Starlight Ranch’s concert season kicks off in new venue, ‘The Moon Palace’

Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 5:09 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - It’s officially concert season in Amarillo, as Starlight Ranch hosted its first concert of the season.

It also debuted its brand-new venue, ‘The Moon Palace’.

Starlight Ranch says close to 900 people showed up Saturday night to listen to Randall King, a Panhandle native, he’s the first performer on the new stage.

The new venue brings endless opportunities to Starlight Ranch.

“We’ve had enough demand over the past couple of years and the weather to where we were looking at doing something to where we can provide a little more shelter and a little bit more of a year-round usage,” said Bobby Lee, co-owner, Starlight Ranch and The Big Texan.

He says there is also a lot of rich history behind the name.

It is named after the Texas Moon Palace from the 70s, which was on Georgia St. Lee says it was Amarillo’s biggest honkey tonk.

Some of the bands that played there include: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Huey Lewis and the News and Joan Jett.

Lee says even the song Neon Moon by Brooks & Dunn was written about Amarillo’s Texas Moon Palace.

Starlight Ranch says the new venue goes beyond concerts.

“We can do weddings now, which we have weddings booked, quinceañeras, bar mitzvahs, there’s a lot of different things, we can do a 120 booth trade show in there,” said Lee.

They will also be bringing back dinner/theatre, which Lee says was popular in the 70s and 80s.

The ultimate goal of Starlight Ranch is to bring entertainment options to Amarillo and help boost tourism.

Lee says in 2022, Starlight Ranch hosted over 100,000 guests and 68 percent came from outside the Amarillo market.

Another new thing in the works is cabins at the Big Texas RV Ranch for concert-goers to spend the night in.

Each cabin can sleep 6 and includes 2 bedrooms, a loft, a kitchen and 1 bathroom.
Each cabin can sleep 6 and includes 2 bedrooms, a loft, a kitchen and 1 bathroom.(The Big Texan)

“We’re able to get a lot more people to stay that extra night in Amarillo, converting the accidental tourist and Starlight Ranch has so far been a great asset for keeping people an extra night in Amarillo,” said Lee.

The Amarillo Convention and Visitors Bureau says concerts is a big part of the tourism industry in Amarillo.

“The 2022 numbers just came out for total direct spending from the state, in Amarillo we’re very proud to say has just gone over a billion dollars that was brought in in direct spending from visitors, so that’s a massive piece of our economy, we’re still waiting on the additional numbers, the breakdowns to come out, but typically we see from the arts and entertainment sector about 10 to 15 percent of the total direct spending,” said Hope Stokes, director of marketing, Amarillo CVB.

Stokes says that brings a massive impact to the Amarillo economy.

To see a list of upcoming events at Starlight Ranch, click here.