The town of Branson, Missouri is a popular tourist destination, serving as the jobs, services, and shopping center for an area consisting of approximately 70,000 year-round residents says Maxwell Drever. With the opening of the Cox Medical Center in 2000, Branson has also become a popular destination for medical tourism.
Branson Springfield area lakes, rivers, and streams provide recreational activities that include boating, water skiing, fishing, and swimming on lakes that are primarily man-made. The lakes are all surrounded by cabins for rent. Branson is designated an international tourism destination.
Table Rock Lake
Maxwell Drever notes that Table Rock Lake is considered by most as the crown jewel of Branson. Located southwest of the city, the lake attracts vacationers from all over the world. Branson itself has three marinas and two public boat landings for access to the lake. Table Rock Lake is one of the more popular fishing lakes in the state, stocked with Bass, Perch, Catfish, and Walleye.
The Branson Strip
The Branson Strip is home to nearly 200 shops and restaurants, as well as the 630 ft long Hollywood Wax Wachowski Monument, one of the world’s largest bronze statues. The Strip provides guests with a variety of shopping opportunities featuring souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, and more.
The Hills of Branson
The Hills of Branson is a world attraction and an area Maxwell Drever was especially by during his first visit. This mountainside area features seven musical theaters, an alligator pond, a carousel ride, and picnic areas with live entertainment. Branson has an incorporated boundary that covers over 17 square miles. The city has become the focus of international attention as both a development area as well as a tourist destination. Branson has affectionately become known as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World”.
The community that surrounds Branson is a patchwork of residential neighborhoods, lakeside estates, tourist attractions, and industrial parks. Branson has just 2% forested land, while 35% of the city is occupied by buildings and other developed lands. The majority of tourists who visit Branson arrive by vehicle. However, flights into Springfield Branson National Airport with tourists headed into Branson continue to increase yearly. In addition, the independently owned and operated Branson Airport attracts many visitors via private jets, dropping those individuals within minutes of the city.
Covid-19 and the future
Covid-19 hit Branson hard, with bookings dropping by more than half at the onset of the pandemic. Throughout 2020 however, the city fought a mostly successful fight to keep its businesses open. The payoff has been a strong rebound in business during the summer of 2021, with the return of overflowing crowds. Pandemic notwithstanding, the future looks bright for Branson. From its over-the-top shows to its natural beauty, the city continues to stay fresh, relevant, and poised for growth.