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Dollywood plans to build new resort in Pigeon Forge

Posted at 5:47 AM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 05:47:47-05

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WBIR) — Documents obtained by WBIR show Dollywood plans a sprawling new resort addition near its Splash Country and DreamMore attractions.

According to WBIR, the preliminary site plan, presented to the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission last month, includes a 310-room hotel, a 325-seat restaurant and a conference space.

The proposed resort is off McCarter Drive, between McCarter and Jayell Road. It is situated adjacent to Dollywood's Splash Country water park and its existing resort, DreamMore.

The site is just up Veterans Blvd. from Dollywood. The plans indicate the hotel alone will employ 100 people.

In October, the commission approved the preliminary proposal, which mostly consists of building plans and does not include any renderings.

Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens told 10News, "We have nothing to announce at this time. When Dolly is ready to announce future expansions, we will let you know."

Parton herself has hinted at new resort additions before.

When asked in a 2018 interview with 10News about the possibility of building a new resort, she said: "Absolutely, yes. In fact, we're about to start on a new one. We'll be making some announcements pretty soon."

Parton cited the success of DreamMore, which opened in 2015 as a key factor in deciding to plan a new resort.

“Our resort has just done so well. It's booked all the time and the food is great and we get so many great reports, so we felt like we gonna have to expand," she said.

The new resort, for which Dollywood has not indicated a name or a projected opening date, is only the latest addition to the Dolly empire growing north of the Parkway and Pigeon Forge.

Parton lent her name to the park in 1986. The newly-christened Dollywood added roller coaster attractions beginning in 1989.

But it was not until the new millennium that Dollywood's expansion began in earnest.

In 2001, its water park, Dollywood's Splash Country, opened.

The existing resort, the DreamMore, started taking guests in 2015.

And Wildwood Grove, the latest addition to the theme park, opened in Spring 2019.