Branson lost a true pioneer this week as business entrepreneur Jim Thomas passed away on December 19th at the age of 87.
Jim Thomas helped shape the future of the Ozarks and is credited with igniting Branson as a national entertainment destination. He brought legendary entertainers such as Roy Clark, Jim Stafford, and the great Glen Campbell here for the first time, and later encouraged many of them to construct their own theaters, prompting major national recognition for the area.
Dave Hamner also credits Jim Thomas for giving him his first opportunity to star in a major Branson production show, “Branson City Lights” at the Remington Theatre.
He was also instrumental in developing Branson as a year round destination by being the first to extend his theater’s performance season. He encouraged the growth of the first convention and group tour business to Branson by upgrading his Lodge of the Ozarks complex to provide visitors with a first-class entertainment, lodging, dining and meeting experience.
Watch an interview below with Mr. Thomas by Jim Barber & Dave Hamner in 2005.
To see more interviews of various Branson celebrities, visit BransonWebcast.com.