BRANSON, Mo. (AP) Construction continues at a record-breaking pace in Branson, where city officials issued permits for $181 million in construction through October.
That amount surpassed last year’s total of $173.6 million in permits, which was also a record.
The building boom will benefit all businesses in Branson, said Ross Summers, Branson Lakes/Area Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer.
“It is a very exciting period in Branson,” Summers said. “It’s also proof that Branson is experiencing an economic boom.”
All the new businesses being built in the tourist town also will generate more tax dollars to market the area, Summers said.
A new 1-cent sales tax went into effect April 1 for a district in and around Branson and is expected to generate at least $6 million a year in new funds to market the area.
“With all these new attractions and an increased means to get the word out, that’s a very powerful combination,” Summers said.
The boom comes only five years after the number of first-time visitors to Branson dropped 16 percent, in part because the mostly senior visitors to Branson were becoming too old to travel.
That brought a renewed effort to bring in new, big-name entertainers and other activities that would appeal to younger audiences, along with an effort to increase advertising.
Projects that received permits in 2006 in the area include a Bass Pro Shops and marina, the Branson Convention Center and the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel, all located at Branson Landing, and several restaurants and businesses. Branson High School also was given a permit to build a stadium and activities complex.
And construction permits for 33 single-family homes also were issued through October.
“These exciting figures reflect the pro-business attitude of our mayor and board of aldermen’s efforts to improve the quality of life for Branson’s citizens and guests,” Branson Economic Development Director Mike Rankin said. “Where else can you have the amenities of convenience in a small-town environment?”