Developers have announced their plans for an aquarium on the site of the Grand Palace in Branson, Missouri.
If approved, a new 46-thousand square foot “Aquarium at the Boardwalk” will open on the site of the former theatre.
Kuvera Partners, based in California will complete the project in phases. The company purchased the palace four years ago.
Tej Sundher, a developer with the company says the first phase will be completed using tax increment financing – also known as TIF.
He said: “So we are fully funded, if TIF is approved to move forward right away.”
Kuvera Partners also operates Branson’s Hollywood Wax Museum.
Sundher said this had raised concern: “So we listened through the last process of TIF. One of the biggest concerns, and understandably so, is that our neighboring business would get displaced by the aquarium.”
He said that Kuvera hired a marketing firm to address those concerns.
“We hired H2R to do a study to see what would be the impact of an Aquarium come in here. We were very pleased that by bringing an aquarium. there would be some displacement. But all of that would be replaced by additional people we brought into Branson. Through either extended stay, coming more often or new customers that we talked about before.”
The “Aquarium at the Boardwalk” will be different from nearby “Wonders of Wildlife”.
“We’re going to bring different things, we’re really going to focus on fun interactiveness. His is wondrous with beautiful big tanks. Ours is going to fun and exciting for toddlers to parents,” Sundher said.
“One of the preliminary funding agreements is that we would pay for consultants through the city for them to be able to do that kind of research so that the city of Branson wasn’t footing any of that bill.”
The project is scheduled for completion by March of 2020.