by: Jacob Blount and Christina Randal, Ozarks First
The city of Branson has been buzzing over the holiday weekend with crowds coming in by the thousands.
Many business owners are grateful after considering where they were just last year.
“It’s been really good,” said Susie Roten. “Way better than last year…way better.”
Roten is the owner of the Branson Cafe which was originally established in 1910.
“Yeah, been getting a lot of new people,” said Roten. ” A lot of new people that say, I didn’t even know you were here, and I’m like, we’ve been here over 100 years.”
Roten says it’s nice to see the old restaurant getting back to some normalcy.
“People share tables now again, which they wouldn’t do last year,” said Roten. “Yeah, if we’ve got a room at a table and people don’t mind sharing, and they get to talking. It’s a lot of fun. A lot of fun to see that again.”
Another staple of historic downtown Branson that is enjoying the big crowds is Dick’s 5 & 10.
“We’re just very grateful that they are back again, and they are back here and wanting to have a good time in Branson,” said Steve Harley, owner of Dick’s 5 & 10.
The classic general store is getting ready to celebrate its 60th birthday.
“Made sure Dick’s 5 & 10 is more fun than ever before and we’re looking forward to having a great time on the 14th when we actually do turn 60 years old,” said Hartley.
Even though the store has been a community staple for decades, Hartley says they learned a lot of lessons throughout the year 2020.
We’re still doing some things, some things to make sure our staff, our team, our family, and our customers feel safe,” said Hartley.
Despite the workforce shortage, both businesses are doing well.
“Other than being short a cook, we’re fully staffed,” said Roten. “Still had to cut back our hours a little bit, but breakfast and lunch are our busiest and it’s been good.”