Branson Is Camelot for Builder Rallo
Berger, Jerry, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
POWER BREAKFASTING: "The Camelot theme park in Branson will be the first permanent Renaissance-type fair in the U.S.," hailed Chuck Rallo over coffee in the Provinces at the Frontenac Hilton t'other ayem. Rallo said his CMR construction company is building the park, in addition to another Branson project - Harmony Hills - a 180-acre development on U.S. 65 that will consist of theaters, a bus depot, an office building and hotels.
With Rallo were: his son, John G., who is handling the insurance for the Branson projects through his employer, Daniel & Henry; and Bill Frisella, whose electric company will also work on the projects.
Nearby, Tom Dunne, topper of Fred Weber Co., was lauded for his firm's plans for revamping interchanges at I-55 and I-270 and another at Lindbergh Boulevard and I-55, to begin June 1.
That was some croissant Dunne had to bear while dining with Bishop Ed O'Donnell, Pasta Houses' J. Kim Tucci, Apex Travel's Michael Jordan, construction exec Bill Wachter, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crowe, Fleishman-Hillard's Joe Finnegan, Long Elevator's Phyllis Long and Kirkwood do-gooder Ginny Hartmann. They form the nucleus for Project Children, a fave cause of the bishop's that brings youngsters from war-torn Northern Ireland to the United States each summer to stay with families here.
This year's group of 11 children will be in our town June 30-Aug. 11. Their expenses will be covered by private donations. The steering committee is targeting a benefit dinner for the cause at Mike Shannon's Restaurant.
A few tables away, criminal attorney Donald Wolff schmoozed with a few of his fellow U. City High '55 graduating class, about their reunion Oct. 13-14. By the by, Wolff said his client Urban Bergbauer, ousted trustee of the Whitacre Charitable Foundation, may soon be working out of a desk in Wolff's Clayton office.
Still farther away, the Blues' Mike Shanahan, who was cornered by barrister Robert Quicksilver, explained, "We're trying to straighten out our subdivision." Holding court at the next table was Ronald E. Henges with his Enterprise Bank execs, Kevin Eichner, Fred Eller and Dave Mischler.
And, on the way out, this colyumnist got tipped by a diner that Tony Haenni and his Pond Inn and Haenni Antique Imports in Pond, Mo., have filed for protection under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Reached by phone for a comment, Haenni explained, "The restaurant (Pond Inn) will remain open and will continue to operate successfully. But my wealth is based upon commercial real estate, which is (worth) 50 percent of what it was four years ago. I tried refinancing. …