Sometimes there's a subtle difference between winning and losing.

A simple idea or a thoughtful decision can stand between mediocrity and success.

Sometimes there’s a subtle difference between winning and losing.

A simple idea or a thoughtful decision can stand between mediocrity and success.

The city of Osage Beach has taken a significant, visionary step forward to promote itself to the rest of the world — or at least to the hundreds of thousands of motorists in the Overland Park, Kan., area.

The city partnered with the Tri-County Lodging Association on a Promote Missouri Fund Program application through the Division of Tourism for fiscal year 2015.

While it’s a $2,000 hit on the city’s budget, the long-term impact for the city and the lake could be immeasurable.

Osage Beach will be able to flash its message on a digital billboard that has 421,657 impressions per week in an area just south of downtown KC. The city will be among the commercials flashed to motorists in the I-35/K-635 area during July and August this year, and May and June next year.

Camden County and Miller County also contributed to the TCLA effort and will share in spreading the good word about the lake.

The two counties and Osage Beach could just have easily said no, we’re not interested.

But they see the importance of promoting the lake not only in our own back yard but also in an expanding market circle.

It isn’t wasteful spending. Sure, some of the naysayers will say the money could be better spent “at home,” but the people who keep this economic boat afloat are the tourists.

We need them; they need us.

It’s a good arrangement.

So, shelling out a few thousand dollars now could pull in more than half a million in the long run.

A pretty good return on investment.

Alderman Steve Kahrs has stepped forward with an equally visionary idea that could benefit the city and help out the struggling west end of Osage Beach Parkway.

He suggested during a recent board of aldermen meeting that the city should be more aggressive in attracting festivals and events to the city — and especially to the west end of the Parkway. It’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be ignored, he said.

We agree.

The city can no longer rest on its laurels.

For years, Osage Beach was King of the Hill. But the upstart west side (Highway 5 side) and Lake Ozark have begun to figure out how to grab their share of the Pot of Gold that we call the Lake of the Ozarks.

Osage Beach still has the corner on the market, but there are others clamoring to reap the benefits.

Mayor Penny Lyons wasn’t as excited as Kahrs to seize the moment. She cited safety and liability issues in her apparent opposition to his visionary thinking.

The difference between success and failure is finding out a way to reach a goal, to solve a problem, to make something work. Making excuses won’t move the city forward.