Holiday season

Business is booming in Branson, Mo. this holiday season

BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) – Branson, Mo. businesses have reported top Christmas sales for many years.

Steve Hartley, co-owner of Dicks Five and Ten, says recent warmer weather as well as a new level of comfort in the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased visitor numbers. Hartley says Branson is also a driving destination, making it easy for families to visit.

“Weekends are amazing, weekdays are good but we’re definitely seeing it start to come back in a big way Thursday, Friday even more than Saturday,” Hartley said.

Branson stores aren’t the only places to see an increase in customers. Hilton Hotels’ Vice President of Hotel Operations, Bill Tirone, says the momentum of the summer tourist season has continued into the winter months as well.

“Every weekend is sold out now until Christmas, this week we are extremely busy as we have a convention in town which helps wrap up the year,” Tirone said.

Branson visitor Stephanie Velten says she has been coming to Branson for 41 years. She says what keeps her coming back is the focus on families.

“The way everyone treated her is so good, and when we have places, it’s magic, you have a great time, you leave feeling like a little kid,” Velten said.

Velten says Branson’s expansion is also helping attract more people to the tourist town.

“There are so many new businesses and so many new things taking off everywhere that it’s another boom,” Velten said.

Hartley says the crowds go beyond the weekend. He expects heavy customer traffic to continue through December.

Tirone says if you’re planning to visit soon, it’s important to book accommodations and attractions in advance.

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