Homes in various stages of development have sat empty for years in Branson West.
Photo courtesy J&M Explorations
Homes in various stages of development have sat empty for years in Branson West.

Blog: TikTok effect impacts former Indian Ridge

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A ghost town in the Ozarks has drawn mass appeal from users of TikTok and other social media channels.

Developer Jim Shirato in the mid-2000s broke ground on the whopping $1.6 billion, 850-acre Indian Ridge development in Branson West with much fanfare. Today, the failed project sits eerily quiet with empty structures in various stages of development, a glimmer of what could have been.

An Arkansas attorney's TikTok account has gathered 15.3 million views on a video showing the abandoned Indian Ridge project. She furthered drew in nearly 104,000 views on a separate video showing where the development is located, with a warning not to trespass. That attention appears to now be manifesting as in-person interest.

The Stone County Sheriff's Office yesterday issued a warning on Facebook that the Highway 76 development "is private property and you can be cited for trespassing."

"It has been a constant flow of people walking down in the development all weekend," Sheriff Doug Rader said in the Facebook post, which has itself become viral with 1,300 shares. "Our deputies are very busy handling calls for service and really do not want to write people tickets for trespassing."

At Springfield Business Journal, we've also experienced the TikTok effect from the Indian Ridge attention.

Over the last month, a 2018 article titled, "Officials break ground on new development entrance at former Indian Ridge," has gained the most pageviews, topping current stories by a fairly large margin.

It's a phenomenon we've experienced before, as new interest in old articles propped up by social media posts have led to Google search results for SBJ.net. Similarly this past month, a 2008 article titled, "Longtime donor, businessman Plaster dies," has gained in popularity after an article about a residence built for him when viral. Robert W. Plaster, a longtime proponent of higher education and free enterprise in southwest Missouri, died at age 78 in October 2008.

Back to Indian Ridge. Our most recent coverage in mid-2018 detailed Colorado-based MD&D Investments LLC's plans for a new project called The Ridge at Table Rock Lake. A Highway 76 intersection for the development was initiated, but the work since has gone quiet.

SBJ is investigating the future of the property for an upcoming article.

Until then, enjoy this video of a group called J&M Explorations taking a look inside the abandoned Indian Ridge homes last year. It’s racked up nearly 100,000 views on YouTube. I wonder if the sheriff's department was informed.