Dolly Parton's Dollywood Just Became Dollykingdom, or Dollyuniverse
Dolly Parton is stepping up the expansive of her Dollywood theme park, with plans for a $300 million development over the next decade.
According to the Associated Press, the park plans to open the DreamMore Resort in 2015, with a new roller coaster aimed to families scheduled to open in 2014.
A new resort hotel will frame Mount LeConte - one of the tallest peaks in the Smoky Mountains.
"The thing we're most excited about is finally building our resort," Parton said Friday from the Smokies foothills, "We're starting out with a resort that has 300 rooms. Some of the rooms will accommodate up to six people in a family."
According to legendary country star, there will be a lot of "front porch spaces" at the resort, with a fishing pond planned for kids to catch fish and fire pits where families can roast marshmallows.
Dollywood president Craig Ross is understandably enthusiastic about the expansion, "In 10 years' time, we will have spent more than we've spent since the inception back in 1986," he said, "It's the bigger scope of these attractions that we'll be adding that's different."
The first of the new attractions will be the Fire Chaser Express, a ride scheduled to open next year that will be exciting, though not as intense as the Wild Eagle of Dollywood's notorious water coast RiverRush. Essentially, elementary school kids will be able to ride it.
The expansion is crucial for Pigeon Forge, the tiny city close-by that has a permanent population of 5,784 though welcomes 50,000 guests every day.
"We're basically 100 percent tourism" said the director of the city's Department of Tourism Leon Downey, "It's the only industry we have."
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