Branson Making Changes to Address Timeshare Issues

Vacation destination, Branson, Missouri, shares a problem that has plagued many cities, including Orlando, Gatlinburg, Myrtle Beach, and other favorite tourist towns.

The solicitation of tourists on the streets of downtown Branson, by timeshare sales representatives, is an issue the city wants to resolve. During the May 6 work session of the Branson Board of Aldermen, the group looked for ways to solve the problem of solicitors approaching tourists with free offers that were really tied to the tourist attending a timeshare sales pitch.

Branson City Attorney was quoted by the Branson Courier as saying, “There has been some downtown businesses that have issued some complaints recently about some vacation club sales and time shares, that kind of business, getting a lot of locations in downtown Branson and soliciting people on the sidewalk.”

The Courier article goes on to say the complaints were not necessarily from citizens or tourists in the downtown Branson area, but were from businesses that don’t like the environment the solicitors create.

Currently the Branson law states, “In addition it makes it unlawful to solicit when either the solicitor or the person being solicited is located within ten feet of the doorway to any business, 20 feet of a public toilet; 20 feet of an automated teller machine, or 20 feet of a pay telephone.”

The Aldermen believe that by redefining the term “solicit” in the Branson Municipal Code, they can resolve the problem.

As I recall, the city of Gatlinburg, addressed its timeshare and vacation club solicitation problem by passing out free emblems that a visitor could wear, stating that they did not want to be approached.