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West side of Osage Beach looking to increase traffic

The City of Osage Beach is asking residents how to increase traffic on the west side of the Grand Glaize Bridge.

Traffic has increased on the east side of Osage Beach Parkway where the outlet mall, but that’s not the case for businesses on the other side of town.

With less customers, business owners are having to get creative.

With all the shops and destinations opening up in Osage Beach, people that have been in the tourism business are looking at new ways to bring people to town.

“People that travel through Osage Beach and unfortunately some are just going around Osage Beach, but the people that come here to stay in their second homes and to potentially rehire here, can use the expressway, to actually get to the local businesses and tourist spots faster than they’ve ever been able to do so before,” said Lisa Chapman of Blinds and More.

Lisa Chapman works for Blinds and More on the west side of the Grand Glaize Bridge. She said a few years ago when the Highway 54 expressway was built, things started to change, and although drivers can get around fast, many don’t know which exits to take to get to the tourist destinations.

Chapman said, “People are unsure of how to navigate, they get turned around, so they get frustrated and they go back home or just stay over there but we need to get them over here.”

Owner of the Golden Door Hotel and Chairman of the Osage Beach Action Committee Geniece Tyler said, “As far as have I seen a difference yes, is it a complete loss of business, no. I’m very lucky I have a large repeat business, so it has not affected me as much as some.”

However, on the east side of Osage Beach Parkway, business is booming. In the last year alone, Dierberg’s grocery store, the Eagle’s Landing 8 Cine movie theater, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have gone in.

Tyler said, “The Committee is more or less things that the City of Osage Beach can do, there are great ideas out there, but it’s not something the city can do.”

Now the cities, citizen’s action committee is working together to try to find ways to promote tourism by asking residents how they can get more traffic to the older side of town once again.

“We’ve got several water parks, one’s indoor, one’s outdoor, there’s putt-putt golf, there are go-carts, and there are wonderful family restaurants,” said Chapman.

The action committee plans on bringing their decisions and ideas to the Board of Aldermen to see what they can do to help promote tourism in town.

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