Category Archives: Branson

Branson’s “zig-zag” streets testify to the time Branson “disappeared”

The Zig-Zag streets of Branson testify to the time Branson “disappeared.”

San Francisco’s “Lombard Street,” is famous for being steep and crooked, but has little to do with the early history of San Francisco. On the other hand, Branson’s “College Street,” with its unique “zig-zag” streets, while not as famous, has a lot to do with the early history of Branson.

“Most of the millions who visit Branson each year will never see this unique historic feature. It’s a great way to spend some time between enjoying Branson’s great live shows and attractions and experience Branson history,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Interestingly, many drive within two blocks of the zig-zag streets on their way to Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson,” he added.

As you drive east on Highway 76, Main Street, you will notice a McDonalds to the north (left). McDonalds is at the intersection of Sixth and Main Streets.

Turn right, onto “Sixth Street” and drive south two blocks, passing “Pacific Street” to the apparent end of Sixth Street at its intersection with College Street. It’s only when one “Zigs,” by turning left onto College Street and then, about a quarter of a block down College, “Zags” back onto Sixth Street by turning right, that the “zig-zag” alignment of Sixth Street becomes apparent. If the Sixth street turn is missed basically the same thing can be done by turning onto Fourth or Third Streets.

Some might ask the question, “Why didn’t the people who planned Branson simply have the streets go straight through?” The answer is because the city of Branson, as it was originally incorporated on April 1, 1912, was a combination of two different plats with different roads, alignments, and block lengths.

In about 1882, Ruben S. Branson opened a general store near the mouth of Roark Creek and the White River. He named the post office in his store “Branson,” and even though he moved away, the name stuck, well, kind of.

In the early 1900s, as the railroad started into the “Branson area,” there were competing interests trying to get land and plat towns. The first town platted was “Lucia” on October 2, 1903 with the town of “Branson” platted soon after on October 26, 1903. In general, College Street was the dividing line between the Lucia and Branson town plats, It was the northern edge for Lucia and the southern edge for Branson.

According to most historical accounts, Charles Fulbright and his “Branson Town Company” acquired both town sites by the end of 1903. So, although the two plats became “Branson” in 1903 their roads remained as they were, and are to this very day.

Branson “disappeared” for a short time. The official records of the U.S. Post Office indicate that the name of the “Branson” Post Office was changed from “Branson” to “Lucia” in 1902 and changed back to “Branson’ again in 1904.

Branson’s zig-zag streets might not be at the top of the list of things most visitors plan to experience while in Branson. However, they can certainly provide a pleasant five or ten-minute side trip while on the way to or from Historic Downtown Branson or Branson Landing and testify to the time in history when Branson, if only for a short while,  “disappeared.”

They provide an excellent lead into the various historic things to see in “Historic Downtown Branson.” These would include, the site where the Mabe family started Branson’s first show, the “Baldknobbers,” the grave of Ruben S. Branson for whom Branson is named, the oldest free standing building in Branson, and, of course, “Dick’s 5 & 10.”



“Branson” is open and overflowing with fun, adventure, and excitement!

Like all of the shows, attractions, and shopping Branson is noted for, Silver Dollar City, Legends in Concert and the Titanic Museum Attraction are open.

Current news and social media stories create the perception that there’s wide-spread flooding in Branson. Nothing could be further from the truth! The “Branson” millions of tourists enjoy each year is not flooding. It’s open and offering all the fun, adventure, and excitement it’s famous for!

Here’s some answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about flooding in Branson:

When the media reports “Branson flooding,” what’s flooding? An extremely small number of homes and businesses, most of which are not even in Branson. They are in low-lying areas along Lake Taneycomo and its tributaries and are susceptible to flooding following periods of high rain. It gets worse when the flooding is accompanied by the release of water through the turbines and spillways of Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo. These releases are necessary to lower the levels of Table Rock Lake back below the top of its Flood Pool.

Except for those located directly on the Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake shorelines, there is no impact on the shows, attractions, activities and other things that the vast majority of visitors to “Branson” enjoy doing. But for the news and social media reports, videos, and pictures, the typical visitor would not even know that there had been any flooding.

Isn’t that kind of heartless, “promoting tourism” while some are flooded? No. First and foremost, the community takes care of the needs of those impacted by the flooding. In concert with that, it strives to make sure that the area’s primary source of income, for some of them and many others, tourism, is not adversely impacted because of a mistaken perception created by news and social media sensationalism.

Is most of “Branson” flooded? No! Media reports aside, the “Branson” that millions of tourists enjoy each year is neither flooded or impacted by the flooding. This includes Silver Dollar City; Branson shows, attractions, restaurants, and shopping on the famed “Branson Strip;” the restaurants and stores in “Branson Landing;” and just about everything else Branson offers.

What are “those businesses located directly on the Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake shorelines?” The Lake Taneycomo shoreline would include Scotty’s Trout Dock; the City of Branson’s Lake Side RV Camp Ground; Main Street Lake Cruises, The Paddlewheel; Bass Pro Shops’ White River Fish House; the Branson Landing boardwalk, and the Branson Landing Fountains with their spectacular fire and light show. The Table Rock shoreline would include the State Park Marina, and Moon Shine Beach and Launching Ramp as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and privately owned campgrounds. It also includes hotels, cabins, or other Branson lodging facilities located on the shorelines of either Lake Taneycomo or Table Rock Lake.

Doesn’t Branson Landing Flood? The shopping and restaurants available on the famed Branson Landing Promenade are not impacted by flooding. They are located well above the shoreline of Lake Taneycomo. Some of the lower areas of the Bass Pro parking lot, as well as its board walk, and the Branson Landing Fountains will flood. Even then however, except during the initial stages of “flash flooding,” there is usually plenty of parking available. If per chance there is not, just go up into historic downtown Branson and take the free trolley back to Branson Landing.

How does “flash flooding” impact the situation? When it occurs, a lot. Its impact depends on many different factors and is as uncontrollable as it is unpredictable, except for one thing. Soon after the rain causing the “event” stops, the higher water levels caused by the event will drop very quickly

What about the news and social media articles, reports, pictures and videos showing flooding in “Branson?” Answering the question, “Is this a picture of anything that will impact what it is I want to see or do in Branson?” will help keep things in perspective. The answer will be “No” about 99.9% if the time.

How much water must come through Table Rock Dam’s Spillways and Turbines before there’s flooding? Anything can happen initially with “flash flooding,” but typically there’s no flooding, if there’s 25,000 cfs or less coming through the dam’s spillways and turbines.

If you have any questions about the current conditions in Branson, or questions about Branson’s incredible shows, attractions, or lodging, please don’t hesitate to contact the Branson Tourism Center and talk with one of their Branson based Vacation Specialists at 1-800-785-1550. They’ll also be delighted to help with making show, attraction, or lodging reservations and get you the best available show seats and lodging. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9.30 PM. The Branson Tourism Center can also be reached through its website

Branson Tourism Center wins Southwest Missouri’s Better Business Bureau 2017 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics

“It was an honor just to be a finalist for the Torch Award,” said Tammy Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “Actually winning the BBB Torch Award, with so many worthy nominees, is as humbling as it is awesome,” she added.

Johnson said that it’s a testimony to the dedication, effort, and character of Branson Tourism Center’s employees and the Branson vendors they market for. “Our team ‘makes it happen’ every day as they share Branson and help its visitors have the very best Branson experience possible,” she said. “The principles this award embodies, ‘excellence in customer care, marketplace excellence, advancing marketplace trust and consumer leadership,’ are an inherent part of our daily interactions with our customers and vendors. It’s what we strive for every day,” Johnson added.

Over the last 14 years, BTC has sold nearly 5 million show and attraction tickets and hundreds of thousands of room-nights in the Branson marketplace building trusted relationships with its valued customers and vendors. Johnson said, “From a business and economic perspective ‘what’ we have done is important. Equally important however, and what winning the ‘Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics” signifies, is ‘how’ we did it.”

About Branson Tourism Center

Branson Tourism Center, established in 2003, is a marketing company specializing in packaging and individual sales of lodging, shows, attractions and restaurants within Branson to prospective visitors.  It’s one of the area’s largest providers of Branson travel services and employs close to 100 people. It is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Missouri with an A+ rating. Among other organizations, it is a member of the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), American Bus Association (ABA), National Tour Association (NTA), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA), Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce (BLACC), and Branson Lakes Area Lodging Association (BLALA). Branson Tourism Center may be reached by calling 1-800-978-1999.

Husted family reunion hits Branson Trifecta!

Two of the shows the Husteds will see while in Branson are “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Presleys’ Country Jubilee”

Most know the “Trifecta” as a bet forecasting the first three finishers in the correct order. A non-betting definition is “a run of three wins or grand events.” If the Husted family reunion in Branson this July doesn’t meet that definition, then what does?

How about these for “three wins or grand events?” It will be the first time that all nine Husted siblings have ever been all together in one place. It will be the first time any of them have ever been to Branson. They are making a large donation to Christian Action Ministries to help feed the hungry and needy in our community.

When the nine Husted siblings, six brothers and three sisters, come to Branson for the reunion they will be joined by 16 to 20 other family members. Wes Husted said that the family has been working together, and with the Branson Tourism Center, via email, phone, and texting, planning the reunion for about two years.

He is extremely excited because it will be the first time that he will be together, in one place, with all his brothers and sisters. Wes was born in in 1946 and is the oldest. Soon after a sister and four brothers followed. There was a five-year period during which they lost two sisters, one died at birth and one was still born. His two youngest sisters and brother were born after that. His youngest brother was born in 1967 after Wes had gone into the U. S. Air Force.

Wes and two of his brothers, were career U. S. Air Force, moving all around the world. He said that he really didn’t get to know his two youngest sisters, who were one and two when he went into the service, until his parents bought them to visit on base while he was in the service. Two of his brothers also served in the Air Force. His remaining brother, served in the U.S. Marine Corps. “We are very close and have met as individuals. We’ve just been scattered all over and have never been able to get all nine of us together. It was one thing my mother always wanted to see, but never did,” he said.

Although they have met individually over the years, the Husteds’ Branson reunion will be the first time that they have ever been together in one place. They will be traveling to Branson from all over the country with some traveling from Hawaii.

“We were raised in a Christian home. Our parents always taught us that no matter how hard things are, and they were hard, that there is always somebody else who has a greater need and to find a way to help them,” he said. “The idea for the donation to the Christian Action Ministries (CAM) food program is in that spirit. We all wanted to lose weight for the reunion. Originally, we were going to donate food for each pound lost but, after talking with the staff of Christian Action Ministries, we decided to donate money instead because they can buy so much more than a dollar’s worth of food for each dollar they spend.”

He said that we are going to lose as much weight as we can and, regardless of the total amount lost, make a nice gift to CAM.  He’s hoping that they’ll raise $1,000 to give to CAM while they’re in Branson. “This reunion, what it represents, and the giving spirit of the Husteds for those in need in our community has touched our hearts,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center . “In that same spirit, we’re honored to match the Husteds’ contribution to CAM up to $1,000.00.”

Wes says that what he’s looking forward to doing the most while at the reunion is just spending time with his family and enjoying their company. “Working with the Husteds to plan this reunion has been a unique and inspiring experience,” said Stephanie Lindner, the Group Sales Manager for the Branson Tourism Center. “Their itinerary was custom created for their reunion and includes plenty of family time, meals together, a special Reunion Dinner, and some of Branson’s most popular shows including Million Dollar Quartet, ‘Country on the Lake’ on the Showboat Branson Belle, Comedy Jamboree, and Presleys’ Country Jubilee.

“From all the places they could have picked, the Husteds picked Branson to celebrate this very special occasion,” said Lindner. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with this very special family in planning this inspiring “First Reunion,” she added.

A family picture of all nine of the Husteds together will most assuredly be taken during the reunion. This writer can almost picture their mom, looking down, with a smile on her face, saying, “Together at last!”

Best Branson Insider Highlights for March 2017

The Presleys are celebrating 50 years of entertaining Branson audiences!

“Even with the relatively mild winter, there’s just something special about March in the Ozarks as its hills begin to blossom out with spring foliage and colors,” said, Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Besides the clear signals that Mother Nature’s sending, the opening of Silver Dollar City, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, and many of Branson’s most popular shows and attractions are clear signs that it’s spring in Branson,” he added.

Here’s our Featured Show and Event of the Month, with a list of the highlights of special events you can enjoy in Branson during the month of March:

Featured Show of the Month: The first 2017 performance of Presleys’ Country Jubilee, on March 10, will be the beginning of the Presley family’s 50th year performing in Branson. It’s a show that should be on everyone’s Bucket List of Branson experiences not to be missed. The quality of its music and the unique humor of “Herkimer” and “Cecil” make it one of the most entertaining shows in Branson. Beyond that, the Presleys’ are blessed with the innate ability to communicate their genuine love for what they are doing, each other, and family, to their audience. For 50 years, and counting, they have created wonderful Branson memories for millions as they inspire and entertain Branson audiences.

Featured Event of the Month: When the Showboat Branson Belle leaves the dock on March 4, it will mark more than its maiden cruise for 2017. Guests will be able to enjoy the enhancements of the first phase of the Showboat’s two-year multi-million dollar “guest experience relaunch.”

Nick Guevel, the Director of Operations for the Showboat said, “This includes a complete redo of our theatre and dining areas, including carpeting, stage, chairs, wall paper and painting. We have expanded our premium dining services, provided more space in the general dining area, and much more.” Another of the many enhancements is the new top deck seating for expansive lake views as they are entertained by live top deck acoustic performances.

The Showboat’s headline show CELEBRATE will have a new dimension as it performs on the revamped stage and presents its exciting new 2017 show.  CELEBRATE includes “The ShowMen; Branson-favorite, performer Cassandré Faimon-Haygood; the four-man dance troupe Rhythm, billed as The Fastest Feet West of the Mississippi for their percussive dance and creative choreography; and comedian emcee Christopher James with ultra-sharp improvisation, magic and humor. All are accompanied by the live band, the Rockin’ Dockers.”

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Mar 2 – Mar 4: Bassmaster’s Central Open
Mar 7 – Mar 10: Missouri Park & Recreation Association Conference & Expo
Mar 8 – Mar 14: NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship 2017
Mar 14: Annual Leprechaun Open Golf Tournament
Mar 16 – Mar 18: Branson Praisefest
Mar 17: St Patrick’s Day
Mar 18: Wild West Open Championship – American Cheer Power
Mar 30: 2nd Annual Rock and Rev – Charity Car Raffle and Live Music Event
Mar 31 – Apr 1: Benefit the Badge Tournament
Mar 31 – Apr 2: Silver Dollar City Young Christians Weekend

For additional information on these events, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by visiting, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with a Branson-based vacation planning specialist. They will be delighted to answer any questions, and assist you with show or lodging reservations and there’s absolutely no charge for this service.


“Branson – Up Close and Personal” with Adele Tribute Artist J. C. Marie

J.C. Marie during her Legends in Concert Adele Tribute .

How did the question, “Can we call you Mrs. Adele,” help J. C. Marie create a Legend? Read on to find out and don’t miss her Adele tribute in the world renown Legends in Concert show, in Branson, March 26 through May 16.

“Branson – Up Close and Personal,” is a service of the Branson Tourism Center. It provides readers with an interesting and up-close look at a Branson star or personality in a concise Question and Answer format.

BTC: Where were your born and when?
JC: French Camp, California in 1980.

BTC: When did you first start singing?
JC: I have been singing for as far back as I can remember.

BTC: What were the circumstances?
JC: Both my parents and older sister sang. I can remember singing for a group of a few hundred people, when I was about seven years old. We sang for a church in California as part of a group called the “Missionettes.”

BTC: When did you first realize that you wanted to make a living singing?
JC: Around my senior year in high school. I realized that I loved performing, musical theatre, and wanted to pursue it when I went to college.

BTC: What college did you attend?
JC: Azusa Pacific University.

BTC:  Did you receive a degree from Azusa Pacific?
JC: I sure did, a BA with a major in “English” and minor in “Drama/Theatre.” I thought that teaching would be a great fall back job if I couldn’t make it as a performer. Except for substitute teaching between “gigs” I haven’t had to fall back on it yet.

BTC: Where was your first professional gig?
JC: I started auditioning in the Los Angeles area and ended up doing a small 99 seat theatre production of the “Man of La Mancha.”

BTC: When?
JC: Right after I graduated college in 2002

BTC: Between then and becoming an Adele Tribute Artist how did you spend your time developing professionally?
JC: Performing aboard cruise ships and doing professional Christmas caroling. The caroling was in a capella quartets, dressed in full Dickens regalia, at Disney Parks, hotels, celebrity parties, and other places.

BTC: Did you study at Oxford in England?
JC: I did! During my junior year in college I did one “Study Abroad Semester” at Oxford.

BTC: Did your substitute teaching have anything to do with you deciding to become an Adele Tribute Artist?
JC: Yes. After working on cruise ships for several years I was trying to find a job in Las Vegas. While auditioning, I did substitute teaching. In late 2011, while doing a long-term sub in a high school Spanish class, some students said I looked like Adele and asked if they could call me “Mrs. Adele.” I looked Adele up on my I Phone and saw the likeness.

BTC: How did that likeness end up in you becoming an Adele Tribute Artist?
JC: It must have been in the stars. I heard Legends in Concert was having an audition in a few weeks. At the same time I made the discovery that the substitute teacher in the next class room had been a production manager for Legends in Concert. With his help and advice, I studied her mannerisms, singing style, accent, and worked perfecting my technique on the songs I wanted to use for the audition.

BTC: How did the audition go?
JC: The January 2012 audition was an “open call” for dancers. I had to dance, but when I finished, I asked if I could audition Adele for them. They said, “Yes.” I waited two hours while they finished the rest of the “dance call,” and auditioned. Within two days I got a call to come in and audition for the CEO. I did and they offered me Atlantic City for the summer. That gave me about three or four months to put my act together and go on stage.

BTC: How long have you been performing Adele with Legends in Concert?
JC: I have been performing Adele continuously for Legends in Concert since the summer of 2012.

BTC: What specific efforts do you go through to recreate Adele’s mannerisms, style, and vocal characteristics to provide as authentic an Adele experience as possible for your audiences?
JC: Thank God for You Tube! I have studied hundreds of hours of her videos, to learn her mannerisms, looks, and style. I even draw three of her visible tattoos each day. Besides my vocal warm-ups, which I combine with putting on my makeup, I spend about 45 minutes to get ready for my set.

BTC: What is your personal favorite Adele song?
JC: It’s “One and Only.”

BTC: Based on your feel of audience reactions to your performances, which Adele song is the audiences favorite?
JC: Right now, “Hello.”

BTC: Do you do gigs outside of Legends in Concert?
JC: Not many because Legends has kept me so busy.

BTC: Outside of Adele, if you could perform or meet with any entertainer/person (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
JC: I’m a huge musical theatre fan, so it would be Barbara Streisand

BTC: What kind of summer stock would you most like to perform if time permits?
JC: Musicals. My dream show would be “Into the Woods.”

BTC: In the Legends in Concert Christmas show you sang “Silent Night.” How did you decide on that?
JC: Adele hasn’t recorded any Christmas songs, but she has mentioned Etta James as one of her influences. The version of “Silent Night” I sing is an Etta James arrangement.

BTC: Adele or not, what is your personal favorite song?
JC:  Barbara Streisand singing, “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from “Funny Girl.”

BTC: When did you first perform in Branson?
JC: During the spring of 2014

BTC: Had you ever been to Branson before that?
JC: No.

BTC: What is your first impression of Branson?
JC: It’s surrounded by natural beauty.

BTC: What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson when you are not performing?
JC: I love Silver Dollar City!

BTC: Where is your favorite place to eat in Branson – Favorite dish?
JC:  Wakyoto Japanese Restaurant across from Walmart. I love their Sushi.

BTC: In your career, of all the performances you have made and you have been in, no matter how big or small, which one personally meant the most to you and why?
JC: Playing the role of “Dolly” in Hello Dolly” during my senior year in college. It was amazing!

BTC:  Do you have a favorite hobby or activity and what is it?
JC: Sit around watching movies. I love movies.

BTC: Do you have a “little known” fact about yourself that you think our readers would enjoy?
JC: I’m addicted to chap stick and use it multiple times daily.

BTC: What part of your show/act do you enjoy performing the most and why?
JC: I love the talking bits and laughing between my songs.

BTC: How do you feel about performing in Legends in Concert?
JC: I love it. The show’s concept has something for everyone and leaves the audience wanting more.

Legends in Concert starts its legendary 2017 Branson Season with its spring lineup, running from February 3 through May 16. The all-star lineup starts with George Strait, The Temptations, The Blues Brothers™ and Elvis Presley. Guest Artist Prince joins them starting February 16, Adele  March 26, and Michael Jackson joining them from May 12 through May 16.

For more information or tickets for the Legends in Concert, or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or lodging, please contact the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550. One of our  Branson based Travel Planners will answer your questions and help with reservations and getting the best available show seats and lodging. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 9:00 AM to 8.00 PM.

Doesn’t your Sweetheart deserve a romantic Branson Valentine?

Legends in Concert’s spring cast, the Hughes Brothers, Titanic’s Grand Staircase. and the Branson Landing’s south promenade.

Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” “Love, chocolates, and flowers are all part of Valentine’s Day, but think how very special it would be to show your love for your Valentine by ‘celebrating’ Valentine’s Day in Branson,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. Wood points out that with Valentine’s Day, February 14, falling on Tuesday this year, it provides a variety of times to share a romantic Valentine’s Getaway to Branson. It might be a day trip on the 14th with a dinner and show or a romantic weekend, either before or after Valentine’s Day, but one thing is for sure, a Valentine’s Day celebration in Branson will provide that “special someone” with Valentine memories they will long cherish.

A traditional part of the Valentine’s Day celebration involves a special meal. Whether it’s an evening of fine dining and dancing with live music amid a rose petal and candlelight setting at the College of the Ozarks’ Keeter Center, the elegance of dinner at a table for two, overlooking Table Rock Lake in the Chateau Grille at the Chateau on the Lake Resort, the simple Ozark’s fare of McFarlain’s Family Restaurant, or any of dozens of other fine restaurants, Branson has the perfect Valentine’s meal for you and your sweetheart.

The Hughes Brothers Theatre plans a very special memorable celebration on Valentine’s Day itself. No pun intended, but it includes the amazing show it starring the Hughes Brothers; a scrumptious candle light dinner, complete with flowers and romantic music, served in their balcony restaurant area starting at 5:30 PM, and the showing of a classical romance movie; a fun renewal of vows; and a free memory portrait.

In addition, some of Branson’s Most Popular Shows will be open providing a wide variety of live entertainment to share with your special Valentine, including:

Amazing Pets
Branson Country USA
Comedy Jamboree
Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods
it starring the Hughes Brothers
Legends in Concert

And that’s just a partial list of the shows that will be open over the Valentine’s Day time period. At this time of the year the list changes on just about a daily basis. For a current list of shows, please go to Branson Shows and select the date(s) that interest you.

Many of Branson’s attractions will be open for you and your sweetheart to enjoy together. The Titanic Museum Attraction, and the romance associated with it and Valentine’s Day, fit perfectly with the museum’s celebration of Sweetheart’s Month at the Titanic! Its elegant, full-sized replica of the “Titanic’s Grand Staircase” is a spectacular, inspiring, and beautiful spot for a wedding or to renew vows in celebration of Valentine’s Day or, for that matter, on any other day. Its gift shop is a treasure trove of special unique Titanic gifts, where every piece of jewelry is inspired by a Titanic story.”

Valentine’s Day, or any other time, Branson offers a unique world-class shopping experience unrivaled by any other travel destination anywhere near its size. It offers hundreds of different famous-name outlet stores, boutiques, galleries, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, and specialty shops at just about every turn including, outlet malls, the historic downtown Branson shopping district and Branson Landing with its 120 retail stores, kiosks and restaurants eclectic shops, national retailers, fine dining, intimate cafés, and nightspots.

“Don’t know exactly what’s available, or would like to customize a special Branson Valentine package for your sweetheart; no problem!” says Branson Tourism Center’s Wood. “Just call one of our Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-785-1550, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, seven days a week, and they will be delighted to help make that happen as well as answering any questions you might have.” She also points out that the bundling shows and lodging into a package normally saves money.

Four things you should know about the restoration work in Historic Downtown Branson

Historic Downtown Branson businesses remain open with plenty of free parking during the final phase of its Streetscape revitalization project.

“Branson is so blessed to have its thriving and vibrant Historic Downtown Business District, with its shows, restaurants, unique shopping, and historical links to Branson’s past, providing Branson visitors with a unique, nostalgic, and memorable experience,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Its Streetscape revitalization  project, scheduled for completion on May, 19, 2017, will do nothing, but increase that marvelous experience,” she added

She said that that those wanting to shop in Historic Downtown Branson or go to Branson Landing using Highway 76, which is also Branson’s  “Main Street” as it approaches the downtown shopping district, might find these suggestions helpful:

1. Historic Downtown Branson’s Businesses are OPEN: Even as construction proceeds, the businesses in Historic Downtown Branson are open and operating under their normal schedules! Tom Crain, who can often be seen painting through the window of his studio in Crain Creations Gallery on Main Street, was just one of the downtown merchants who reemphasized that point on January 19.

2. There is plenty of free parking! As one approaches the Downtown District, driving east on Main Street, the sight of the construction ahead and the “Road Closed” sign at the corner of Main Street and the intersection of Business 165/Veterans Boulevard might create some confusion as to whether the businesses are open and the availability of parking. As pointed out above, the businesses are open and, whichever way one turns at the intersection, there is plenty of free parking!

Turn left, north, at the intersection, go one block and turn right, east, onto Atlantic Street. There is free parking available in the Pinegar Parking Lot to your right as well as on Atlantic, Sycamore, and north on Commercial. If you turn right, south at the intersection, go one block and turn left, east, onto Pacific Street, free parking is available along Pacific, in the City’s Parking Garage, and south on Commercial Street.

3. Using Main Street, Highway 76 to get to Branson Landing: Many use Main Street through the Historic District to get to Branson Landing. This will not be an option during the construction. Although there are certainly alternate methods, the simplest is to turn left, north, at the intersection of Main Street and Business 165/Veterans Boulevard and proceed north to the Roundabout. Keep to the right and follow Branson Landing Boulevard into Branson Landing exiting for, north to south, Belk, the parking garage, Hilton Promenade Hotel, Hilton  Convention Center Hotel, Bass Pro Shops, and Main Street Lake Cruises, as appropriate.

4. Park at Branson Landing and take the Free Downtown Trolley: For the best of both worlds, offering the fun, excitement, and shopping of both Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson, use the free parking in either the “Belk” or “Bass Pro Shops” parking lots and ride the free Down Town Trolley. It can be boarded near both the Belk and Bass Pro Shops main entrances, travels between Branson Landing and the Historic Downtown Branson shopping district at regular intervals, and provides the opportunity for a one of a kind shopping experience!

Branson’s indoor water parks take the “Brr” out of winter

Castle Rock’s yellow multi-story waterslide and Welk’s Splash-A-Torium.

“Winter weather curtails most outdoor swimming and aquatic activities,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “However, Branson is blessed with not one, but three indoor water parks as well as many hotels that have heated indoor pools providing Branson visitors with a wide variety of choices to enjoy swimming and aquatic fun under ideal climate controlled conditions,” she added.

All three of the indoor water parks are directly associated with lodging facilities and offer the opportunity to enjoy swimming and other aquatic fun regardless of the temperature or weather outside. Here’s a brief description of each:

Welk Resort’s “Splash-A-Torium” is 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor water fun featuring “an outrageous 100 foot” plus indoor water slide, kid’s splash-zone, indoor/outdoor pool, and hot tub.” BTC’s Wood points out that the Resort has recently been redecorated and updated with deluxe and premier traditional rooms that include plush amenities, high-end finishes, and a decor reflecting the unique charm of the Ozarks with its vibrant colors and interesting textures. In room amenities include complimentary WiFi, 32-inch LCD widescreen televisions, coffee makers with high quality coffees and teas, high speed wireless internet and many other exceptional features.

The Resort even has its own theatre! The Welk Resort Theatre is not only home to one of Branson’s most popular new shows, Million Dollar Quartet, but features limited engagement performances by stars such Daniel O’Donnell, Kris Kristofferson and others throughout the year.

Castle Rock Resort and Water Park provides “a truly weather-proof vacation destination for the whole family” where they “can splash & play in the climate controlled 84 degree temperature of its indoor water park. Its 40,000 square feet of waterpark wonderland features two 500-gallon tipping buckets, indoor and outdoor kiddie pools, waterfalls, two three-story thrill slides, themed water statues, and a multi-level sun deck. The resort’s water park provides fun for everyone, from tiny tots to adults, as well as tastefully appointed comfortable rooms.

Grand Country Inn, has Missouri’s first indoor water park, “Splash Country Indoors.” Open 365 days a year, it offers 20,000 square feet “of squirting, falling and tumbling water fun, including a three-level treehouse with interactive water play features on each level, two winding tube tunnels, a 1,000 gallon tipping bucket which tips every eight minutes, doing you know what to all those below, and much more. The Grand Country Complex, includes the Inn; Grand Country Buffett; The Grand Country Music Hall, home of the Grand Jubilee, Amazing Pets, Comedy Jamboree, Down Home Country, and other great shows; indoor and outdoor mini golf courses, and the Fun Spot Arcade.

These are the indoor water parks in Branson, but many Branson Hotels and Lodging facilities such as the Barrington Hotel & Suites, Grand Plaza, Honeysuckle Inn and Conference Center, Quality Inn Branson, Quality Inn on the Strip, Radisson Hotel, Residence Inn Marriott, and others have heated indoor pools. In addition, the hotels listed above are participants in Branson Tourism Center’s (BTC) Lowest Rate Lock Guarantee Program.

Book your reservation through BTC, and subject to the programs minimal conditions, the price you pay for your lodging is guaranteed to be the lowest rate available. If you find a lower price offered for the same room on the same dates, anytime between when you book your room and when you arrive in Branson, BTC will match the lower rate.

BTC’s Wood also points out that during the winter months, especially on the weekends, the demand for rooms at these facilities often outstrips availability. She recommends advance reservations and offers the assistance of one of BTC’s locally based Travel Planners to assist in helping to find the ideal facility to fit your family’s wants and budget and make reservations. There is no charge for this service and they may be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550.


Have you thought about giving the special Christmas gift of Branson memories?

What a fantastic way to give someone the Christmas gift of Branson and memories that could last a lifetime!

What a fantastic way to give someone the Christmas gift of Branson and memories that could last a lifetime!

As it gets closer to Christmas, it seemingly becomes harder to find that perfect gift for everyone,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.  “Most who have been to Branson have wonderful fun filled memories of their experience so, why not share the gift of Branson with employees, associates, friends, and others on your Christmas List?”

Garrison points out that the Branson Tourism Center not only makes it easy to give the gift of wonderful Branson memories this Christmas season, but provides added value with a special bonus! Purchase a Branson Tourism Center Gift Card* of at least $100 and get a separate $25 Bonus Card**, free-of-charge, with each card purchased on or before December 22, 2016! Buy one $100.00 Branson Tourism Center Gift Card and get a $25.00 Bonus Card, buy five individual $100.00 Gift Cards and receive five $25.00 Bonus Cards.

Gift Cards and Bonus Cards are redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center with only airline tickets, golf, and car rentals excluded. The Branson Tourism Center, established in 2003, is one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services; has sold well over 4.5 million show and attraction tickets and hundreds of thousands of room nights to Branson visitors; enjoys an A+ rating with the BBB, with which it has been an accredited member since 2003; and can reserve nearly any Branson Show, Attraction, or Lodging for you.

*** This offer has expired ***

Whether you give it to yourself or someone else, it’s hard to imagine a better value on giving the gift of Branson this Christmas or a more convenient way to do it! Shop from the comfort and convenience of your home by either calling 1-800-493-4584 or click here  to shop through Branson Tourism Center’s web site www.BransonTourismCenter.Com.

*Note: Gift cards are only redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center. The only exclusions are airline tickets, golf, and car rentals.
**Note: Bonus cards will be emailed and become valid January 1, 2017 and can only be used for orders placed between the dates of January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, and are only redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center. The only exclusions are airline tickets, golf, and car rental.