Pigeon Forge, TN, USA (August 21, 2013) /BUSINESS WIRE/– Entertainment legend Dolly Parton announced today plans for $300 million in capital investments in The Dollywood Company over the next 10 years. The investment includes new attractions, resorts and the creation of more than 2,500 jobs.
Construction is under way on the new FireChaser Express rollercoaster, opening in March 2014 at Dollywood. To mark the company’s 30th anniversary in 2015, the 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort will open adjacent to Parton’s award-winning Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark, both located in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.
“I’ve always been a big dreamer just like I’ve always wanted to do more for my home here in these beautiful Smoky Mountains,” Parton said, “This is where I nurtured my heart’s dreams, and I want to share more of them. My plans for the next 10 years are to expand my Dollywood properties to offer families more opportunities to play together and grow closer while they make their best memories. It’s truly the culmination of this country girl’s wildest dreams!”
“With Dolly Parton’s vision and world-class properties like Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark as our foundation, The Dollywood Company is poised to become a family vacation destination like no other,” said Craig Ross, President of The Dollywood Company. “Dolly welcomes folks into her home and her heart, and our plans to grow and expand The Dollywood Company are steeped in her desire to bring families closer together by creating experiences delivered from the heart.”
The scope of the company’s future developments resonates in Parton’s native Sevier County and throughout the contiguous counties in East Tennessee. An independent economic impact study commissioned by The Dollywood Company projects that Dollywood and its hospitality investments will add $150 million annually to the local economy. Additionally, more than $7 million in state and local taxes will be generated by the company’s 10-year investments. Approximately 2,500 jobs will be created, primarily in the hospitality and construction industries, due to the addition of the resort.
Scheduled to open summer of 2015, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is situated on 100 acres and features a design reminiscent of the iconic Southern gathering spot, the front porch. With rocking chairs that invite guests to linger and admire pristine mountain views, the property is nestled amid the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and offers the best of both worlds—tranquility and adventure—throughout the sprawling resort and surrounding grounds.
The resort features a variety of accommodations to suit parties of all sizes. It will include special one- or two-bedroom reunion suites with family parlors that serve as a gathering hub. The resort also includes specialty suites on the ground floor with private gated porches with outdoor access.
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort includes more than 8,000 square feet of indoor meeting space complete with state-of-the-art technology. Outdoors, the property can accommodate groups as large as 500.
The property’s crown jewel is the 2,200-square-foot Dolly’s Suite Dreams celebrity suite, with décor inspired by Parton.
A full-service restaurant, fashioned after an old farmhouse, provides indoor and outdoor dining opportunities, including a wrap-around veranda with views of the pool and surrounding mountains while an indoor pool, carefully situated amid all-glass windows, invites the outdoors inside. An intimate amphitheater nestled in the rolling countryside offers outdoor entertainment while an event lawn welcomes craft demonstrations and special entertainment. Fire pits, hammocks and story spots allow guests to take full advantage of the outdoors. The resort’s spa and salon will offer both a serene indoor and outdoor spa experience.
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is just minutes from neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited in the U.S. The property joins Dollywood Cabins as the company’s second venture in the lodging industry. Launched in 2009, Dollywood Cabins offers luxurious, amenity-rich cabins just two miles from Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country.
FireChaser Express is the latest addition to The Dollywood Company’s list of innovative new rides. In March 2012, Dollywood opened the $20 million Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. In 2013, Dollywood’s Splash Country followed with the addition of RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster. The nation’s first dual-launch family coaster, FireChaser Express travels forward and backward on a winding 2,427-foot track, leaving the loading station in one direction and returning in the opposite direction. Perched 12 stories above the park’s Wilderness Pass area, the coaster’s 39-inch minimum height requirement invites families to ride together.