It's happening again, only this time, the Branson boom of the 21st century will bring thousands of new residents.
Add it up:
# In the past two weeks, developers have announced projects worth more than $2.7 billion in Taney and Stone counties.
# More than 8,000 homes and condominiums are planned or under construction.
# The city of Branson expects to break the 1993 record of $119.5 million in new construction with $103.3 million logged through September. In addition to housing, national retailers and new entertainment attractions are in the mix.
"I really don't see it slowing down," said Mike Rankin, Branson's economic development director. "I'm getting calls from developers and investors around the country and across the water. And when they think of Branson, they think of a large area from Blue Eye to Kirbyville and the outlying area."
Rankin cites several reasons he's even getting calls from investors in Australia, China and Japan who have read about Branson's boom on the Internet.
"It's a safe haven in the central U.S. with a perception of family values, our development costs are less here than in other areas," and Branson is an easy drive from many population centers, Rankin says.