Student employee housing part of $30M investment planned at Silver Dollar City

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,489 views 

Officials at Branson, Mo.-theme park Silver Dollar City announced Tuesday (Oct. 25) a partnership with Wisconsin-based Holtz Builders to construct an on-grounds residence hall adjacent to the park.

The student-employee housing project is one of several enhancements to the park, worth an estimated $30 million. They will involve guest offerings, enhanced employee recruitment and retention benefits, and parking, road and infrastructure improvements.

“These additions will enhance the time our guests spend with us. Each of these projects has been carefully chosen and designed to meet our guests’ needs and expectations and continue to elevate Silver Dollar City as a major theme park in the very center of the USA,” said Brad Thomas, president of the Silver Dollar City Co.

The residence hall construction begins this fall and is scheduled to open mid-2023. The three-story, “dorm-like” project will be on three acres and is valued at approximately $10.5 million. It will house seasonal workers participating in various student work programs, including Silver Dollar City’s growing intern program, Silver Dollar UniverCity.

The 53,760-square-foot project will accommodate up to 300 students. Standard rooms will house up to four students with four beds, individual lockers, a private bathroom, a large refrigerator, Wi-Fi, a study desk and self-contained heating and air. Additionally, the hall will have two common-area kitchens with gathering spaces and laundry facilities. Indoor and outdoor recreational areas will provide open spaces for games and gatherings.

Holtz Builders has developed housing complexes in other tourist destinations in Wisconsin and Tennessee and facilities that will soon start in other locations. Silver Dollar City has provided the tract of land to Holtz for the project, with Holtz constructing and managing the new property.

“We most enjoy creating, and operating, housing developments that become ‘communities’ for student residents,” said Tom Holtz, founder of Holtz Builders. “Our mission is to create lasting relationships; we are in this project with Silver Dollar City for many years to come.”

Silver Dollar City will also bring back new and expanded areas damaged in a November 2021 fire — Heartland Home Furnishings, a woodcarving shop, and Fried Fancies, a pork rind business. They are scheduled to open during the 2023 season.

Construction will begin this winter on a project to improve the guest entrance into Silver Dollar City. It includes an additional 1,200 parking spaces and improved entrances into parking lots allowing for expedited traffic flow into and out of the parking lots.

Also included are enhanced pedestrian access routes and a new turn lane into the park. Project work will be done in phases and targeted for completion in 2024.