent of these tourists want to see rural areas. They want new experiences, and to see something different,” he says. Luetkemeyer recently flew to the United Kingdom and met with representatives to encourage visitation from the U.K. to Missouri.

One of the biggest challenges Luetkemeyer sees is the safety and security of visitors. “Several years ago, St. Louis was listed as the most unsafe city in the U.S.,” he says. Changing this perception, plus improving infrastructure such as roads, rail, planes and signage, will be needed. He also notes that there are no international flights to Missouri, making it harder to get here from international destinations.

A growing trend is that more people are using the Internet to book travel. “More than 40% of people regularly read online about vacation travel,” says Luetkemeyer. “Our recent international bike race got more than 100,000 hits from 122 different countries. The racing teams and racing officials were very favorably impressed by our enthusiasm, such as the 1,600 cheering kids that lined the streets in Lebanon when they came through town. We’re considering expanding the race by a day.”

Luetkemeyer doesn’t see a problem in competing with other states. “We have more theater seats than New York City. The Lake of the Ozarks has more coastline than the state of California. The Civil War started here with the border wars, and we have the third most Civil War sites,” he says.

Luetkemeyer is optimistic, and is aiming high. “My goal is to make Missouri the most memorable destination in the nation.”

New Resort/Conference Center to Open in the Lake of the Ozarks

The Resort and Yacht Club at Toadcove is a 116-room, all-suite, upscale, lakeside and lake view resort and conference center located in the rolling hills of beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. The Resort and Yacht Club specializes in the very best of guest services and group functions, with the goal of providing an impeccable guest experience that is unparalleled in central Missouri.

Its 10,000 square feet of meeting and function space includes a 6,600-square-foot ballroom that is three times divisible, an executive conference room and a reception/breakout room with a lake view and outdoor seating. An abundance of outdoor meeting space is available as well. There is also a 44-seat movie and presentation theater that is PowerPoint-ready, equipped with Surround Sound and laptop-friendly seating.

The Resort and Yacht Club features full-service onsite catering. Other amenities include valet parking, shuttle service, dedicated concierge, turn-down service, in-room dining, full-service spa, fitness center, and a marina with boat and wave runner rentals. There are also a heated, open-air pool with swim-up beverage facilities, two Jacuzzis, waterfall and fire pit; heated, open-air sand volleyball court; martini bar; and Tiki bar.

The Four Seasons Hotel Opens Its Doors in St. Louis

On February 4th, 2008, the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis opened its doors after nearly a year of preparation. An inside look at this process illuminates what a massive effort it takes to meet the standards set by the world’s premier luxury hospitality company:

• Held 4 job fairs

• Interviewed 3,312 applicants

• Hired 266 employees

• Paid an average of 160 hours of training per new employee

• As of January 28, 2008, paid 36,160 of training hours

The company’s legendary guest service is a point of pride and one of the most important cornerstones of its brand. Each team member is carefully selected and trained to ensure that they embody the Four Seasons culture at all times.

The Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis is the 76th hotel in the company’s portfolio, which spans 31 countries. St. Louis staff was brought in from 12 different nations and is as geographically diverse as the company itself.

In preparation to satisfy the needs and tastes of every discriminating customer, the Four Seasons Hotel has recently received 90 semi-truckloads of highest quality goods; 10,000 luxury towels; 4,400 silk-covered, padded clothes hangers; 4,500 bottles of wine; 100 Herman Miller chairs for guest rooms; and a 40-foot-tall custom chandelier.

Designed by Marnell Architecture, the Las Vegas firm responsible for the Mirage and the Bellagio, the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis is a beacon in the skyline. The 19-story hotel tower’s defining feature is an oversized light box – 650 feet of illumination stretching up, over and down the edges of the building. Contained within the light box are 500,000 LED lights capable of producing 16 million different colors and a wide array of patterns.

The Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis offers 200 guest rooms, the upscale Cielo bar and restaurant, a full-service spa and a 25,000-square-foot outdoor terrace that overlooks the Gateway Arch and downtown skyline. It is located in the new Lumiere Place development owned by Pinnacle Entertainment. Information on the company and the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis can be accessed through the corporate Web site at


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