Article by Bill Beggs Jr.
How about treating your attendees to a balloon ride for your next meeting? It doesn’t have to make those who are terrified of heights sweat, either. The Steampunk Balloon on the SkyDeck at Parakeet Pete’s on the lakefront isn’t inflated with hot air or at the mercy of the winds or the steady concentration of a pilot. It’s more like a mellow amusement-park ride: It ascends and descends inside a framework and goes no higher than 200 feet, offering breathtaking views of Lake Taneycomo, downtown Branson and beyond. For those less timid and blasé about nothing under their feet but air, there’s the zipline that operates from the deck. And for those intent on not going anywhere except maybe back to the bar to enjoy some camaraderie with their colleagues, the Sky Deck provides a solid footing. And the view? Awesome doesn’t begin to describe it.
Interested in all or just some of the above? This outdoor venue offers packages that can accommodate different levels of adventure, or no adventure at all. Maybe your group is interested in a low-key wine tasting, or maybe they’ve been brought together for team-building exercises. In either case, planners can find it here and know the experience will not be soon forgotten.
“The Sky Deck is simply one of the best outdoor venues for any event in Branson,” says Lane McConnell of Branson Farmers
Market. “The spectacular views and accommodations will make your event unique and leave your guests with great memories. Sky Deck staff makes planning easy and are also wonderful to work with.”
And sometimes they dress up, and not just on Halloween. Last fall Parakeet Pete’s had a steampunk mannequin challenge. If you’re not familiar with the term, think of how writers H.G. Wells or Jules Verne imagined the technology of the future, then mix it up with a little Willy Wonka. This ain’t your average T.G.I. Friday’s in terms of décor or spirit. It’s vintage, but more like vintage science fiction imagined sometime before man’s first powered flight.
Speaking of flight, sorta, what’s this balloon all about? One to 12 riders can enjoy rising some 188 feet above Branson Landing,day or night, rain or shine, from March 1 to Dec. 31. The contraption features gears, clock innards, and the image of Parakeet Pete all decked out in steampunk, complete with a leather aviator’s helmet. Does the parakeet like it? Nobody’s repeated anything he’s said because, to the best of our knowledge, Pete hasn’t said anything for others to repeat.
And don’t be scared of the zipline. You’re not hooked directly to the wire, it’s more like a tandem chairlift at a ski area. It does go faster than the average ski lift, though, so it’s plenty zippy. Parakeet Pete’s is a prime pick in Branson for all types of get-togethers, from employee parties to weddings to business
meetings (e.g., an “after hours” for the Branson Chamber, says Chris Combs, owner of Branson Ziplines).
“We’ve hosted meetings for the Taney County Partnership, the 417 Magazine employee party, [and] Farmers Market of the Ozarks ‘Farm to Table Dinner’, to name a few,” says Combs. “We have also hosted private family events, a high school graduation party, fundraisers for medical expenses, and so on.” Tent rentals are available, and the deck can comfortably accommodate 100 guests or so. All meals are catered to match the client’s wishes. A cash bar is also available. Steampunk costumes are optional.
Branson is already more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Add an event at Parakeet Pete’s, or do your whole shebang there, and you’ve got a whole zoo full!