Saving Rockaway Beach

7 Apr

Saving Rockaway Beach, as if they are asking for help. I doubt it, I have never heard one complaint from this town regarding their situation. Some of the business and people may just like Rockaway the way it is. I’ll bet money that if they had a choice they would like to go back to their former glory and luster that the town garnered in the 1940’s and ’50’s. We’ll get into that soon enough. I watched intensely as the casino vote went down and as Pete Herschend spearheaded the downfall of the vote. My question is this, what did Herschend do to help the local economy of Rockaway Beach and it’s citizens after the vote was over? Did he have grand plans to build a water park?

I understand the position the casinos would have put Ozark Mountain Country into, it put the mountain folks on the road to the casinos in Oklahoma and on the banks of the Mississippi along with their revenue, that sure helped our pocketbooks at home. Sure it’s not family entertainment, sure it brings vice…but you know it would help the jobless rate with employment opportunities via a Rockaway Police Department. Who said it couldn’t be addressed prior to any construction? I would venture to say it may have driven some nails in Rockaway Beach’s coffin.

An example of the kind of situation they have can be seen with something as small as a car show. For many years the Rods & Relics Club held a Rockaway Beach Rod Run in the sleepy little town. Guess where it moved to? Yes sir Branson. I can’t blame the club for moving to a more entertaining town what with Silver Dollar City and Showboat Branson Belle to entertain them. I can’t imagine the old Skee Ball Arcade would keep them here longer.

Let’s face it Rockaway is dead with the exception of a few trout fishermen and folks who come back to visit because of habit. I am one of those. Are we silly enough to let this town just die on the vine? Where can you find a town built right on the banks of a world class trout fishery? I imagine the lure of Rockaway was just that. The lake cabins and summer homes are still there sitting on the hillside built out of native rock, looking like they were a century ago. Eureka Springs capitalized on their houses, main street and many historic buildings. Can’t we look to Rockaway to perhaps become an artists colony as well? It might be a good idea to look into ways to boost their economy with some donated ideas, planning some family outings at Rockaway or investing in renovation for the purpose of drawing in artists, or Heaven forbid…tourists.

Here’s a quick look at the “quaint” building in and around Rockaway…just imagine.

Now the economy has taken the biggest hit since the depression…who wants another stab at the vote for casinos? Bring in the casinos with pre-planned and themed ideas that fit into our culture. Set some type of standards the casinos must live by in order to hold their gaming license in the county and or state. Bring in some government grants for renovation and create some construction jobs. Bring back the people, the fun and the excitement Rockaway and our area needs. Tell Pete to stay over in Branson and watch Undercover Boss re-runs, just because he is 10 miles up river doesn’t mean he has Rockaway’s best interest at heart.

We welcome other opinions.


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