Southfork Ranch draws 'Dallas' fans old and new

Stunt riders prepare to shoot a scene for Stunt riders prepare to shoot a scene for "Dallas" at Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas. (Nov. 13, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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PARKER, Texas - The white two-story home with stately pillars overlooking a green Texas pasture where longhorns roam is instantly recognizable: This is the power seat of television's famous Ewing family.

Tourists from around the world have been flocking to Southfork Ranch since the early years of the classic series "Dallas," which ran from 1978 to 1991, and the ranch is only getting more popular. With the premiere last June of a new "Dallas" series, the number of visitors at Southfork has doubled from 150,000 annually to more than 300,000, according to Jim Gomes, general manager of the Southfork Ranch & Hotel and vice president of Forever Resorts, which owns the property.

"We are obviously thrilled the new fans love Southfork as much as the original fans of 'Dallas,'" said Gomes.

The new show started its second season Monday on the TNT cable channel. The recent death of Larry Hagman, who starred as conniving Texas oilman J.R. Ewing in both the original series and the new show, has also spurred fans to visit.

The 340-acre ranch is located about 25 miles northeast of downtown Dallas in the suburb of Parker. Patrick Duffy, who has returned to the role of J.R.'s brother Bobby, said that the biggest changes since he first filmed on the ranch are new tourist-related buildings and event facilities for weddings and meetings, along with the buildup of the surrounding town, including housing additions and a high school.