I thought it was quite odd that Richard Branson has suddenly discovered Branson MO, named after his great uncle, since every time I search Branson, both our town and Sir Richard pop up in google searches and have for years. Apparently it was announced today by Virgin with Richard Branson himself announcing his plans for our town. Even more surprising is Mayor Presley on the video as well, welcoming Sir Richard's move. Watch today's video.
Local rumor has it that the Mayor has been known to be against the town of Branson to change in a big way-and has wanted to preserve the town of Branson as it always has been, which many view as anti-growth. I don't think Sir Richard is for keeping things small, but possibly this may be an attempt for her re-election next week. So there is a good chance this is an April Fools joke, that Richard Branson is famous for. If this is a joke, which most likely it is, I don't think anyone will be laughing in Branson. This is mentioned in today's Springfield Newsleader. Here is the link and part of the article. The article below will make your head spin-really?? I guess the joke is on us!
"Now, he's claiming that he's moving the headquarters of the Virgin Group's US operations to the city — but people can't stop noting that it's almost April Fools' Day.
Branson claims Virgin America, the airline, will have flights to Branson from San Francisco. Virgin Hotels, he said, is "well on their way to developing their next property in Branson." And Virgin Limited Edition, he said, will base their next luxury property in Branson, offering guests "exclusive wagon trails."
Then it gets a little weird.
"Virgin Active are introducing a new Branson-themed workout that will have gym-goers tossing hay bales and rolling wagon wheels across the gym," Branson wrote on the company's blog. "Virgin Pure will ensure that the entire water supply throughout Branson is triple-filtered and purified to make it healthy for all – so I will always be able to enjoy the perfect tasting cup of tea whenever I'm in town. Virgin Holidays will be also offering package holidays to the city with a variety of attractions and excursions available through their concierge service."
Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley appears in an accompanying video, and the city's tourism operations and airport are playing it up big. Calls to several area officials weren't immediately returned.
Branson Airport put a statement from its executive director on its Facebook page Tuesday morning that made it clear there was no agreed-upon plan for Virgin America to serve the airport.
Of note: Virgin has historically been a fan of April Fools' Day jokes. In 2013, Virgin said it was launching the world's first glass-bottomed plane; shockingly, that never happened. Business Insider has more on Richard Branson's love of pranks.
"While we are obviously flattered that Richard Branson wants to fly his planes to #Branson ... he might have to wait in line," Bourk said. "I have my staff looking into gate availability, but it may be tough given Virgin's aggressive service rollout. In the meantime, we are anxious to see what incentives Virgin America can offer the airport and the community."
Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines both ceased serving Branson Airport in 2014, and the airport — currently served by public charter flights — has been actively hunting for another major carrier."