With 2018 behind us, the Lake Sun looks back at the stories that we believe had the biggest impact on the Lake of the Ozarks region.
5. Business buzz
Signs of growth, economic development and revitalization were abundant in 2018. Once a failed and deteriorating condominium project with a commanding view of the lake at the 12-mile marker in Sunrise Beach, the revitalized Cypress at the Lake, has brought Florida style luxury to Lake of the Ozarks. Formerly known as Majestic Condominiums, the Cypress has undergone a massive renovation. Units range from $200,000 and up. The Regalia Hotel and Conference Center on Horseshoe Bend, formerly the Country Club Hotel and Spa, re-opened with new ownership and a new look. The hotel has undergone a massive remodeling. A large scale renovation and rebranding of the iconic Tan-Tar-A Resort continued, transforming what was the first major resort at Lake of the Ozarks into a casual laid-back Florida-style atmosphere of Margaritaville. Several projects in Camdenton along Highway 54 also drew attention to the trend of renovating existing space to upgrade. Reinvesting in the community, Camdenton Glass, a remodeled front for ReMax, and a new color and storefront image for J.A.M. Hair Salon were among businesses that enhanced the 54 corridor in Camdenton. And for the first time in years, a Missouri-based manufacturer broke ground on a $65 million expansion project that will add 300 jobs to the area. Quaker Windows purchased over 100 acres in Eldon for the construction of the new 200,000 square foot manufacturing facility.
6. Private-public partnerships
There was no shortage of innovative private-public partnerships to promote economic development amd improve the quality of life. Co-Mo Connect and Wisper took advantage of a reverse auction through the federal government to improve and provide rural broadband to a larger segment of the population. OATS Transit took on the role of public transportation creating a loop around the lake to provide services to residents in Camden, Miller and Morgan counties. A partnership between business owners and OATS launched The Strip Express, a shuttle service providing rides along the Bagnell Dam Strip and surrounding area. Services for business owners and those hoping to become entrepreneurs also got a boost. State Fair Community College unveiled Launch U, an entrepreneurial focused program to help community members with a new business idea structure their ideas and create a solid business plan to move forward with. Launch U works with entities such as LOREDC, SCORE, four local chambers of commerce, CO-MO Electric and more. The Camdenton Chamber of Commerce also announced plans for a Tri-County Region incubator project. “The Hub,” is a program that fosters entrepreneurship for future and current business ventures.