Branson is known for its live shows, amusement parks, recreation, shopping, and other attractions. For this reason, Rep. Brian Seitz, R-Branson, is proposing a bill that would designate the southwest Missouri town as the “Live Entertainment Capital of Missouri.”

“We have over 35,000 theater seats in Branson, much of them featuring live music and musicians. Branson is unique not only in Missouri but the United States,” said Seitz. “So, designating Branson as the official live entertainment capital for the state of Missouri is basically a no brainer. Branson is an experience. We have some of the largest theatrical, music presentations in the state or in the nation right there in Branson, Missouri. We offer virtually everything for everyone.”

Seitz said Branson’s entertainment scene attracts about 10 million visitors each year.

“Tourism in the state is responsible for $18 billion of revenue, $4 billion of which comes from Branson, Missouri,” said Seitz.

He said Branson, a town of 13,000 people, attracts many younger people and families, not just tour buses of retirees.

“There’s something for everyone now in Branson,” said Seitz. “Twenty, thirty years ago, yeah it was country. It was comedy. It was blacked out teeth.”

During House debate on the bill, Rep. Kevin Windham, D-Hillsdale, said he is skeptical about the designation because he said Branson and Taney County are not the most welcoming place for Black people.

The Missouri House has given preliminary approval to the legislation. One more vote in favor of the bill would send the measure to the Senate for another look.

To view House Bill 2320, click here.

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