Voters have the ability to turn the economic tide at the Lake next Tuesday. I recommend and urge everyone to vote YES.

I would like to make a few points for consideration when assessing the Soccer Complex proposal.

Sales tax revenue growth (indicator of economic growth) in the Lake Area has become nearly flat over the past five years. During this same time frame the State of Missouri has averaged 3.6% in sales tax revenue. The Lake Area is not growing economically, it is dying (in my humble opinion). When successful companies have a product that is not growing, they diversify, re-position, and/or provide new products with the goal of spurring growth. This is exactly what the Soccer complex will do for the Lake.

The additional 3% lodging tax will be dedicated to paying for a public facility that will bring 400,000 + visitors to the Lake. I would welcome hearing any other proposal that would bring this level of visitors annually to the Lake at a similar or lower cost. In my 19 years of living at the Lake I have not heard of anything close.

The $75 million spending projection is based on four to five hundred thousand visitors each year spending approx. $175 -350 per visits (seems reasonable).

We have a unique opportunity to take part in the fast growing $15 billion youth sports industry. The soccer complex puts “heads in beds” when the Lake area has vacancy/unused capacity during our shoulder seasons. The complex also will be bringing families to the Lake that our business owners have been yearning for many years.

In response to the “Opponents of the soccer complex speak out” article in the Lake Sun on 10/19/19 I would submit the following:

I believe “small generational resorts” are perfectly positioned to be the place of choice for soccer tournament participants. As a parent who had two daughters who played soccer at an early age, I would much prefer to stay at a resort with all its amenities vs. a hotel property.

TCLA contractually agreed to provide funding from the tax increase to fund the complex.

XO Strategic did not recommend developing a budget or final comprehensive report before submitting to voters. XO did provide a Pro Forma for revenue and expenses for the soccer complex in the first 10 years of operation.

The City of Osage Beach will not provide referees for the soccer tournaments. The tournament operator will provide those. Any other baseball, lacrosse, etc. tournaments operated by Osage Beach during the summer or off-soccer season will be the responsibility of Osage Beach.

Voters have the ability to turn the economic tide at the Lake next Tuesday. I recommend and urge everyone to vote YES.

-Richard Ross, Osage Beach