Next $10 Million Attraction in Branson for Summer 2016

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

BRANSON, MO – Following several project announcements in 2015, Bigfoot on the Strip is the second $10M attraction to be announced along Branson’s famous Hwy 76 corridor in less than six months. “The Branson Board of Alderman’s passage of the planned development for Bigfoot on the Strip adds to the growing confidence of investors, developers and stakeholders in the future of the Branson/Lakes area economy,” says Jonas Arjes, Executive Director of the Taney County Partnership. “In fact, additional projects have expressed interest since the development passed first reading a couple of weeks ago. This is another great project for Taney County from a sales tax generation, job creation and capital investment perspective.”

Bigfoot on the Strip is owned by Darrell Henley, Emma Hamilton and Matt Cook and will be the team’s fifth attraction investment in Branson among existing properties Branson Zipline Canopy Tours, Parakeet Pete's Waterfront Zipline, Parakeet Pete's Steampunk Balloon, and Fast Shot Shooting Gallery. According to co-owner Emma Hamilton, “Bigfoot on the Strip offers one of the most thrill-packed amusement experiences in the world, only the second of which is being constructed to date in conjunction with its Atlanta-based twin.”

Three components will be offered at the attraction property across from the Toy Museum near White Water and the new CiCi’s Pizza. “Two of the rides are extreme rides for serious thrill seekers, while the third is a calmer ride offering more of an Ozarks viewing experience for the faint-at-heart,” says Emma Hamilton. The centerpiece of the project is a 200-foot free-fall tower being designed by Stan Checketts, the most famous thrill ride and roller coaster developer in the world, who claims this ride as the pinnacle project of his career and is therefore taking extreme care to ensure the ultimate user experience and rider safety. Three experiences will be incorporated into the tower, the first of which is a drop ride in which participants are seated with only a lap belt (for added exposure feeling) and pulled 200 feet into the air where they are released to fall back to the ground. Braking is done through gravity-based magnets rather than cable attachments, offering a true free-fall simulation. The second ride is the Saddle Swing which accommodates one to two riders at a time who sit back-to-back in a saddle with lap and shoulder restraints. The riders are propelled 200 feet in the air to be released flipping end-over-end back to the ground. The third observation ride is much calmer offering a glass-enclosed capsule with seating inside that spins slowly offering a 360-degree panoramic view of the Strip and capture the beauty of the Ozarks as it slowly ascends and descends. “In fact, this third ride offers the ability for parents and grandparents to participate in the excitement of riders on the adjacent extreme rides, and is so calm that they can capture the expressions of those extremists on camera,” adds Hamilton.

A fourth component unattached to the ride has been incorporated into the Bigfoot footprint to include a food truck food court, which has strict regulations requiring food truck lessors to commit to pad and utility leases on property, making their product available to visitors and pedestrians on the Bigfoot campus. According to City of Branson Mayor Karen Best, “the food truck offer is unlike the average mobile food truck operation that has a reputation for locating in congested areas and creating competition with restaurants in other cities. However, the food truck court at Bigfoot on the Strip is being managed in a way that resembles food vending operations found in Austin, Atlanta, or Downtown Disney, centralizing sales to participants on the Bigfoot promenade and attraction property.”

The owners have been coordinating and collaborating with the Spirit of 76 project team, Cook, Flatt & Strobel (CFS) Engineers, to incorporate design elements along with a pedestrian promenade experience that conforms to the master plan of the Spirit of 76 project. “This is an area of Highway 76 that really needed an attraction element to draw visitors to the west end of the Strip so that adjacent businesses could benefit from the continuous flow of pedestrian and trolley traffic. Projects like this provide memorable experiences to the millions of visitors we host each year, ensuring that Branson continues to lead the nation’s top leisure markets,” says Mayor Best, “and I am proud to be serving as Mayor during this exciting time of collaboration between businesses, elected officials, and city and county leaders to make Branson the preferred family vacation destination in America.”

Bigfoot on the Strip represents an economic development value of $10M in capital investment, along with 25+ new jobs to be brought to Taney County.

For more information about Bigfoot on the Strip and the economic development work of the Taney County Partnership in collaboration with the City of Branson for this project, visit or contact Executive Director Jonas Arjes at [email protected]. Direct media inquiries to [email protected], and follow @TaneyMO on Twitter for regular news and updates.