BRANSON, Mo. — The holiday weekend is looks different than what it did a year ago in Branson.
Many people were out on the lake, but it wasn’t until 2021 that bookings started to boom. Currently, there are still rooms available at certain hotels, but you need to make sure you call ahead of time.
“People in the past have been known to kind of just roll up in Branson and get a room, but yeah, you might want to call us now because sometimes it’s tougher on these busy weekends,” said Marshall Howden, general manager of Lynina Inn. “This used to be a really bustling street so, we want to have that again.”
Howden says business is nearly four times what it was this time last year.
“Everyone knows that we had a really tough year last year, you know,” said Howden. “Just a handful of sold-out nights the whole year, and we’ve already probably quadrupled the number of sold-out nights we’ve had.”
Mitch Schupp with the State Park Marina on Table Rock Lake says the pandemic brought a lot of interest to the lake and other outdoor activities.
“Boating this year has definitely taken an upturn, so we’re seeing a lot more families going on their own boats this year,” said Schupp. “At the same time, we have more opportunities and a few more boat rentals this year to provide for everybody.”
Schupp says they’ve kept some of the changes they made during the pandemic. For example, boats only go out once a day to one family to ensure a clean ride.
“It provided actually a better experience for our guests because they’re not in such a rush now,” said Schupp. “It’s their boat. If they’re running a half-hour late, no big deal. Right now July is looking pretty booked up, but we still have some availability. This next week or so we’re definitely booked solid, but we do have other things like the spirit of America that goes out.”
Airbnb is also seeing a big uptake in the area. Branson has one of the largest active listing increases within the last year in the United States.