With over 50 theaters offering more than 100 live shows, Branson, Mo., has carved out a niche as MidAmerica’s entertainment capital.

And with a new commercial airport offering direct flights to major hubs throughout the country, its popularity is sure to have it playing to even more packed houses in the future.

According to Ross Summers, president and CEO of the Branson/Lakes Area CVB, many of the stars who grace the stages of Branson are available to welcome convention attendees, perform or speak on a variety of topics.

A major star on the meetings scene is the Branson Landing shopping and entertainment area, a high-tech "town square" that offers both significant meeting space, including the 220,000-square-foot Branson Convention Center and the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel, with 293 guest rooms. The Hilton Promenade, a boutique-style property situated on the Lake Taneycomo waterfront, features 243 rooms (including 133 suites).

In all, the destination offers more than 200 lodging properties with 19,000 guest rooms, ranging from limited-service to AAA Four Diamond and Lake Taneycomo resorts.

Branson, of course, is hailed as an entertainment mecca, and fine-dining is increasingly grabbing the spotlight.

"The area’s newest restaurant has been getting rave reviews," Summers says, referring to the new restaurant at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. "The menu at Level 2 features 28-day aged, corn-fed Midwest beef that is prepared in a 1,600-degree infrared oven. The fresh seafood is flown in from Hawaii, and also getting a nod is the heritage Missouri pork selections and the locally grown produce."

Also not to be missed, according to Summers, are the more than 200 outlet stores, its historic downtown, Silver Dollar City—where authentic Ozark history is on display via crafts, eateries, various festivals and thrill rides—and outdoor pursuits such as golf, hiking, horseback riding and recreation on the area’s three lakes.