The city of Osage Beach may use billboards to entice motorists to drive into the business district.

The city of Osage Beach may use billboards to entice motorists to drive into the business district.

Aldermen instructed the city staff to identify which roadside billboards would best serve the various businesses at the request of Mayor Penny Lyons. She told the board several business owners had approached her about the city leasing billboard space along the Expressway from either the west or east to advertise shopping, restaurants, entertainment, services, etc.

The idea would be to generate more business along Osage Beach Parkway, similar to what the Bagnell Dam Strip Association did for the Strip and Lake Ozark on Highway 54 east of Lake Ozark.

“This would be a preliminary fix, but it would help us a lot,” she said.

Rich Martin, a sales rep for Lamar Advertising, was contacted about cost. The city could lease a billboard for $500 a month plus a $750 setup fee for the vinyl advertising. Individual businesses would not be advertised. The sign would promote business in general.

City staff will provide updated information at the next board meeting in April.

The city and business owners along Osage Beach Parkway, especially those west of the Grand Glaize Bridge, have struggled to find any type of solution to the decline in business along the Parkway since the Expressway was opened last year. Some type of signage has been discussed, including a welcome sign on the west end of the city.

In a related comment, Aldermen Ron Schmitt noted that Molotoft Cocktails on the Parkway near Key Largo has done some creative promotion of its business to entice new customers. He suggested other business could learn from the leadership at the bar/restaurant.

Alderman Steve Kahrs also asked the staff to find out the status of new Business District signage promised by MoDOT for the Expressway.

Alderman Kevin Rucker asked for an update on a letter from Rep. Rocky Miller to MoDOT regarding possible improvements to the Key Largo/Osage Beach Parkway/Expressway area. The issue is expected to be on the next agenda.