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Silver Dollar City partners with Mercy for its first-ever calming space.

by Susan and Simon Veness

Silver Dollar City has announced its partnership with Mercy as their multi-year official health care sponsor, and a low-stimulation “Calming Space” is among the park’s new health improvements.

silver dollar city calming space exterior
Photos courtesy of Silver Dollar City

The two organizations have teamed up to provide added family safety, accessibility, and comfort for the Branson, Missouri’s park guests, including a private room for visitors with special sensory needs.

“We know many of our visitors come from the communities Mercy serves,” said Brad Thomas, president of Silver Dollar City Attractions. “It made sense to choose a well-respected, familiar name to advise us on ways to keep our guests healthy.”

Mercy health care team

A key part of the team-up is the park’s first-ever “Calming Space,” which sets the standard for several planned spaces in the City.

The room has been designed to help calm sensory overload, and includes comforting colors, soft seating, low lighting, books, sensory toys, and a large, cushioned “crash pad” for resting, rolling, or jumping.

“The Calming Space’s focal point is a large, textured wall, designed and built by Silver Dollar City craftsmen to portray the Frisco Silver Dollar Train,” said Jessica Loftis, Silver Dollar City project manager. “We know most kids love trains, so we created the drawing of our train scene, then set out to build it. There are dimensional layers of smooth and rough surfaces, artificial grass, wood for the railroad ties, stone for the tunnel, and glass beads for the sky.”

silver dollar city calming space train wall

Dr. Kyle John, child psychiatrist and vice president of Mercy’s behavioral health program, further explained, “Some people with developmental disabilities, like autism, need quiet and very little movement to calm down, but some actually need outside stimulation or repetitive motion to feel more grounded. They might rock back and forth on the crash pad, or find a texture on the wall that is comforting to touch.”

In addition to the sensory updates, park visitors will also benefit from knowing their electronic health record can be accessed in the event that they need care while in the park.

“As the official health care sponsor of Silver Dollar City, our goal is to serve families before, during, and after their park visits,” said Craig McCoy, president of Mercy Springfield Communities. “If you’re already a Mercy patient and you need care while you’re here, our providers have access to your health records. We’ll know about your allergies and what medications you’re taking. When you return home that connection continues, because your family doctor will have the details of any treatment Mercy provided during your trip.”

Dr. John followed up with the statement, “After two years of a pandemic, we know how important it is to get outside with our families and friends. We need to have fun together, and experience joy.”

For more information visit SilverDollarCity.com.

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