Basically, the plan is for an area in Southern Illinois near Pinckneyville in Perry County to be developed into something Branson-esque, whatever that means. But I guess I’m a little skeptical when I read this:
Todd Britt, a lobbyist representing the company's interests in Springfield, said the company would get the 2,000 acres of state parkland by giving the state an equal amount of nearby land - plus an estimated $1 million - south of Pyramid State Park.
The company intends to build bicycle racing tracks and a small golf course on the tract as a precursor to the larger development patterned after Branson, Britt said. Eventually, the development could cover 9,500 acres.
Bicycle racing tracks? A “small” golf course? (What, is Putt-Putt going to reopen downstate?) And the rest is TBA?
I’ve always thought the development of Branson, a place I’ve never been but have heard and seen much about, was a brilliant idea. It all seems to come together with some serious vision and even more serious marketing. I’m a bit skeptical that lightning can strike twice in this regard. But hey, that part of the state really doesn’t have a whole lot to look forward to economically, so if they want to give it shot, I say go for it. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be a boondoggle that results in the taxpayers holding the bag. Who knows, maybe the real Branson started off as just a small golf course.