Scott Harvey / KSMU

With the heat index nearing 100 degrees, a late Thursday afternoon little league baseball game in Branson drew strong attendance. Fans of the Hollister Tigers cheered loudly after a double to deep right center field gave the team an early 1-0 lead over the Springfield Mavericks.

This, however, was just a three-inning scrimmage between two 12 and under squads. The significance of the competition was not in the game itself but in its venue.

Oak Ridge Boys Theatre
Branson Chamber / Twitter

Demolition has begun on Branson’s historic Oak Ridge Boys Theatre to make way for a new Mercy clinic.

Built in 1994 and originally the Glen Campbell Goodtime Theatre, the 80,000 square-foot venue has also played host to Tony Orlando, the Acrobats of China and more.  The theatre attracted over half a million visitors during that span.

Demolition of the facility began this morning to make way for Mercy’s new $19 million multi-purpose clinic.

Navy Pier

Branson is getting a new “old” attraction.  The ferris wheel that was dismantled at Navy Pier in Chicago in September to make way for an even larger one (nearly 50 feet taller and allowing 180 more passengers per ride year-round) is coming to the tourist town.

Track Family Fun Parks purchased the ferris wheel, which will be located at Track 4, 3345 W. 76 Blvd. The total cost of the new addition is expected to be around $2.5 million.

Craig Wescott, president and owner of Track Family Fun Parks,  said it’s expected to open  around Memorial Day.

A new $10 million attraction is coming to Branson.  Fritz’s Adventure will feature indoor rock climbing, tunnels, a life-size water tower with multiple slides, swings, ropes courses and more and will be open 365 days a year.  There will also be a bridge suspended high off the ground and an urban brick façade and boulders to climb. 

Trey Pelz is a spokesman for the company.

A new report from one of the world’s largest online hotel search sites lists Springfield and Branson among “America’s Best Value Towns & Cities.”

The report from ranks Branson number one as the best value city in the country and Springfield at number seven.

The rankings were compiled using Trivago’s Best Value Index, which uses the annual average price of a standard double room and the city’s average hotel rating by users.