Earlier this month it was announced that Branson’s largest theatre, the Grand Palace, was sold to Kuvera Partners for $2.7 million. The Grand Palace, located in the heart of Branson’s highway 76 entertainment strip, has been shuttered since 2008 and has become seriously dilapidated. The theatre’s previous owner defaulted on a loan, leading to the theatre falling into the hands of Topeka-based Columbian Bank & Trust, which then defaulted in 2008. That left the theatre in the hands of the FDIC, who have been attempting to sell the property ever since.
Kuvera Partners is an LA-based investment firm that specializes in attractions, self-storage, and real estate.The company already owns the successful Hollywood Wax Museum in Branson, which includes a variety of attractions within its complex. The company’s existing portfolio of attractions and solid financial position lead to exciting speculation over what their future plans could be for the property, whether that be revitalizing the theatre or knocking it down for something new. The company has stated that they have no immediate plans yet, as they are still researching the market.
So what are Kuvera’s most likely options here? Obviously re-opening the theatre is at the top of the list. With a 4,000-seat capacity, The Grand Palace is in an odd place where it’s too small for the big nationally-recognized artists that tour through the country, but too large for the normal Branson shows. In the past, the theatre has hosted a few big events that included everything from famous musicians to a Miss America pageant, but finding regular events of that caliber to fill the theatre could prove difficult. If Kuvera were to re-open the theatre, they would have to meet the challenge of finding and marketing acts that are just the right size for the theatre.
The real estate that the shuttered theatre sits on is extremely valuable due to its location square in the middle of Branson’s entertainment strip. Should Kuvera decide to get rid of the theatre, the possibilities for new developments are bountiful. With Kuvera’s specialization in attractions, one could imagine them developing something along the lines of a museum, aquarium, or even a thrill ride complex. Another option is that he popularity of the Grand Village shopping area next door could lead them to develop a similar urban shopping outlet. There’s also the less exciting possibility that they could end up taking the easy way out by parceling the property for development into more restaurants, shops, and hotels.
One thing I found truly remarkable about this development is the influence that the Spirit of 76 project has had on it. Kuvera makes it clear that the revitalization of highway 76 has made the prospect of redeveloping the Grand Palace site much more attractive. Clearly this type of investment will yield huge rewards for Branson, and there’s room for a lot more of it.
Check out Kuvera’s press release about this property here.
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