Branson, MO has more options and things to do than most folks could accomplish in several weeks, but they have two MUST DO attractions for our military reunion groups. Themed after the majestic showboats of the 1800s, the Showboat Branson Belle evokes the spirit of a bygone era when river boat adventure, glamorous travel and dazzling entertainment converged into what we remember as Those Grand Old Showboatin’ Days! See gorgeous views of Table Rock Lake, stroll the three decks, and enjoy panoramic views of the lush Ozark Mountains across the turquoise waters of Table Rock Lake.
The Veterans Memorial Museum is a privately owned museum that contains over 2000 artifacts in ten display rooms, covering WWI through Desert Storm. For those who lived through these times, the memories brought back are vivid and overwhelming. The hallmark of the museum is the world’s largest war memorial bronze sculpture – over seventy feet in length weighing over fifteen tons! It depicts fifty life-sized soldiers (one from each state) storming the beach.
No matter your age, Branson has something for everyone and especially Military Reunions!
The United States Army was founded on June 14, 1775 – 241 years ago today! Today, we at Armed Forces Reunions, celebrate the men and women who have served in the United States Army. We have had the privilege of working with so many terrific Army groups over the past 28 years, and 2016 is no different! This year alone we are planning the reunions for the following U.S. Army associations: The 94th Infantry Division Historical Society, Army Otter Caribou Association, 104th Infantry Division (Timberwolf Pups) Association, 106th Infantry Division Association, 4/9 Infantry Manchu (Vietnam) Association, National Rakkasan Association, OV-1 Mohawk Association, Society of the 5th Division, 18th and 54th Aviation Company “Otternest” Association, and the United States Army Chaplains Corps Regimental Association!
We can’t wait for all of these exciting and upcoming 2016 United States Army Reunions. Be sure to check back to our blog and check our Facebook for photos of these wonderful ‘Army Strong’ events.
Check out some of our favorite moments from 2015’s U.S. Army Reunions below:
Veterans of the 106th Infantry Division at their 2015 Reunion in Charleston, South Carolina.
Attendees of the 104th Infantry “Timberwolf Pups” Association’s 2015 Reunion in New Orleans, Louisiana!
Veterans of the 94th Infantry Division in front of the Battleship Wisconsin, an attraction visited at their 2015 reunion in Norfolk, VA.
Groups need to be careful when signing contracts with a Food & Beverage Minimum, without understanding if reaching the minimum is realistic or not. Be conservative when guessing at expected numbers for meal functions, as F&B Minimums (the dollar amount your group must spend) are based on these numbers. Never calculate cash bar sales into the Minimum – only the meals. Also, the F&B Minimum is based on the meal’s base cost, before service charge and tax are added. Often, the Minimum is unrealistically high and easy to fall shy of. It can be a very arbitrary number that sets the Group up for failure – if the group doesn’t hit the minimum it will pay the difference. Put a lower than expected number in the Function Agenda – as long as the space a hotel reserves is adequate to handle your hoped-for numbers, and make sure the F&B Minimum is no more than 65-75% of the pre-tax and service charge meal price times the expected number of people.
Also, make sure you study the hotel’s Capacity Chart to check whether the ballroom space assigned for your banquet is sufficient in size. When you plan for a head table and color guard aisle, guesstimate how many people a meeting room can handle by multiplying the total square footage by .06. Also, always get meeting room names listed in the contract’s Function Agenda, to ensure you have the space to meet your needs. Don’t assume that the function space a hotel assigns is adequate to meet your needs. Sales Managers may book meeting rooms according to a hotel’s Capacity Chart estimates – which never take into account head tables, aisles, AV equipment, stages, or dance floors. And do not let the hotel change assigned function space if your final, guaranteed number is at least 75% of the contracted number. My best advice is to get a professional on your side to make sure your needs are met and your reunion is a success. Contact Us today!
Most hotel contracts today include multiple “performance clauses”, which can be very costly to reunion groups if attendance is not what was hoped for. The most basic clause is for “Room Attrition.” Groups need to be very careful when choosing how many rooms to block, and on what nights. A typical hotel contract will hold the group accountable for rooms not sold below a certain percentage of rooms blocked – usually 75-80%.
Attrition is based on the cumulative room pickup, or the total number of room-nights sold for the length of the reunion (one room-night equals one room sold for one night). A reunion-friendly contract will not have room attrition at all – and maybe not even a Food & Beverage (F&B) Minimum. To navigate hotel contracts groups should seek the assistance of a professional – which will cost the group nothing, and possibly save it a lot of money in the long run. For groups with less than 50 rooms per night BookMyReunion.com specializes in securing attrition-free contracts at reunion-friendly hotels nationwide.
Larger reunions may need to enter into contracts with attrition clauses. It helps for all groups to know how many rooms were sold at the last reunion – on each night from the first room in till the last one out. A typical room pickup might be MO-2, TU-12, WE-89, TH-114, FR-119, SA-114, SU-8. A group should block rooms accordingly and never agree to room attrition holding the group responsible for more than 75% – hopefully not more than 65%. It is also important to block a few rooms early and late so the group rate will be loaded in the central reservation system (i.e. Holiday Inn Central Reservations). The reservation clerk will not be at the reunion hotel and may not see that the group rate is available on early or late nights, even though the contract may say rooms are available at the group rate three days before and after the main reunion dates. This is another reason to seek the guidance of a professional – we can ensure a favorable contract and great service to your members!
Branson is one of the top military reunion destinations in the country. Many of Branson’s most well known attractions routinely recognize veterans and their families with special revues and shows. They have a real commitment to honor all veterans, current military, and the families who support them.
Branson is nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, with unlimited outdoor activities, championship golf, and fun things to do for all ages!
Volunteer military reunion planners are invited to join the Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau for our Military Reunion Planners Conference, Aug 8 – 11, 2016. You’ll be able to see all the terrific things Branson has to offer military reunion groups, and when you are ready to book, call the team at BookMyReunion to secure the best possible hotel contract. Call 417-243-2117 for details concerning the Conference.