Sunday, April 02, 2006

 

Titanic Museum lands in Missouri tourist town

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AJC.com
March 28, 2006



First Class maid Jaynee poses for
a photo in front of the full-scale
reproduction of the Titanic's grand
staircase in the Titanic Museum.


BRANSON, Mo. — The bow of the Titanic rears above the spray of waves, the fatal iceberg jammed in its black and riveted iron flank.

The Titanic attraction, officially named "The World's Largest Titanic Museum Attraction," opened in March.

Museum owner John Joslyn is a former television producer who dove to the wreck in a submersible in 1987 and produced the documentary "Return to the Titanic ... Live."

Joslyn has been a collector of Titanic artifacts and opened a smaller, similar attraction in Orlando, Fla., that he sold to build the Branson museum.

The Titanic building looms above Missouri 76, Branson's Strip. The 100-foot-tall building recreates the bow of the ship, complete with a pool at its base that sprays water as though it were cutting through the ocean.

Enter through an iceberg
The entrance is through a mock iceberg tip that juts out of the ship's side. Inside, visitors take a 90-minute walk past more than 400 artifacts and reconstructions of the ship and the life stories of many of its passengers.

The grand staircase from first class is rebuilt, as are first- and third-class cabins. Visitors step out on a darkened deck chilled to feel like the fateful night in April 1912 and can barely make out the outline of an iceberg ahead under a field of stars.

Joslyn said he has been coming to Branson for years and decided it made more sense for his attraction to be here, rather than Orlando.

"I love the Branson demographics," Joslyn said. He said both the families that tend to come in summer and the older visitors in the spring and fall have an interest in the Titanic story.

Visitors are expected to number 7.6 million this year, Branson tourism officials say. That would be a 4 percent increase, double the national growth in vacation travel that the Travel Industry Association of America forecasts this year.


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If You Go...

BRANSON: Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, http://www.explorebranson.com or (800) 214-3661.

GETTING THERE: Located in southwest Missouri, 35 miles south of Springfield.

TITANIC MUSEUM: 3235 76 Country Blvd. and Highway 165; http://www.titanicbranson.com/ or (417) 334-9500. Adults, $16.95; children 5-12, $9.95. Open daily, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.


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