Published Monthly at the Lake of the Ozarks
LAKE OF THE OZARKS
Real estate stronger than recent years
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
The housing market is rebounding. That’s the report from both local and national real estate professionals. Albeit, the pace is a little slower than historical trends, but it’s also a little steadier and that is good news for all involved.
“Everybody is upbeat. Just about everyone I dealt with in 2013 – from lenders, inspectors, appraisers, contractors to other realtors – had very busy, if not banner years, and we’re continuing to see significant growth in all categories of real estate,” said Dan Ralston, the newly elected president of the Bagnell Dam Association of Realtors and a broker and realtor with Gattermeir Davidson Real Estate in Lake Ozark. “Although Lake of the Ozarks wasn’t hit as hard as many other markets, we were affected by the downturn in the economy. However, numbers don’t lie – we are on the mend. Residential waterfront, residential offshore, condos and commercial properties are all on the rise in both number of transactions as well by dollar percentages.”
According to data provided by the Bagnell Dam Association and the Lake of the Ozarks Board of Realtors, the total sales volume for all types of real was $450,286,306, up from $327,376,395 in 2010.
With 770 transactions and a total volume of $95,769,072, residential offshore was in the lead. It was followed by waterfront residential, which saw 678 transactions with a total volume of $205,859,640. Condos, townhouses and villas came in third with 622 transactions and a total volume of $103,715,168.
The trend is being seen across the country.
According to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), although home sales slowed early this year due to the severe winter weather, existing-home sales across the nation edged up in December, and the 5.1 million home sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006. In addition, median prices maintained strong growth. The national median existing-home price for all of 2013 was $197,100, an 11.5 percent increase over the 2012 median of $176,800, and the strongest gain since 2005 when it rose 12.4 percent
Clear Capital, a provider of real estate data and analysis, reported that, in the past year, home prices rose in 225 of the 276 cities they tracked – and they rose by 10.9 percent, which means the median price for those homes rose by $30,000 to $215,000. The firm forecasts that home prices nationally will continue to rise by 3 to 5 percent in 2014.
The good news for sellers is that the supply of homes for sale nationwide currently stands at five months. A month’s supply is measured by how long it would take to sell everything on the market at the current rate of sales. The NAR’s estimation of a “balanced market” between buyers and sellers is on that has a six-month supply. Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, said the shortage is expected to continue through 2014.
Commercial real estate investments also are expected to produce generally solid returns in 2014, according to the authors of Expectations & Market Realities in Real Estate 2014—The Future Unfolds, an annual forecast report released by Real Estate Research Corporation (RERC), Deloitte, and the National NAR. Findings of the three agencies indicate that although uncertainties remain, the economy is expected to continue to grow slowly and improve modestly in 2014.
Yun said the economy is anticipated to grow at an annual rate of approximately 2.6 percent, with about 2.2 million jobs to be added in 2014.
Commercial property sales at Lake of the Ozarks took a marked jump in 2013. Statistics show 78 properties, which could be anything from land that is zoned “commercial” to a multi-million-dollar lakefront restaurant, with a total volume of $19,290,880 sold in 2013 That’s a 117-percent increase in the number of transactions and a 172-percent increase in volume over 2012.
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
According to a report recently issued by the International Air Transport Association, U.S. airlines pack in more passengers per flight than any other airlines in the world. That recent report stated that domestic flights were nearly 84 percent full last year, which is almost 5 percent more than the international average. Chinese domestic flights were close behind at 80.3 percent full and Australian domestic flights ranked third at 76.5 percent capacity, beating out Brazilian airlines which filled flights to 76.3 percent of capacity.
In an effort to make those flights more comfortable, a company called SmartTray recently introduced a new seat-back tray that provides room for a beverage and a snack and also includes a place to prop a tablet that promises to provide “comfortable viewing” while keeping the tablet safe from most spills. Another design props tablets while the tray table is up and a third model will allow airlines to provide their own tablets for use as in-flight entertainment. According to a release from the manufacturer, the products are in the final design stage and company representatives are working with the FAA on certification while taking part in discussions with both domestic and international airlines. You can see the tray by visiting www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/01/new-airline-seat-back-tray.
For information on Wi-Fi charges that will be incurred while using that tablet or other mobile devices, TripAdvisor is now providing information on roaming charges for downtown areas and airports in 21 cities around the world. The app will tell travelers what terminals have free Wi-Fi and what they can expect to pay in other areas of that same airport. Currently, the app, available in English only, includes information for London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, Prague, Madrid, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Seoul, Kuala Lampur and Tapei. TripAdvisor, an online travel agent, said the information is provided to them by a variety of sources.
For those heading north and who don’t have tablets, Canadian airline WestJet recently announced that later this year they plan to rent tablets to the approximately 25 percent of passengers who don’t bring mobile devices or laptops on board. Although a company spokesperson said no decision has been made yet on which tablets will be used, he said they will enable passengers to access the Internet, stream TV and movies and read magazines.
More airlines might want to consider the same practice, if nothing else than to keep their passengers happy – especially if they’re going to continue the trend of late arrivals. According to the federal Department of Transportation (DOT), just 68.9 percent of domestic flights on the nation’s 16 largest carriers arrived within 14 minutes of schedule in December, compared with 76.6 percent a year earlier. For all of 2013, 78.3 percent of flights arrived on time – down 3.6-percent from 2012. December’s numbers were blamed on weather. Maybe that’s why Hawaiian Airlines, which didn’t have to deal with ice and snow storms, ranked highest with on-time arrivals and why Southwest, with nearly half its flights late, was dead last.
Cancelations rose too. Airlines cancelled 2.9 percent of their domestic flights in December, which is up 1.6 percent from 2012. Many of those displaced passengers must have decided that filing a complaint was a waste of time. The DOT said complaints fell 14.1 percent last year, to just 13,168 out of the millions of people who boarded a plane.
Even if travelers don’t want to file “official” complaints, they’ve been able to use social networks to vent their frustrations. Now they can also use those networks to pay for flights – at least on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The carrier recently announced a new service that will allow customers to pay for their flights, seat reservations and even extra baggage on Twitter or Facebook. According to KLM, passengers have to request the service through one of the social media sites. The airline will then send the traveler a link though a private message that will allow him or her to enter payment information and obtain confirmation of the payments. Customers had already been able to use social media to reserve seats but were redirected to a booking agent to complete the payment over the telephone.
One mom is using social networks and online technology to create a safer travel environment for flyers with food allergies. Amy Wicker of Naperville, who runs AllergySafeTravel, an online travel resource for people with food allergies, is asking airlines to consider revising what they serve on board or at least create a buffer zone around those who suffer with the problem. Her daughter, as well as some 4 million other Americans, has life-threatening nut allergies. According to Wicker, just sitting next to someone eating peanuts can cause her to have an allergic reaction. To shine a spotlight on the issue, she recently produced a six-minute film, “More Than An Inconvenience,” that includes interviews with people who have had adverse reactions on board flights as well as people with food allergies so severe they were afraid to risk flying. In January, she was able to show her film, which won Best Short Documentary in 2013 at the LA Film and Script Festival, to executives from 15 airlines. She said she hopes after seeing the video, airlines will be willing to address the issue.
Some say Georgia lawmakers are creating a less safe travel environment with recently proposed legislation. Currently, those who carry a gun into a secured area of a Georgia airports, as well as most other airports around the nation, can be convicted of a misdemeanor and face a $1,000 fine or up to a year of probation or prison time. Although charges usually are dismissed against first-time offenders if they attend gun safety classes, surrender the firearm they illegally brought to the checkpoint and stay out of trouble, the TSA can separately fine them up to $11,000. State lawmakers, who felt that punishment was too stiff, introduced legislation that will allow licensed gun holders to avoid penalties as long as they obey instructions to leave the premises. Offenders without a license to carry a gun could still be arrested. As of deadline, the bill had not yet come up for a vote.
March is Lake kick-off for ‘mateys’ and landlubbers
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Mark your calendars. Saturday, March 15 is the official start of the spring boating – and tourism – season at Lake of the Ozarks. And there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate.
The Lake of the Ozarks West Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its 23rd Annual St. Pat’s Water Parade. The day will start at 9 a.m. with a breakfast buffet at Ozark Bar-B-Que. Parade participants can register their boats from 9:15 to 10 a.m. and then take part in the blessing of the fleet. The Lake parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will travel from Ozark Bar-B-Que to Richard Knoggins, where the party will continue to 1 p.m. At 1:30 participants will then cruise a little further down the Gravois Arm to the
Those who don’t have a boat or who didn’t think they were hardy enough to brave the weather were also invited to buy a ticket for a seat aboard the Tropic Island Cruise boat. However, all 100 tickets were sold by mid-February.
“I wish we could handle more because people have so much fun on the cruise – and it can be a lot warmer,” laughed Dayna Davis, office manager and event coordinator for the Lake of the Ozarks West Chamber of Commerce, the sponsor of the parade. “Last year, the weather was nasty! Cold – about 20 to 25 degrees and sleeting – but we still had 12 ‘die-hards’ out there participating. We’re hoping this year’s weather is a little – no, a lot – better.”
The breakfast buffet is open to anyone who would like to check out the boats and see the parade off at the dock. To attend breakfast only, call Pamela Lanier at Ozark Bar-B-Que – 573-480-2477 – to make reservations. Cost for breakfast only is $10.
The St. Patrick’s Day party continues on land at 4 p.m. with the Short Bus Shuffle, also sponsored by the Lake West Chamber.
This year, 10 busses will be running to five lodging establishments, which will be offering discounted rates, and 11 restaurants and bars, which also will be offering a variety of special prices and/or live music. Wristbands, which will allow riders to board between 4 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. at any of the locations, are $5 and they, along with souvenir T-shirts, are now available at all participating sponsors.
“This year we’re doing things a little differently with the bus route. Instead of getting stuck riding the entire route to get from one place to another, we’ll have two routes that meet at West Side Escrow, which will be the ‘hub.’ The wristbands will allow you to ride both directions – you won’t have to pick between the two,” Davis explained. “Last year we sold 769 wristbands but we’re hoping for an even bigger crowd this year.”
Visit www.lakewestchamber.com and click on the “Events” link or call the chamber at 573-374-5500 for more info, to register for the parade or to order shirts in advance.
East-siders can also partake of the “Wearin’ of the Green’ revelry by participating in or just watching the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark. The parade typically includes close to 100 floats and draws a crowd of several thousand – many of whom who set up canopies, drag out the grill and tailgate – making it one of the largest in the state. Organizers say this year’s should be no different.
The parade is set to start at 1 p.m. Bagnell Dam Boulevard will be shut down at 12:45 p.m. and will re-open around 3. Motorists will be able to exit or enter Horseshoe Bend Parkway by using Highway 242. Traffic will be directed on to the Parkway during gaps in the parade.
To enter the parade, download the official entry form and return it to the Bagnell Dam Strip Association, sponsor of the parade, no later than March 7. The parade is open to everyone. However, all entries must be decorated in the St. Pat’s Day theme in order to participate. For more information visit www.lakestpatsparade.com, call 573-280-5477 or email email@example.com.
Group compiling ‘wish list’ for roads, trails, airports
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Citizens of Lake of the Ozarks and other stakeholders are invited to attend a meeting of the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) to help that committee explore the future transportation needs of the Camden, Miller, Morgan and Laclede county area.
The meeting is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 and will be held at the Laurie City Hall on Highway 5.
“This actually started out after a petition was filed with the secretary of state to raise the state sales tax and use those taxes to fund transportation projects across the state,” explained Andy Draper, regional planner for the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments (LOCLG). “Organizers ended up withdrawing that request, but in the meantime, legislators in both houses introduced bills that would place the sales tax initiative on the November ballot.
“Of course, at this point we don’t know if the tax will make it on the ballot, or even if voters will approve it, if it does. However, because they want to be prepared MoDOT asked regional planning commissions throughout the state to develop a list of priorities for all modes of transportation – not just roads and bridges but also for recreational trails, airports, transportation for the elderly. We want input from the people of this area on the things they want to see or from communities on things they need,” Draper said.
He said, if approved, the 1-cent sales tax, which would not be collected on food, prescription medicines and gas, is expected to generate $7.1 billion over the next 10 years. Ten percent of the proceeds would go directly to cities and counties. The rest would be used to accomplish transportation projects chosen, in part, through the multimodal prioritization process.
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission reported earlier this year that Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) revenues, which are largely tied to state and federal fuel taxes, are falling. That means MoDOT’s budget will soon shrink well below the $485 million per year that is needed to just keep the state system of roads and bridges in the condition they are in today. Without the tax or another source of funding, new projects – like the Osage Beach Parkway extension – would be put on hold indefinitely.
Draper said MoDOT arranged for Burns & McDonnell, an engineering design firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, to facilitate this meeting and others. The company provides expertise in engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services for aviation, transportation, defense, environmental and utilities markets.
“They won’t be telling us what we need to look at – they’ll just be guiding us, bringing up points that we might have overlooked and showing us the most efficient ways to develop our list of priorities,” he explained.
At the March meeting, the firm’s representatives will also introduce a website they developed that will include a link to an online survey. Draper said that survey will ask residents and stakeholders to give their opinions on the transportation issues. Because they will use the results to help them prioritize projects, they hope to get a large cross section of the community involved.
“Probably everyone thinks transportation for our elderly is an important thing but they also might want to see the addition of more hiking and biking trails. This survey will ask them to choose what is most important to them. We’ll be promoting this pretty heavily in all the news media because we want to hear from as many people as possible,” he said.
Nick Edelman, director of Public Works for the city of Osage Beach, said he will be at the meetings to discuss the need for the Osage Beach Parkway extension as well as an addition of a pedestrian attachment to the Grand Glaize Bridge, similar to the one that was recently added to the Highway 5 overpass in Camdenton.
Last July, Mayor Penny Lyons broke a tie and voted to partner with MoDOT to build a 2.75-mile long, two-lane, two-way outer road that would have extended the Parkway, which now dead-ends at Key Largo, and hook it up with the existing service road running from Route Y to Lamar Advertising. MoDOT had said they would cover one third of the project costs and another third would have been paid through a transportation department cost share program, requiring the city to pay only one third – approximately $1,167,000. Any donations of right-of-way were to have been deducted from the city’s portion.
City officials said the road would have provided multiple benefits including safer access to the VA clinic and slower and presumably safer travel for school busses, and Bob Lynch, district engineer with MoDOT, said the road would bring immediate benefits of additional traffic coming into the west end of town. However, Cost Share/Economic Development Committee has also suspended all funding. Edelman said because the city can’t afford to carry out the project on its own, it will be put on “hold.”
In February, MoDOT approved a new long range transportation plan, required by the federal government to guide transportation decision-making for the next 20 years, but cautioned that without additional resources they would have very little chance of delivering it. It was first presented to the commission in November and was out for public review for the next three months. According to MoDOT, the plan, called “A Vision for Missouri's Transportation Future,” was developed after an intense seven-month public engagement period that resulted in 12,000 project suggestions and operational priorities.
Based on the input received, four goal areas were established:
•Take care of the transportation system and services we enjoy today;
•Keep all travelers safe, no matter the mode of transportation;
•Invest in projects that spur economic growth and create jobs; and
•Give Missourians better transportation choices (more viable urban and rural transit, friendlier bike and pedestrian accommodations, improvements in rail, ports and airport operations).
MoDOT Director Dave Nichols said 80 percent of the people they heard from agreed with the vision of transportation in Missouri. However, since it was initially developed, the federal government has revised the revenue forecast. Officials said Missouri will realize a 19-percent decrease in federal funds.
From 2005 to 2010, MoDOT's annual construction budget was about $1.3 billion. This year it's $685 million and by 2017 it will have fallen to $325 million - the lowest since 1992.
MoDOT said the reasons for the funding downturn are many. Fuel tax revenues have become a diminishing revenue stream as cars become more fuel efficient and as people drive less, while the costs of doing business are increasing. Inflation has decreased MoDOT's purchasing power by more than 50 percent. What was 17 cents (state fuel tax per gallon) of purchasing power in 1992 - the last time fuel taxes were increased - is now about eight cents and decreasing each year.
The costs of asphalt, concrete and steel are as much as 200 percent more than they were in 1992. And employee healthcare and retirements costs have also steadily risen. The looming insolvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund in August or September is a big reason, too.
MoDOT’s complete plan can be viewed at www.missourionthemove.org. Hard copies are also available at MoDOT's Central Office in Jefferson City and at the District Offices in St. Joseph, Hannibal, Kansas City, St. Louis, Jefferson City, Sikeston and Springfield.
For more information on the LOCLG meeting, call 573-346-5692
Lake dodges icy bullet
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Although the area experienced high winds in the latter part of February when the thick sheets of ice on the Lake began to thaw and break apart, there were no reports of flipped docks.
And that was a miracle, according to Nina Gennetten, owner of Ozark Dock and Barge Service.
“Some of the pieces were as large as an acre. When the wind starts pushing them, they’re like bulldozers, mowing down everything in their path. I’ve been here at the Lake for 26 years and I’ve never seen the entire Lake freeze over like it did this year but about eight or nine years ago, we had a lot of ice in shallower areas. Then we had a lot of high winds come through as it started to break apart and the sheets of ice were, at the least, pushing the flotation out from docks and in some of the worst cases, they were tipping docks and ripping them apart,” she said, adding that this year, the majority of the damage was confined to stiff arms, walkways, connections and, in some cases, the center of docks where they joined the walkways. “As the lake froze, it just pushed the docks up against the shoreline, buckling the ramps and causing a substantial amount of damage to piers where they were attached.”
Dave Markovitz, owner of Boat Lift Marine Center in Osage Beach, said he too had heard of s numerous cases where docks had nearly been pushed to the shoreline by the ice.
”Fortunately, the lifts seem to be holding up ok. We’ve heard of a few incidents where tanks have gotten cracked and a few others where the ice formed on top of square tanks, pushing them down under water, but for the most part, there haven’t been a lot of issues,” he said.
Gennetten and Markovitz both said many of the problems could have been avoided by using dock deicers – but when people finally realized they needed them, there were none to be found.
“I started the season with 30 on hand and sold every single one. I was finally able to find three others at one of my suppliers but I had them sold before they were even shipped to me,” Gennetten said.
By the beginning of February, Menards was the only retailer that could be located having dock deicers in stock and those were sold in just a few days.
Not everyone happy about Charter’s all-digital
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
On February 25, all Lake-area customers of Charter Communications who didn’t have their televisions connected to a digital cable box lost their ability to receive programming.
That’s because the cable and internet provider made the decision to go to a 100-percent all-digital format and Charter set-top boxes are required to get the signal.
Charter is supplying customers with one digital set-top box, one HD set-top box or 1 CableCARD at no cost for 12 months. Additional boxes must be leased at an additional cost of $6.99 per month. According to information provided by Charter, standard rates will apply after the promotional period ends.
“Most people have high-definition TVs now and if you have a high-definition TV, you obviously want to watch high-definition quality,” said Kimberly Noetzel, senior communications manager with Charter. “HD offers a sharper resolution. Even my children can tell the difference. When we turn on the TV, the first thing they’ll say is, ‘Put it on high-def mom.’”
Noetzel said the company invested more than $2 billion to update its network in order to provide better services to customers. Those “better services” also will include 200 HD channels and faster Internet speeds.
She also said Lake of the Ozarks is not the only community affected by the decision. All customers across Charter's 29-state service area will receive the upgrade by the end of 2014. She said Charter has been getting nothing but good feedback from customers in areas that have already made the transition.
Charter may get a different response from the Lake area.
After receiving complaints from residents, the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen asked City Attorney Ed Rucker to look into the legality of the move under the franchise agreement the city has with Charter. As of deadline, Rucker said he was still researching the issue to determine if the Video Service Providers Act adopted by state legislators in 2007 made that agreement null and void.
Tom Laird, city clerk at the Village of Four Seasons, said that since January, when Charter started notifying customers of the change, he has received one to two phone calls or in-person visits per day from people who are irate about being forced to spend an additional fee to obtain a service they are already paying for.
“A large percentage of our owners are here only on weekends and feel they already spend a lot for a service that’s used very little. Many of them have said they’re dropping Charter both here and at home and they’re going with satellite because they can just bring their dish and receiver with them, hook it up to the TV at their Lake house and they have service – at no additional cost. It’s very simple. Then we heard from other people who say they have older TVs and won’t even be able to tell if their picture is digital – or they just don’t care about a sharper picture, especially if it comes with a higher price,” he said. “Unfortunately, I have to tell them there’s nothing we can do.”
Noetzel said although the set-top boxes that are required to receive a signal from Charter are not transportable between locations, Charter does have seasonal offers available. Customers should contact Charter at 1-888-Get Charter for eligibility.
She also said that customers who do not yet have the required set-top boxes can either pick them up from the local Charter office or they can call 1-877-959-1617 to have boxes, which come with self-installation instructions, delivered to their home.
DTV Transition Did Not Require Cable Systems to Switch to Digital
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Digital Television (DTV) is an advanced broadcasting technology that enables broadcasters to offer television with better picture and sound quality, and multiple channels of programming.
The switch from analog to digital broadcast television is known as the Digital Television Transition. In 1996, Congress authorized the distribution of an additional broadcast channel to every full-power TV station so that each station could launch a digital broadcast channel while simultaneously continuing analog broadcasting. Later, Congress set June 12, 2009 as the deadline for full power television stations to stop broadcasting analog signals, which freed up parts of the broadcast spectrum for public safety communications.
Since June 13, 2009, full-power television stations nationwide have been required to broadcast exclusively in a digital format. However, cable companies were not required to make this change.
The FCC provides this explanation:
“Digital broadcast” refers to the method of transmission of broadcast signals over-the-air, while “digital cable” refers to the way in which some, or even all, of a cable company’s signals are transmitted through its cable wires or fiber.
Cable companies may offer cable channels in an analog tier and others in a digital tier, or it may have transitioned to all-digital service where all of its channels are transmitted using digital technology. The decision to carry channels in analog, analog and digital (sometimes referred to as a “hybrid” system), or solely digital is left to the cable company’s discretion. There is no government requirement for the way cable companies transmit their signals.
If a cable company moves some or all of its channels onto a digital service tier, it may notify customers that they need to get digital cable equipment to continue receiving those channels. Cable companies may also require customers to lease from them a digital cable set-top box or CableCARD, or to purchase at retail a set-top device or a digital cable ready TV equipped with a CableCARD slot. This digital cable equipment is different from the digital-to-analog converter boxes required to receive broadcast signals over-the-air.
Any analog television not hooked up to cable must use a digital-to-analog converter box to receive broadcast signals over-the-air.
Plan to achieve success, avoid failure
Lake Business Conference can guide the way
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Though no formula guarantees small business success, there are many things an aspiring entrepreneur can do to improve his or her chances of long-term prosperity.
Bruce Mitchell, chairman of the Lake of the Ozarks SCORE, said most revolve around planning.
“A good business plan can make all the difference between success and failure. It can help you determine if there is actually a demand for that product or service and it can help you with everything from buying to selling that product or service,” he said.
This year, potential entrepreneurs – or those already in business but who want some fresh ideas – can get guidance and advice from professionals at the 2014 Lake Business Conference. The event, to be held April 9 at Tan-Tar-A Resort, will include a track titled “Taking Care of the Basics – Guidelines to starting a business, business plans & finance.”
During the seminar, Larry Laminger with SCORE will discuss “Starting a Business: The First Steps,” where attendees will learn how to explore the feasibility of a business idea; the value of planning; and key licensing and regulatory requirements involved in the business start-up process.
Richard “Dick” Hobbs, a SCORE volunteer who spent much of his career in leadership and management positions serving as a career US Marine Corps Infantry Officer and then managing several startups and existing business ventures, will discuss the importance of developing a business plan, the different uses of the plan, what makes a “winning” plan and sources to provide assistance with the plan.
Hobbs and Suzanne Stearman with the SBA will speak on “Funding your business – no easy answers.” They will discuss the key metrics to funding a business, new and innovative ways to fund and the importance of facing the reality that there is no “free lunch” in funding a business.
The conference will also include three other tracks: Marketing Your Business – Targeting your Message and Understanding Digital Marketing; Customer Service –Tips to creating a customer focused culture and delivering exceptional service; and HR Updates – Need to know info on the Affordable Care Act and Hiring Seasonal Employees
Track A: Marketing Your Business –
Digital marketing experts at Bucket Media will help sort through acronyms and what they mean to a business’ online marketing plan; they’ll explore the evolution of digital marketing and they’ll discuss why it’s important to have an online business presence in today’s world. “No matter if you are a beginner or experienced digital marketer, you’ll leave armed with important information and tips on how to improve your business’ online presence,” the description promises.
Jerry Henry, president and CEO of H2R Market Research, also will discuss the importance of understanding customers; he will examine how travelers and Lake area customers are changing and why business owners need to embrace new marketing techniques; and how implementing a consumer insights initiative can provide a competitive advantage.
Track B: Customer Service -
Several Lake area employers will share how customer service is incorporated as a key element into their business strategy. Panelists will also provide insight into how they work with employees to ensure this customer service focus is clearly demonstrated to customers. They will attempt to discern the description of “exceptional” customer service; they’ll discuss what customers expect; and they’ll help business owners understand how they can determine if they’re doing everything possible to provide their customers with a memorable service experience.
Track C: HR Updates –
Steve Rubino with Coventry Healthcare will provide an Affordable Health Care Act update and David Campanini, a principal with C. Clarity Consulting, which provides human resources and management solutions for Missouri employees, will discuss “Hiring in a Seasonal Environment.”
The fee to attend the conference is $40 for the first individuals who are members of any of the chambers of commerce, the Convention and Visitor Bureau, the Tri-County Lodging Association, the Lake of the Ozarks SCORE chapter or the Heart of the Ozarks Professional Business Women and then $35 for each additional attendee from a single business.
The fee is $60 for those who aren’t members of those organizations.
For more information call Jackie Rasmussen at 573-346-2644. For a complete conference schedule that includes times for each presentation, visit www.lakebusinessconference.com.
‘Plan your work – work your plan’ good advice for entrepreneurs
The more you know up front, the less likely you are to make the same mistakes that typically doom other new business. And, you’re be better positioned to adjust to unexpected events or trends that can send an otherwise well-run enterprise into a sudden tailspin. Some key areas that should be thoroughly researched include market demographics and demand for a particular product or service, marketing channels and visibility (i.e., how you’ll reach those prospective buyers), competition and pricing, direct and indirect costs (including overhead items such as rent and insurance), financing availability and repayment requirements, and location issues.
You also need to chart a plan for growth. A promising start-up doesn’t always sustain its early momentum. It’s one thing to reach a comfort level where everything seems to be firing on all cylinders but what happens when a new competitor arrives on the scene or costs go up?
Finally, look at your most important asset—you. Is operating a small business really what you want to do? And do you have all the skills and resources to do it? Poor management is a major reason for small business failure, whether it’s keeping the books or leading employees. There are several alternatives for addressing areas in need of improvement—self-education, a partnership, outsourcing, etc. Which one best fits your personality, skill level, and type of business?
And consider how operating a small business will affect your personal relationships.
Entrepreneurship is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it requires commitment, objectivity, and balance with other facets of your life. Burnout from success or frustration from setbacks can have the same negative physical and emotional consequences.
Starting a new business carries an inherent degree of risk, but statistics show that the odds of survival are definitely in the start-up’s favor. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 70 percent of new employer establishments survive the first two years, and 51 percent are still going after five years.
For more information contact the Lake of the Ozarks SCORE Chapter at www.LakeoftheOzarks.SCORE.org, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573-346-5441.
Learn how to use QuickBooks Pro in your business
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
One of the most challenging aspects of owning a business can be managing money. However, QuickBooks Pro can help even the most numbers-challenged entrepreneur stay on top of his or her finances.
The computer software program can be used to remind business owners when recurring bills are due and then print checks to pay those bills; it can track expense billing and prepare financial statements; the program can track sales and create receipts and then it can create a variety of financial reports, export those reports into Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format and send them electronically via email.
To help business owners and organizations take full advantage of the QuickBooks program, the University of Missouri Extension will be offering training classes on the
accounting software this month.
The Advanced QuickBooks class, which is open to everyone, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 21. The class will be held in the computer lab (Room 127) at the State Fair Community College Osage Beach campus at Stonecrest Mall.
This advanced level class will focus on the expanded reporting capabilities of QuickBooks, importing and exporting data to Microsoft Excel, setting up and tracking inventory, tracking job costs and setting up opening balances in equity accounts.
Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. The fee to attend the class is $95 per person. To register or get additional information, contact the Camden County University of Missouri Extension Center at 573-346-2644 or register for the class on-line at http://www.missouribusiness.net/cgi-bin/calendar.
Park it! BDSA does what it can to make that happen
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
This summer it may be a little easier to find a parking spot on the Bagnell Dam Strip.
That’s because the Bagnell Dam Strip Association (BDSA) has partnered with the city of Lake Ozark to build from 12 to 16 additional spaces in the mid-section of the district.
“There’s a great need for more parking on the Strip but because of the terrain, we’re limited on what we can do. The area between the road and the old 10-cent skee ball is city right-of-way so we looked into the cost of cleaning it up, taking out the old islands and adding spaces there,” explained Alderman Jeff Van Donsel, who also serves on the BDSA board. “We had someone offer to do the excavation work at no charge and we’re talking to someone else about providing a survey for free or at a very low fee so the only cost to the city will be some simple engineering and the asphalt. The BDSA has already committed to covering the cost should any surprises pop up.”
In addition, Ameren Missouri agreed to right a leaning utility pole and Charter Communications and AT&T agreed to move utility lines, clearing the way for the additional spaces.
At their January 28 meeting, Lake Ozark aldermen voted unanimously to move forward with the plan. Van Donsel said if all “falls into place,” they hope to have the work completed by the start of the summer season.
The city is also looking into the cost of tearing down the old police station behind Old Time Photos and turning that land into an off-street parking lot.
“The city has been the topic of some unpleasant discussion lately – people saying it’s run down and abandoned-looking but that’s just not true,” Van Donsel said. “We have only a couple empty buildings, we have a lot of new businesses going in and those new owners are making some changes and cleaning things up. Our future is looking better and better.”
Part of that could be due to Hot Summer Nights, a monthly car show that has been dubbed a “mile-long slice of Americana pie.” The shows, put on by the BDSA with the help of several sponsors, has drawn a lot of attention, drawing an estimated 8,000 to 9,000 spectators and participants to each event and winning the 2011 Missouri Tourism Innovator Award, which pays tribute to those smaller tourist entities that achieved great results on small budgets.
This year’s family friendly cruise-ins are set for May 9, June 13, July 11, Aug 8 and Sept.5.
On June 13 the Lake will salute Route 66. The Route 66 Association of Missouri and the author of “Route 66,
The Highway and It's People” have been invited as special guests and towns that were located along the infamous highway have been invited to showcase any history they represent. July 11 will be “muscle car” night; the movie “Grease” will be the theme for the August 8 show; and September 5 will honor veterans. The Lake of the Ozarks Corvette Club will salute Lake-area heroes by handing out American flags and then taking them for a cruise of the Strip.
The car shows will also include a variety of music, clowns, face painting and activities for the kids as well as food and shopping specials. For more information, visit event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cruisehotsummernights.
Lake’s finest acknowledged, thanked by regional council
Kirby Liesmann, Kirby’s School of Wake (left); Phyllis Marose, Putt N Stuff Family Fun Center; Jeff Gloss, the store manager of Dierbergs Lakeview Pointe; and Brent Beumer, the director of Real Estate for Dierbergs Markets, Inc. recently were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments and community involvement. Photo provided.
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
What do a wakeboarding school, a miniature golf course and a grocery store have in common? Their owners and/or managers all received accolades at the Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council’s (LOREDC) annual awards banquet.
Kirby Liesmann of Kirby’s School of Wake was named “2013 Emerging Enterprise of the Year.”
A few years ago, Liesmann, a former national champion wake boarder who has competed in events in both the U.S. and Canada, began giving private lessons in the sport at Lake of the Ozarks. Then while attending school at State Fair Community College, he developed a business plan to help him better market his company. His efforts were successful, bringing Kirby’s School of Wake 120 students in 2010, 300 in 2011 and 420 in 2012 under partnerships with Wake Effects in Osage Beach and then MarineMax, in both Osage Beach and Lake Ozark. A Christian, he also created the Eternal Riders wakeboarding camp at Camp Windermere. In addition, Liesmann is credited with bringing BROstock to the Lake, an event that attracted some of the best wake boarders in the world.
“This is the equivalent of winning a pro tour championship – I am just as passionate about my business as I am about what I do on the water,” he said at the ceremony where he received the award.
Phyllis Marose of Putt N Stuff Family Fun Center, who has been actively involved in the Lake community since 1964, was presented with the 2013 Business Person of the Year award.
In addition to owning and operating Sherwood Restaurant and Resort, over the past 50 years she and her husband developed, built and sold many spec homes in subdivisions now known as Harbor Heights and La Bonita Harbor; they operated the original Minit Mart; they built Capt. Hooks Restaurant and Pub, now known as J. B. Hooks; they developed three successful miniature golf courses, a gift shop and a go kart track on land that is now Miner Mike’s and Busters; and they then purchased property west of the Grand Glaize Bridge and developed two more miniature golf courses and a large figure eight go kart track, which is still in operation. During the 1980s, Phyllis served on the Lake Area Chamber Board for eight years, was president for one year and was instrumental in forming the Lake Lights Festival. She currently serves on the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors’ Bureau board but promised it won’t be her last effort in promoting the area.
“I for one will continue to be an ambassador and to contribute in any way I can to make this an even better place to live,” she said.
The 2013 Business Partner of the Year was awarded to Dierbergs Lakeview Pointe.
Dierbergs not only brought a viable business to the Lake, they also attracted Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bed, Bath and Beyond, providing numerous jobs for Lake-area residents and a boost to the overall economy of the Lake. More importantly, since opening, more than 45 businesses and charities have been on the receiving end of their generosity. At the grand opening on April 24, 2013, they announced their ongoing partnership with The Food Bank. Dierbergs also partnered with the Lake Ozark Rotary Club and supported their efforts for the Greg Gagnon Memorial Golf Tournament, Candyland and the Gala of Trees.
Store Manager Jeff Gloss and Brent Beumer, director of Real Estate for Diebergs Markets, Inc., accepted the award. In his thank you, Gloss said it had been his dream to live and the Lake, adding that taking the job was the best move of his life. Beumer praised the efforts of the city of Osage Beach, adding that because members of the Dierbergs family were homeowners at the Lake, it was natural to choose this spot to build their first store outside of the metropolitan St. Louis area.
“I would like to thank LOREDC for this award – it means a lot to our company and we are honored by this nomination,” he said.
At the meeting, those attending also heard from several city and county representatives and received updates from chambers, school districts, colleges, the hospital, power companies and banks. In addition, Linda Conner, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments (LOCLG) provided information on accomplishments in 2013 and plans for 2014. Stacy Burks of Senator Roy Blunt’s office and Luke Holtschneider of the Missouri Department of Economic Development gave presentations as well.
As in previous years, LOREDC presented the annual awards using the following criteria:
The Business Partner of the Year has experienced significant business accomplishments in the past year, such as growth in jobs, and/or exemplary community involvement.
The Business Person of the Year is a business owner/manager that has made a contribution to the economic welfare and/or has made a considerable donation of time and resources to the community.
The Emerging Enterprise of the Year is a business that best displays the innovation, entrepreneurial accomplishments and/or utilization of emerging technology.
Glimpses of the Lake's Past
By Dwight Weaver
FOURTH OF JULY
A lot has changed at Lake of the Ozarks in 82 years, not the least of which is how things look and what holiday weekends are like. In 1932 the Lake was just 13 months old and celebrating its second Fourth of July weekend. Here are two descriptions of that weekend as reported in the Lake area media:
“July 2, 3, and 4, in spite of . . . much rain Friday morning . . .thousands were on the Lake fishing, swimming, boating, sightseeing (and) finding new resorts, new swimming holes, new fishing spots, with everybody happy, even though the so-called depression is on. Richard Jeffries at the west side of the Grand Glaize Bridge. . .reports large crowds with all accommodations taken and a steady string of cars in and out of all camps in the hopes of finding a place for the night. Many brought tents and stayed several days, and one point here looked like an army camp. . . Jeffries counted 75 cars in twenty minutes and estimates the total for the day 2,500, which passed his door.”
“Crowds began to gather at the most accessible points south of Stover Saturday afternoon and at Little Buffalo. Saturday night there were about 65 cars parked there . . . Big Bend Acres and Riverview Heights, the two Lake points south of Stover that have reached town-like proportions, were overrun with motorists and campers.”
The photograph (photographer unknown) that accompanies this article looks east and shows the Jeffries fishing dock at the west end of the Grand Glaize Bridge as it appeared in the early 1930s. Today’s view at the west end at the bridge, with the new Expressway development, has been substantially changed and so has the far shore in the background, which is now nearly solid with condo development.
For more information see the author’s book: “History & Geography of Lake of the Ozarks Volume Two.”
This historical sketch is from the collection of H. Dwight Weaver. He is the author of six books on the history of Lake of the Ozarks.
The author’s latest book on Lake history – Images of America, Osage Beach – is now locally available and is a pictorial history of Osage Beach from 1880 to 1980.
Weaver’s book “A Pictorial Guide to Ha Ha Tonka State Park” contains more than 300 photos of the park, which include all of the park’s significant natural and man-made features along its trails and boardwalks.
Contact him at: email@example.com or call 573-365-1171. Visit www.lakeoftheozarksbooks.com to obtain more information or to purchase one of his books on line.