Branson Leaders Believe Economic Boom will Continue

1 decade 1 week 5 days ago September 17, 2006 Sep 17, 2006 Sunday, September 17 2006 Sunday, September 17, 2006 10:35:15 PM CDT in News
Source: (Copyright 2007 The Associated Press All Rights Reserved.)
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) - Development in tourist-driven Branson has topped the billion-dollar mark in a boom that could continue for at least five more years. City economic development director Mike Rankin said it isn't just the show palaces, restaurants and hotels that are boosting the local economy. Rankin says Branson is following an economic model of a three-legged stool: tourism providing revenue, service industries bringing year-round jobs and homebuilding. Five years ago the number of first-time visitors dropped 16% and experts noted that Branson's senior visitors were becoming too old to travel. So the city set out to bring in new, big-name entertainers. More money was spent on advertising, and Rankin was hired. The $420  million-Branson Landing lifestyle center and an adjacent convention center were developed, forming the impetus for renewed growth in the region. The city has since added a $12 million recreation center and approved its first industrial park to spur more year-round employment. A record-setting 225 housing units were permitted in the city last year and more affordable housing is being developed.

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