BRANSON, Mo. (KOLR) — Since last summer’s Duck Boat tragedy, many people have been wondering what’s next for the “Ride the Ducks” attraction.
Well, Ripley’s Entertainment has announced their plans. The company says they’re bringing a new attraction to that property on the Branson Strip. Ride the Ducks will be replaced with what they’re calling
“Branson Top Ops.”
“I was notified by Ripley’s this morning and told about the new project they’re bringing to Branson,” said Branson Mayor Karen Best.
“Top Ops” is described by Ripley’s as a patriotic-themed experience offering an interactive outdoor maze, indoor laser tag and other adventures.
They also said they plan to donate 10-percent of the 2019 season proceeds — with a minimum of 100-thousand-dollars, to first responders.
Mayor Best says the city is grateful for that donation.
“Anytime that any local business wants to support our first responders, we’re always very grateful to get those donations,”
Some see this new attraction as a way of healing and moving forward.
“It’s one of them that’s..it’s time to move on,” said John Melton of Sedalia, “It does bring back memory of the tragedy every time somebody goes in and rides it — and they’ll probably be people that won’t ride it anymore because of that.”
Karen Melton, John’s wife agrees. “We had some good times years ago on them but…I think it’s..it is time for a change and that was a horrible tragedy.. and I think it’s time to..for something new to come along.”
“I’m thinking if I were one of the families that had lost loved ones there, to have to come back and see something like that again..I’m not sure that, that would be…it would make me very sad,” said Janet Yancey of Melbourne, Arkansas.
“Part of the healing process is moving forward, Mayor Best said, “You never forget what happened, but you also keep moving forward toward the future.”
In an email statement from Taney County Ambulance, it read in part that donations they receive from Ripley’s Entertainment will be allocated to employee health and well-being fund.
Ripley’s says they plan to open the “Branson Top Ops” on Memorial Day.