Southfork Ranch Sees Uptick in Visitors With New "Dallas"

TNT's twist on classic TV show piques new interest in Southfork Ranch

By Catherine Ross
|  Monday, Jun 11, 2012  |  Updated 9:10 PM CDT
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Catherine Ross, NBC 5 Collin County Reporter

Thanks to "Dallas" return to TV, Southfork Ranch in Parker is seeing an increase in tourism.

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The buzz around the new "Dallas" television show is translating into visitors for Parker's Southfork Ranch.

"It's gotten quite busy here," said Janna Timm, who does marketing for the ranch.

After TNT announced last summer that it would update the iconic television show, tourist traffic began to pick up, she said.

Southfork Ranch was home to the Ewing family on the 1980s show and has been a must-see tourist stop for years.

Over the past several weeks, tourist numbers nearly tripled.

"We usually have between 100 and 150 tourists per day, and we did more in the 300 range this weekend -- each day," Timm said.

Neighboring cities such as Plano are also gearing up for more visitors.

"When something like this happens, there is a huge ripple effect that could benefit the entire region," said Mark Thompson, director of the Plano Convention and Visitor's Bureau. "The excitement and buzz is tremendous out there right now."

The Plano CVB is planning a premiere watch party on Wednesday for the show's first episode.

While Thompson said he is glad to see the extra foot traffic, tour buses will have more of an effect. Each motor coach group of about 40 people to the ranch can bring about $2,300 to the area during a day trip, he said. If the group spends the night in the area, number basically triples, he said.

"If we bring in 50 more motor coaches next year because of this airing, all you have to do is the math," Thompson said.

"Dallas" premieres Wednesday on TNT at 8 p.m.

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