DreamMore Resort: Dolly Parton announces $300M Dollywood expansion on Today Show

PIGEON FORGE — Country music legend and Sevier County native Dolly Parton announced Wednesday a commitment to invest $300 million over the next 10 years in her hometown, where she plans to expand her Dollywood properties.

The capital investments include a 300-room resort that will be located on 100 acres adjacent to her namesake parks and a dual-launch coaster currently under construction in Dollywood.

Parton said she has always been a big dreamer who hoped to do more for her home in the Smoky Mountains. The 10-year investment is projected to create 2,500 jobs and generate an additional $150 million annually to the local economy.

"This is where I nurtured my heart's dreams, and I want to share more of them," she said in a news release. "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!"

Video for mobile users: http://on.today.com/17KiI0A

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy

Parton made the announcement on NBC's Today Show and revealed additional details at an 11 a.m. news conference at the Showstreet Palace Theater in Dollywood. The press conference was streamed live on her website, http://www.destinationdollywood. The news comes nearly a year after Parton ended plans for a Nashville water and snow park at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

Though her company entered the lodging business three years ago with Dollywood Cabins, located two miles from the parks, Parton has long said she would like to have her own resort.

The DreamMore Resort, slated to open in summer 2015, will have a variety of accommodations including a 2,200-square-foot Dolly's Suite Dreams celebrity suite.

There will be an indoor and outdoor pool complex, a spa and a full-service farmhouse-style restaurant that features a wraparound veranda with views of the pool and surrounding mountains.

An amphitheater is planned as well as outdoor areas complete with fire pits, swings and hammocks.

Following the opening of the Wild Eagle steel wing coaster in 2012 and Splash Country's water coaster RiverRush this year, Parton also highlighted plans for a new attraction, the FireChaser Express, set to open in March 2014 where Adventure Mountain used to be located.

The company said it will be the nation's first dual-launch family coaster that launches twice, traveling forward and backward on a winding 2,427-foot track. It will catapult from zero to 16 mph in just 1.1 second going forward and then launch backward from zero to 20 mph in 2 seconds.

The FireChaser Express is meant to celebrate the volunteer-based fire departments of the 1940s who protected the neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Located 12 stories above the park's Wilderness Pass area Express, the coaster will feature three 14-passenger trains with an hourly capacity of 750 riders. The 39-inch minimum height requirement allows many 4-year-olds to ride.

"FireChaser Express is truly special to me because families can ride this coaster together," Parton said in the news release.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments