Lots of Surprises This Summer in Branson, Missouri

Visitors Enthusiastic About Sharing Family Vacation Experiences

BRANSON, Mo., May 19 /PRNewswire/ — Visitors will be surprised at what they’ll find in the Midwest entertainment capital of Branson, Missouri this summer. According to Ross Summers, president and CEO of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau, not only does Branson offer tremendous variety and value, it’s a place the whole family can rave about.

“While other places promote secretive vacations, people of all ages who come to Branson leave enthusiastic about telling their friends and family what they did,” Summers said. “What happens here, doesn’t stay here!”

Guests can enjoy world-class live music, comedy and magic shows; international award-winning theme parks and thrill rides; lake and mountain recreation; bountiful outlet shopping; championship golf; and nationally- recognized special events all within this scenic Ozark Mountain town of around 6,500 residents (for more information, visit http://www.explorebranson.com/ ).

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show marketing director, John Richardson, said a high percentage of their guests in 2004 reported that a friend or family member influenced them to see the show.

“People not only have fun while they’re in Branson, they get to go back home and relive their experiences when they talk about the shows they saw and the fun they had,” Richardson said.

One experience guests are sure to talk about this summer is Silver Dollar City’s new $10 million explosive launch rollercoaster, PowderKeg – dubbed Best Family Thrill Coaster on the Planet by ThrillRide.com and profiled in the Wall Street Journal – which hurls passengers from 0-53 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds! Paul Ruben of Park World Magazine wrote, “… a stunning ride… PowderKeg is a full-blown thrill machine.”

Visitors can also thrill to gravity-defying Chinese acrobatics performed by the New Shanghai Circus and see unbelievable physical artistry by the cast of Neil Goldberg’s Cirque.

For the first time, world-renowned magician David Copperfield will perform at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre June 13-26. With master magicians Kirby VanBurch and Brett Daniels performing at The Grand Palace, and up-and- coming star Darren Romeo (protege of Siegfried and Roy) performing his “Voice of Magic” production at the Welk Resort Theatre, this will truly be a magical Branson summer.

A diversity of entertainment, scenic Ozarks beauty and genuine hospitality are qualities visitors report they like most about Branson, according to a recent Branson Chamber study.

Perhaps as importantly, family values are honored on stage at more than 100 plus live shows and at countless area businesses, often owned and operated by families themselves.

“Entertainment by the family, for the family, is a Branson tradition,” according to theater owner and nationally-known entertainer, Jim Stafford, who features his 12-year-old son Sheaffer and 8-year-old daughter, G.G. in his wildly funny comedy, music and special effects show.

Following the tradition of presenting wholesome family entertainment are musical families such as the Presleys, Duttons, Hughes Brothers, Braschlers, Mabes and Staffords, among others.

Visitor Brenda Merry of Lincoln, Nebraska said, “I can go home and tell the folks back home what a great time my family had in Branson.”

Famous Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff says, “Every day I shake hands and sign autographs for moms, dads, kids and grandparents who are all having fun together.”

To help families take a bite out of gas prices this summer, the Branson Chamber developed the Gas Buster discount card redeemable at dozens of area shows, attractions, restaurants, lodging properties and retail stores (for more information, visit http://www.explorebranson.com/ .)

In keeping with the tradition of honoring veterans year round, Branson will host a weeklong celebration, June 13-19, called “Welcome Home… America’s Tribute to Vietnam Veterans.”

Eddie Myers, a Vietnam veteran from San Diego, California, said of his plans to attend, “I’m coming to Branson to see the shows, do a little fishing and meet up with my buddies from Vietnam. There really aren’t words to describe how I feel, but flying home the other day, I met a returning soldier from Iraq and everyone on the plane cheered for him. I got a tear in my eye thinking how things have changed since I was returning from Nam. It felt great! I’m expecting that same feeling in Branson this summer.”

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