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Branson reports progress on ‘lodging safety initiative’ as city shuts down 6 establishments

The Branson, Missouri waterfront along Lake Taneycomo is seen in this Sept. 7, 2022 photo.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
The Branson, Missouri waterfront along Lake Taneycomo is seen in this Sept. 7, 2022 photo.

Back in September, Branson launched a “lodging safety initiative” to ensure motels and hotels comply with public health and safety rules. The city issued a progress update this week.

As NPR reported several years ago, many working families in Branson fall into what’s sometimes called the “extended stay motel trap” due to income disruptions from the seasonal tourism economy. It’s typically more quiet in Branson during the winter months.

This week — after six months of what Branson officials call their “lodging safety initiative” — the city reported that they’ve recently shut down six lodging establishments.

Violations included failure to address life and safety issues, not having a valid business license and very late payments on city water bills.

Cathy Stepp is Branson’s city administrator and a former Environmental Protection Agency official during the Trump adminstration.

She said in a Wednesday news release the lodging safety initiative is “a strategic effort to reinforce the credibility and legitimacy” of Branson’s business licensing system.

Officials said most of Branson’s lodging industry “routinely” follows legal safety requirements.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.