Tim Stowe Tim Stowe
Reflections With Tim Stowe:

Reflections With Tim Stowe:

From Popcorn Peddler to Showboat Boss

By: Brandei Clifton
March 23, 2024

As Tim Stowe looks out over Table Rock Lake from the Showboat Branson Belle, the ship’s reflection in the water has him reflecting on his 37-year journey to get there.

He began that almost four-decade-long adventure as a 16-year-old kid selling popcorn on Silver Dollar City’s Town Square.

“I was just a teenager with a really cool summer job,” he smiles. “Back then, a lot of the concession workers were high schoolers or college kids, so we became like each other’s second family. It didn’t take me long to realize how much I loved their company and this company too.”

Tim dreamed up big plans of running his own city but not the theme park kind. While juggling his job at Silver Dollar City, he studied Public Administration in college with aspirations to become a city manager.

“I learned, though, that city managers have a short shelf life,” he explains. “They move around all over the place after a year or so. I was a newlywed and my wife and I decided we loved rural Missouri too much to leave it. So, we stayed.”

His wife Kris studied dance in college and found her fit within the company at the Silver Dollar Saloon.

“It’s true. Not very many people can say they’re married to a real-life Saloon girl!” he beams. “After a short time away, I returned to the company in a new role. I became a show producer in our Entertainment department.”

That gig led to lots of slime time! Tim produced Nickelodeon’s show for its three-season run at the Riverfront Playhouse. During his decade in Entertainment, he also played a key role in producing shows like Heading West, It's A Wonderful Life, various stunt shows, magic shows, Cajun Connection and house bands. In 2015, his list of “fun projects” was about to grow a little longer.

“Our VP of Entertainment called me and said he had an opportunity over at the Showboat Branson Belle. He needed someone there who knew the talent, and he knew I loved and respected them. He asked me to think it over and give him an answer the next day.”

It was a quick consideration. Tim decided to sail on over to his next great adventure. When he got there, his priority was making sure the team understood they were part of a larger company equipped to support them.

“They felt like they were on an island,” he remembers. “I really reminded them of the huge park down the road filled with people who want to see them succeed. We began to build a family —our Belle family.”

Now in this 37th season with the Silver Dollar City Company, Tim doesn’t reflect on the “good years” because he says they’ve all been great.

“Your job is what you make of it. If you want to have fun at work, you’ll have fun at work. If you want to be miserable, you’ll be miserable. It’s entirely up to you! As for me, I like to have fun!”

Part of that fun is Tim’s weekly, intentional time to watch the Showboat cast do what they do best—get the audience clapping along to all their favorite hits.

“This year’s show has new music from the same genre,” he says. “Most of our audience grew up in the 70s. A love for groups of that era set the tone for our guests' entire life so that’s the soundtrack we give them!”

For Tim, all that toe-tapping fun happens on a ship filled with family.

“I’m so very proud of what we’ve built together here,” he smiles. “This team knows I’m in this with them! The way you get folks to stick around is to make the job fun! And, boy, do we like to have fun!”

About the Showboat Branson Belle: Themed after the majestic showboats of the 1800s, the Showboat Branson Belle evokes the spirit of a bygone era when riverboat adventure, glamorous travel, and dazzling entertainment converged into an unforgettable voyage! Guests enjoy a cruise of Table Rock Lake, a scrumptious three-course meal, and a lively variety show packed with song, dance, magic and comedy!

For tickets and show schedules, visit silverdollarcity.com

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