Park City, UT & Pigeon Forge, TN, USA /BUSINESS WIRE/ — Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, a full-service hotel management company that specializes in owning and operating luxury and upscale urban hotels and resorts, has been awarded the prestigious management partner designation for Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The resort is projected to open in the summer of 2015 adjacent to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park.
The 300-room resort hotel will be situated on a hilltop with views of the majestic Smoky Mountains, with 20 acres of grounds loaded with activities and surprises for the entire family. The project is part of a ten-year capital investment plan that includes more than $300 million in future development for Dolly Parton’s Dollywood properties. 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.
“We conducted a vigorous search to find the right management partner to help us fulfill Dolly’s dream of a developing a resort that gives families a place to reconnect and enjoy this beautiful part of our country,” said Craig Ross, president, The Dollywood Company. “Gemstone’s experience in creating and managing ‘one-of-a-kind’ hotels and resorts, along with their respectful, thoughtful approach to our company’s culture and Dolly’s dream, set them apart from the others.”
“Ms. Parton has a very clear vision for her DreamMore Resort, and helping bring that dream to fruition is a once-in-a-career opportunity for us,” said Jeff McIntyre, principal of Gemstone. “We’ve been working on the programming for several months now and are confident that we’ve created something that will be unique to our industry. The property will have great appeal not only for families visiting The Dollywood Parks, The Great Smoky Mountain National Park or the unique environment of Pigeon Forge, but for couples, weddings and groups of 10 to 500, as well.”
The hotel features a flexible room inventory with design elements that families and others will find unique and fun. The overall layout of the resort makes generous use of porches. Growing up in the area, Parton’s family and friends would gather to tell stories, make music and create lifelong family memories on the front porch of their humble, country home.
According to McIntyre, the hotel’s ample grounds will give rise to all manner of authentic Smoky Mountain-style, family friendly activities, including tire swings, fire pits, hammocks and a pool complex. The resort’s event lawn will be used for weddings and receptions, as well as family entertainment and arts & crafts festivals featuring Dollywood’s artists and craftspeople.
High-tech meeting space, complete with state-of-the-art equipment and porches made for socializing and collaboration, will make Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort an ideal spot for meetings of all types.
“The resort will be an attraction unto itself,” noted McIntyre. “In fact, we have had nearly 10,000 people already sign up for the Founder’s Club, the resort’s pre-opening loyalty program, in the first 24 hours following Ms. Parton’s resort announcement on national television. Of course, that’s a testament to Dolly Parton’s tremendous appeal, but it also speaks to the demand for an experiential, one-of-a-kind, resort experience for the 11 million annual visitors who travel to this area. As far as vacation and meeting destinations go, you really can’t ask for much more than a thoughtfully designed, luxury resort inspired by Dolly Parton herself, which is directly attached to her award winning theme parks, Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country.”