Branson Economy Continues To Grow
Another year of record-breaking sales tax revenue has inspired plans for new attractions in this popular tourism destination.
The city's sales tax for this fiscal year totaled $14.8 million, up nearly 13 percent over last year, and a record-breaker for the third year in a row, said city spokesman Jerry Adams. Tourism tax collected by the city rose 9.5 percent to $12 million, also a new record.
And the value of new construction again topped $100 million. This year: $115.5 million.
The boom has a diverse group betting on Branson's future:
-Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. will add new attractions including a $2 million thrill ride at Celebration City.
-Longtime Branson entrepreneur Dimitrios Tsahiridis is building a new mall in the downtown historic district where numerous buildings have been renovated.
-Businesses from Springfield and Lebanon are joining out-of-state investors in Branson.
-And even retirees such as Mike and Betty Nell Tatman are going back into business.
With a residential population of about 7,000, Branson attracts nearly eight million people a year to its live entertainment bonanza, active relaxation with three nearby lakes and Ozarks hospitality.
Opening last year, Branson Landing, the $420 million lakefront shopping and entertainment district, became an instant hit. This fall, the Branson Convention Center and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel opened adjacent to Branson Landing. The convention center gives business travelers a new reason to visit Branson, and to return with their families, city planners say.
"Even with the big boom of the Branson Landing and convention center projects completed, we're still seeing the domino effect as developers build and expand in other areas of the city, wanting to cash in on the increased visitors now coming to Branson," said Planning and Development Director Don Stephens.