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Dollywood announces $300M resort expansion

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Aug. 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM   |   Comments

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Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Dollywood, the Tennessee theme park owned by Dolly Parton, is planning a 10 year, $300 million expansion that is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the Pigeon Forge area.

The project includes a "family" roller coaster set to open in 2014 and a 100-acre resort scheduled to welcome guests in the summer of 2015.

The FireChaser Express roller coaster will pay tribute to those "few brave souls willing to answer the call -- heroes able to tame nature's fury" as the latest edition to Dollywood.

The theme park, which opened in the Great Smoky Mountains in 1986, has welcomed millions and had its most successful year in 2012.

The resort is "the realization of a dream I've had for more than 30 years," Parton said, that "conjures up thoughts of a simpler place and time when Mama and Daddy and all us kids spent hours on end just swapping stories and catching up."

Parton said the DreamMore Resort will embody southern hospitality while showcasing the natural beauty of the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The 300-room resort will also include indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and a farmhouse-style restaurant aimed at "family bonding time" and "adventures centered around wholesome fun."

The resort will expand on the Dollywood Cabins, which opened in 2010, two miles from Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country.

Parton, 67, is among the most recognizable performers, selling more than 100 million records in her career as a country artist.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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