New licensing policy in Branson will shut down sub-par lodging facilities

The City of Branson now has a new licensing process that will allow city leaders to shut down motels and hotels that aren't up to code.

"There are some, right now, that are operating without a business license," Melody Pettit, with the City of Branson, said.

The city has a list of those places, which is posted publicly online.

"We to make it easier for the public to pull up a list and say 'Hey, is this hotel or motel that we are thinking about staying at, do they have a business license or should I think about staying somewhere else?'" Pettit said.

According to the new policy, businesses that are still on that list on November 1, will be shut down.

"The bottom line is, everybody who comes to Branson, who lives in Branson, deserves a safe and healthy place to stay," Pettit said.

Also, listed are places that have current licenses, but still need to pass certain inspections in order to get a new one.

"So, in order for these people to get a new business license, they've been flagged in the yellow, saying, 'Hey, they didn't pass something, they need to reinspect,'" Pettit said.

It's a stricter policy that people like Bryan Stallings, with Jesus was Homeless, hope will help bring weekly stay motels, especially, up to par.

"My biggest hope is just that we provide safe places for folks that live and work in Branson to live," Stallings said.

He says, come November 1, shutting down some of those sub-par motels will help make way for safer housing options.

"I think by the city raising the bar, it will force other property owners to raise their bar, which will then provide opportunity for people to go," Stallings said.

It's something he hopes will help change a problem that's been plaguing Branson for years.

"Then, folks can get out of the motels and maybe it becomes a temporary stay and not a permanent stay," Stallings said.

To view the list of lodging facilities that don't have a license or have other issues, click here: http://www.bransonmo.gov/lodgingstatus

City leaders say if property owners have questions about their violations or need inspections, the departments and contact information are as follows:

· Code Enforcement (417) 337-8527
· Fire Department (417) 243-2790
· Health Department (417) 334-4544
· Business License Code Officer (417) 337-8592

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.