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No. 7 Branson's boom

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Nine minutes isn’t long, but it can bring enough national exposure to put a tourist destination on the map.

That’s exactly what happened to Branson on Dec. 8, 1991, when CBS news program “60 Minutes” came knocking.

“60 Minutes” proclaimed Branson the “live music capital of the entire universe.” At the time, there were only 22 theaters in operation. Today, Branson has more than 100 shows in 49 theaters, thanks in part to that turning-point proclamation.

Many agree that “60 Minutes” launched Branson into a new era of growth by revealing to the world the playground of fun and entertainment this small town had become.

Following the “60 Minutes” exposure, Branson began to emerge as an entertainment destination, but CBS wasn’t the only national media source to discover the city during the 1990s.

In August 1991, Time magazine published a story about Branson, and coverage in People, The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal followed.

Throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium, Branson experienced tremendous growth in the number of theaters, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, housing developments, service businesses and health care facilities.  

In 1992, the $13 million, 4,000-seat Grand Palace opened and was the largest theater in Branson at the time. During the next decade, Branson drew performers including Andy Williams, Wayne Newton, Barbara Mandrell, John Davidson, Tony Orlando, Bobby Vinton, Mel Tillis, Glen Campbell, Mickey Gilley, Charley Pride, the Lennon Sisters, the Osmond Brothers, Pat Boone, Pam Tillis and The Oak Ridge Boys.

See the full list of pivotal points chosen by the Springfield Business Journal here.
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