The Lake of the Ozarks has an opportunity to provide Lake Area merchants with increased business in the spring and fall in the form of a Destination Tournament Soccer Complex to be located in Osage Beach. The Complex would host 12-14 tournaments with 50-300 teams each weekend in the spring and again in the fall. That’s about 1000 to 6000 visitors every weekend during these months for each tournament.
A 2016 feasibility study conducted by the Convention and Sports Leisure indicates that a Destination Tournament Soccer Complex located at the Lake of the Ozarks would bring families to the Lake, generating millions of new dollars for Lake Area businesses. That is more money in the off-season for our local restaurants, convenience stores, hotels, motels, resorts, grocery stores, etc.
The investment will cost somewhere around $20 million to be paid for by a 3% increase in the lodging taxes collected by the Tri-County Lodging Association. Who will pay this tax? The tax is paid by transient guests staying in our Lake of the Ozarks vacation homes & condos, hotels, resorts, campgrounds, etc. This tax is not paid by our local residents, unless they are renting a hotel room for the night. Who will benefit? Our local residents! In addition to the increase in our shoulder season business, we will have a new all-weather soccer complex that will also be available to our local youth teams to use for practice and games when tournaments are not being held. The fields may also be multipurpose allowing for other sports to be played as well.
Your Lake Vacation has been managing vacation rental properties at the Lake of the Ozarks for the last 33 years and year after year we have tried to increase our shoulder season business with very little success. From 2010 through 2019, our business has grown 55%. However, most of that growth has occurred in the summer months, not in the shoulder seasons.
While I am not a huge soccer fan, I do understand economics. And if soccer will draw thousands of people, mostly families to the Lake in the shoulder season months of March, April, May, September and October, I believe that we will have an opportunity to grow our business by 50% to 100% in those months. That would be huge for us and also for the other accommodation owners here at the Lake of the Ozarks.
The City of Osage Beach is also on board with the project and will own and operate the soccer complex. If the local citizens will vote in favor of passing the lodging tax increase, we will take a step in the right direction to increasing our off-season business. Sometimes opportunity only knocks once. For more information, please visit: www.lakeoftheozarkssoccercomplex.com.
Russell Burdette is the owner of Your Lake Vacation, a vacation rental management company at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you have any questions about vacation rentals or property management, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 573-365-3367.
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