BRANSON, Mo -- Branson performers say the times - they are a changing.
But how do you keep the music playing? KSPR's special report on Branson's future continues with many opinions about how the Music City should reach out to the next generation of tourists.
"The theater business in Branson is a business," says Ann Stafford, who moved to the Branson Strip with her husband, Jim, 23 years ago. "There are very few communities in the world that exist on pure economics. We are either the economy's victim or hero. This industry, we're rolling now with a worldwide turndown."
Stafford says her family played to packed houses and turned a profit every year...until 2008.
"Diesel is what moves motor coaches into Branson," Stafford says. "When that diesel goes to $4 a gallon, these buses start to cancel."
Stafford can't change the gas prices, but she says her family has changed the show's appeal - and the young crowd isn't the target.
"The marketing put out really went to a summer crowds, but we're open all year long. There's a certain thing about empty nesters and people who have the time and funds to travel. We have to go after them."
A few blocks down the Strip, the Haygoods begin season number 12. Times are tough - but they won't blame the economy.
"If you give people what they want, they'll give you what they want," says Dominic Haygood. "We need to change the content we produce and what we show."
The Haygoods started at Silver Dollar City as kids and they now own two theaters and run 10 shows.
"People don't listen - they watch music," Haygood explains.
Haygood's brother, Tim, says the family invested more than $100,000 into pyrotechnics and are working harder now than ever before. That's their price for success.