How did the phenomenon of Branson, Missouri occur?
Branson is a magical and unique place for great people to have an incredible family friendly vacation. There’s no place like it anywhere in the world. The town features Las Vegas caliber entertainment (without the gambling) in a family friendly environment.
Branson has become one of the most popular vacation destinations for travelers from Missouri, the surrounding states and across the country. Many international travelers also find their way to this entertainment mecca from all over the world.
The population of Branson, Missouri was listed as 6,050 in the 2000 census.
Located in Stone and Taney counties in the State of Missouri, the city of Branson was named after Rueben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store he opened in 1882.
Branson was formally incorporated in 1912 and construction of the Powersite Dam on the nearby White River would form Lake Taneycomo.
In 1894 William Henry Lynch purchased Marvel Cave and began offering tours to area visitors. Hugo and Mary Herschend bought the cave in 1950 and hosted square dances inside. The Herschend Family modernized the cave with electricity and cement staircases, and in 1960, the Herschends opened Silver Dollar City, a recreated frontier town with five shops, a church, and a log cabin with 1800′s period style actors throughout the park.
In 1907, Harold Bell Wright published his novel about the Ozarks, The Shepherd of the Hills. The Old Mill Theater began the first outdoor production based on the novel in 1960 and the show still plays to this day.
1963 saw the completion of Table Rock Dam on the White River, which created Table Rock Lake.
In 1967, the Presley family were the first entertainers to open their show on Highway 76 (later known as the “strip”), and one year later, the Baldknobbers moved their show to Highway 76 as well, near the Presleys. The area would eventually grow to more than 50 theaters with most of them located on Highway 76.
In 1983 Branson began its transformation into a major tourist destination when the 7,500 seat Swiss Villa Amphitheatre opened in Lampe, Missouri. The theatre, which was later renamed the Black Oak Mountain Amphitheatre before ultimately closing in the early 2000s, proved there was a market for large music gatherings. Ironically, it started out as a venue for rock bands such as Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, REO Speedwagon, Steppenwolf, and Ozzy Osbourne.
Also in 1983, Roy Clark opened the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre, becoming the first famous country music star to have his own venue in Branson. Many performers that have played in Branson, were first booked at that venue owned by businessman Jim Thomas. A series of larger theatres opened soon thereafter.
In 1987, Box Car Willie became the first entertainer with a permanent schedule in Branson.
In 2007, ground was broken for the $155 million Branson Airport on land formerly belonging to Tennessee Ernie Ford. The Branson Airport officially opened May 11, 2009 as the first and largest privately owned commercial airport in the United States. The construction which involved flattening several Ozark mountains is said to be the largest earth moving project in Missouri history. Currently the closest commercial airport is Springfield-Branson National Airport 50 miles northwest of Branson. That airport is owned by the City of Springfield.
Branson is home to more than fifty theaters, featuring numerous shows and entertainment productions.
Branson is also the home to three pristine lakes, twelve championship golf courses and several local attractions including Silver Dollar City, Dixie Stampede, White Water, IMAX Theater, The Shepherd of the Hills, Mount Pleasant Winery, Stone Hill Winery, Ride The Ducks, and Branson Landing.
The Titanic Museum opened in 2006 and includes artifacts from the actual wreck of the RMS Titanic. Also on display are models of the ship, a full scale replica of the grand staircase and recreations of various rooms of the ship, in addition to eye-witness accounts of the events that occurred.
Branson Landing opened in the summer of 2006 on the Lake Taneycomo waterfront in downtown Branson. The lakefront project includes retail space with Bass Pro Shops and Hudson Belk as anchors in an outdoor shopping mall with a multitude of stores and restaurants.
The new Branson Convention Center, situated between the Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson, opened September 7, 2007.
Branson, Missouri Statistics
As of the 2000 census there were 6,050 people, 2,701 households, and 1,661 families residing in the city. The population density was 374.0 people per square mile (144.4/km²). There were 3,366 housing units at an average density of 208.1/sq mi (80.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.50% White, 0.84% African American, 0.86% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.47% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. 4.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 2,701 households out of which 24.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 86.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,997, and the median income for a family was $43,145. Males had a median income of $31,769 versus $21,223 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,461. 12.1% of the population and 9.7% of families were below the poverty line. 15.6% of those under the age of 18 and 17.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.Google+