Branson Tourism up Despite the Heat

BRANSON, MO (KOLR) - Even with extremely hot weather, some say this is the best time of year to visit Branson.

Many business owners are catching their breath from the busy summer season and it appears the slow down is just in time.

"We left 70 degree weather to come to 90 degree weather," says Minnesota native, Jerry Terwee. "That doesn't make much sense does it."

Terwee and some friends are visiting Branson for the first time, and fellow visitor Lisa Alsup says they picked the best month out of the year, despite the warmer temperatures.

"This is the best time of the year to come, this is perfect," says Joplin resident, Lisa Alsup. "There's no traffic jams, the stores aren't packed."

While the heat may be keeping some people inside, one attracton owner says the rising temperatures hardly affect business.

Jared Story is the General Manager of Adventure Zipline and Extreme Racing. He says the slow down in business right now, can be attributed to something else.

"When people are on vacation, they're not going to let the weather affect them," says Story, "Our problem this week, everybody is going back to school."

Story says it's been a record year for business and it appears he's not alone.

Sales tax numbers from the City of Branson show that sales are the highest they've been in a decade through the first eight months of the year.

July's sales tax is up 26 percent over last year, while August figures are up 14 percent.

"The economy is starting to turn around, gas prices have stayed down," says Story. "And all the things seem to be matching up to make Branson happen."

Story says he expects business to pick back up Labor Day weekend, which is why Lisa Alsup is more than happy to brave the heat.

"Know your limitations, just keep hydrated" says Alsup. "People are staying home in the air conditioning, but you want to go to stores that aren't crowed, it's a good time to go."

According to the City of Branson, sales tax numbers for amusements are up nearly 10 percent compared to 2013.

Earlier this month, Silver Dollar City said it had a record day with more than 25,000 people visiting the park.

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