Biz 417: Your company already owns a few Branson attractions. What makes the Branson area a good fit for your projects?
Tej Sundher: We’ve been in the Branson market with the Hollywood Wax Museum since 1996... Branson has a solid tourist base… The natural beauty, friendly atmosphere and positive business climate make it a nice fit for our year-round attractions.
Biz: What potential do you see for more growth in the Branson area?
T.S.: The sky’s the limit. Since buying the Grand Palace property in 2014, we thoroughly studied the market and were impressed with its upward trends in new visitation and strong net promoter scores. In the last couple of years alone, Silver Dollar City has made fantastic additions, and excellent brands like WonderWorks and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen have come into the market. We’re proud to be playing a part in the growth with our Branson Boardwalk development that will be phased in over the next 10 years.
Biz: The Springfield area has garnered a lot of attention for Wonders of Wildlife, an award-winning aquarium. How will your aquarium set itself apart?
T.S.: Wonders of Wildlife is a phenomenal asset to the Springfield area and well deserving of its award-winning reputation. Being an hour away, we’re confident that our facilities will not compete with one another. In fact, we have seen time and again that having more than one type of attraction in a region actually heightens overall public awareness, and that turns out to be beneficial for both.
Biz: What are some of the most exciting features that are planned for the aquarium?
T.S.: Aquarium at the Boardwalk will focus on “fish and fun”—exciting photo-ops, a jellyfish infinity room, touch pools with sharks, divers dressed as mermaids, a breathtaking coral reef and more.