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Category Archives: tourism

Private sector jobs lost because of Missouri Division of Tourism budget cuts: why?


Like most states, Missouri’s constitution requires balanced budgets–on an annual basis–forcing the governor to make cuts when revenues fall below budget projections. As reported in the Springfield News-Leader and elsewhere, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has announced that the budget for its Division of Tourism must be sliced by 35%, or $7 million, which will result in a loss of 2,500 private sector jobs in the hospitality industry.

For discussion, here are a couple of my reactions to the cuts in spending for tourism.

Why do the taxpayers subsidize Missouri’s tourism industry? Read the rest of this entry

Table Rock Lake and the cost of economic activity

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Kathleen O’Dell’s article about the economic impact of Table Rock Lake in today’s Springfield News-Leader, entitled “Table Rock Dam Gives Much Back to Area,” covers a lot of ground in describing the various kinds of economic activities that are related to the construction and continued existence of Table Rock Lake.

In an economic sense, is the Table Rock Lake area fit (efficient and nimble) or obese (expensive to maintain and subject to falls)? As pointed out below, the two counties most affected by Table Rock Lake have experienced the area’s lowest growth in Read the rest of this entry

Get outside


Indian paintbrush at Baker Prairie, Harrison, Arkansas

Indian paintbrush at Baker Prairie, Harrison, Arkansas

I’ve have links here (see sidebar) to a category called Ozarks Nature. The sites listed here are the work of talented people, whose writing and photography are of unusually high quality. I’m not a scientist, but these people open a welcoming door to that world, so that my enjoyment of being outside is richer.

Of the four, I have met only Jim Long, but I hope to meet the other writers someday.

When you click a link in this article or on the sidebar, it will open in a new window, so that you can use your browser’s “back” button or arrow to get back here to go to the next site.

Beetles in the Bush belongs to Ted MacRae, a St. Louis scientist who studies bugs. His photography and commentary are wonderful. Even if bugs bother you, this site should teach you some fascinating things to think about before you swat, stomp or spray.

Allison Vaughn’s The Ozark Highlands of Missouri, is the work of a working naturalist, who apparently lives in  central Missouri and works for a state agency. Her passion for setting fires in connection with controlled burning of woods and savannas spices up her writing.

Jo Schaper’s Missouri World examines the Ozarks from the point of view of a geologist with knack for journalism. Jo works with my brother Emery’s print and online outdoor monthly River Hills Traveler as a writer and copy editor.

Jim Long, as I’ve mentioned here, is a nationally-known gardener and teacher, whose herb farm is near the Arkansas-Missouri border near Blue Eye. He travels the country lecturing about growing flowers, vegetables and herbs, and promotes the enjoyment of wholesome garden products. His website Jim Long’s Garden is a treasure of tips for the garden and the table.

All these sites can pull you in for a while, but you shouldn’t let them keep you from enjoying the Ozarks in springtime.

Nightly rental controversy in Ruidoso


I’m on vacation. I could have spent the night in a single-family home here in Ruidoso, New Mexico, rather than the Days Inn.

According to the local paper, the village council adopted an ordinance regulating nightly rentals after a judge ruled that this use was “residential.” The judge noted that the “business” aspects of nightly rentals–placing reservations and making payments–did not take place in the residences.

The new ordinance requires purchase of licenses, notice to neighbors, payment of lodging taxes, and placement of fire extinguishers in the homes. Violations can result in revocation of licenses after three complaints.

There are several hundred homes available for nightly rental in Ruidoso. The situation in the Branson and Table Rock Lake area is probably similar.

Calico Sunrise: watch what happens


Residents of the Calico Rock area, on the White River in north central Arkansas, are attempting to plan their future. They have created a blog called Calico Sunrise to serve as a newsletter and forum for their endeavor, which is intended to involve the input of all segments of the community.

The Calico Rock area is lovely, and it looks like a great place to live and to visit. It is similar to the Branson area in a purely physical sense–it is in the Ozarks on the White River with a railroad running alongside, there are lakes nearby, and there are wonderful bluffs and vistas and smaller streams in deep, quiet valleys. While there is some tourism there and a lot of retirees, the tourism lacks the industrial-strength tourism of Branson. In some ways, Calico Rock is what Branson might have been without Silver Dollar City and the music show industry.

I wish the people of Calico Rock well. I hope they will focus on health rather than growth, so that they can have the community they want and stay off the economic roller-coaster. To do this, they will need to look at giving their children great educations and building an economy with an export sector, rather than too heavily based on tourism.

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