Branson Blasts Into 2009 Season

Branson's packed 76 strip was bittersweet for locals as tourists flocked to "the live music capital of the world." But for many tourists showtime at theaters were an afterthought.

Al Roker cruised the Branson Landing between eating pie at the Branson Convention Center where he along with psuedo-celebrities tasted sweet baked wares.

Chateau on the Lake hosted a wine festival and the weather was cooperative for Springfield residents seeking a short weekend getaway.

Democratic politicians were seen strolling the Branson Landing as Jackson Days ensued. Larry Milton's sponsorship of a ceremony for Purple Heart recipients drew a crowd as well with not too many onlookers leaving when his business partner Raeanne Presley took the stage.

2008 sported record income for Branson and though local media outlets failed in coverage of this spectacular happenstance 2009 looks like it's going to be a prosperous year.

Recessions don't have the same effect on Branson's tourism numbers as other parts of the country and for good reason. Hotels in Branson range from 26 dollars a night to 200.

It's cheaper to stay in Branson than any roadside motel along the way. The value proposition of a vacation to Branson can entertain even the most deficit of budgets.

(Photo: View of Branson from Hollister Hilltop by Darin Codon)