The arduous task of improving the business climate on Osage Beach Parkway west of the Grand Glaize Bridge has moved to the next phase.

The arduous task of improving the business climate on Osage Beach Parkway west of the Grand Glaize Bridge has moved to the next phase.

The Citizens Advisory Committee has refined a list of short- and long-term ideas and several miscellaneous ideas after a Public Forum July 15 was followed this week by the third CAC meeting. Chairman Geniece Tyler will draft a letter to the CAC for final review before presenting the ideas to the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen in September.

The lengthy meeting July 22 offered CAC members a chance to review lists of ideas presented during the Public Forum by lake-area residents and business and property owners.

“We have quite a few, very unique items,” Tyler told the committee. “These are options, and they aren’t carved in stone. We’ll submit all of the ideas (to the board of aldermen), but we’ll narrow down a list of recommendations.”

The committee was activated several weeks ago by Mayor Penny Lyons with the objective of creating ways to improve the traffic flow and business environment along the west end of the Parkway.

Among the more unique ideas that emerged toward the end of the hour-plus meeting last week was to establish a Native American-based casino.

The generic suggestion was to create a tourist-friendly destination area for such things as a carnival, gambling or bingo.

That prompted Steve Kahrs, Ward 2 alderman, to expand on the idea.

The Osage Indians, who settled in this area, were believed to be part of the Trail of Tears, the ethnic cleansing and forced relocation of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. There are burial sites along the Osage River, Kahrs said.

“It can be done,” Kahrs said, “but it’ll cost money. The governor can approve a gambling license for an Indian tribe without legislative or voter approval.”

Public Forum, Summary of Ideas



Short Term Ideas

• Events – Festivals, car shows, merchant fairs, etc.

• Promotional video to promote Osage Beach

• TV commercials/other advertising

• Shootout festivities

• Poker runs

• Scavenger Hunt/geo‐caching

• 5K/10K runs

• Military/veteran activities, e.g. wounded warrior program

• Classic/antique boat and/or car show

• Holiday decoration contest among businesses

• A presence on social media outlets

• Family fun nights, e.g. bounce houses, movie projection

• Parades or other multi‐family events

Long Term Ideas

• Additional staff – economic developer/community developer

• Eliminate parkway dead‐end by extension of road

• Widen Nichols Road

• Increase outside organizational involvement  ― Chambers, CVB, etc.

• Formation of and cooperation with business associations

•Streamline permit process ―(such as sign permits, car show permits, event permits, any kind of permits); make permits free for five years, what will need insurance, car shows?

• TDD (Transportation Development District)

• Enterprise Zone

• Open the parkway from Camdenton

• Large neon sign showing “Exit” at west to east business district

•Clean up exit area west to east, ‘less desolation’ business exit, landscape

• Color coding each exit and west end

• Scenic bypass and business district

• Redirect or reroute traffic through the city

Other Ideas

• State Park to allow camping at Public Beach #2

• Verify traffic counts. Is perception reality?

• Zoning changes needed to promote growth?

• Economy changing, uncertainty, challenges, dead spots; Need advertising such as billboards, signage

• Perception of area needs to be positive

• Exits cleaned  ―Signs on Grand Glaize Bridge Business District are perceived as east of the bridge

• Bicycle run through parkway, State Park

• Major attractions missing

• Family attractions ― festivals that draw young families, drive‐in movie theater, educational workshops

•Partner with YMCA for another city park – soccer tournaments, bike paths/walking trails, swim team competition, summer/winter swimming

•Destination‐Destination‐Destination – Seminars, tourist friendly area/destination, carnivals, gambling spot

• Courtesy bus or other transportation provided by the City or CVB

•Next big box store/anchor store needs to be west of the Grand Glaize Bridge