BRANSON, Mo., April 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With the height of the tourist season still months away, early indicators often set the stage for the year, say Branson, Missouri tourism officials, who are optimistic based on attendance numbers at top attractions like Silver Dollar City.
"We've seen more families coming to Branson this Spring than ever before," said Janet Oller, Director of Marketing for Silver Dollar City Attractions. "Several years ago we started building on the idea of families coming to Branson for Spring, and now it's clearly catching on," citing Silver Dollar City attendance up 25,000 people since mid-March, 23% over 2010.
Last month, Branson was named in the top five "Travelers' Choice Family Award-winning Great U.S. Destinations to Discover" by TripAdvisor®. Silver Dollar City, an internationally awarded 1880s-style theme park, is Branson's largest and longest-running attraction, drawing 2 million visitors each year.
This week-end's grand opening of Silver Dollar City's World-Fest continues the trend, with guests to the 1880s theme park enjoying performers from all around the globe who bring their music, dance, culture and foods to middle America.
"World-Fest literally brings the world within reach of so many people. The camaraderie among performers, and the interaction with guests, especially kids, really opens your eyes to how important it is to bring authentic cultures to America's heartland," said Oller. (Photo 1)
Additionally, the weekend marks the Grand Opening of 700-seat Showboat Branson Belle, cruising Table Rock Lake with an all-new show, Encore! The Showboat is debuting a new show, stage, decor and menus, along with more than half a million dollars in renovations.
"The Showboat is seeing the greatest interest since its debut 15 years ago," said Jim Moeskau, with the 2011 show featuring the world's only violin-playing aerialist, Janice Martin, and the 6-member male vocal group The ShowMen. (Photo 2)
Still to come this Spring is the opening of a new ride at White Water, a 12-acre water park in Branson. Aloha River at Hula Hula Bay is a $3 million river adventure.
Silver Dollar City, the Showboat Branson Belle and White Water are owned by Herschend Family Entertainment, the nation's largest family-owned theme park corporation. For more information: www.silverdollarcity.com.
For a behind-the-scenes visit with one of the World-Fest groups:
SOURCE Silver Dollar City