Dollywood to build 300 room resort, add new rollercoaster - WSPA.com

Dollywood to build 300 room resort, add new rollercoaster

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PIGEON FORGE, TN (WJHL) -

Dollywood is investing "big" in the city of Pigeon Forge, TN. Over the next ten years, it plans to invest $300 million in upgrades – that's more than it has ever invested over the last 28 years.

Its economic reach will include 2500 jobs.

The investments include a new 300 room resort – it's first ever - and a new rollercoaster called Fire Chaser Express, which is designed to include the whole family.

The Dollywood "DreamMore Resort" is slated to open summer of 2015. It hopes the resort will bring families closer together and "service that comes from the heart." Dollywood President Craig Ross says the hotel will be the first of multiple resorts on the property.

In a public survey, 80% said the addition of a resort would significantly impact their decision to visit Dollywood.

Dollywood also plans on expanding its advertising reach to other markets in the United States.

The new Fire Chaser Express rollercoaster will open in 2014. Kids as young as four years old are said to be able to get on this ride.

Hiring will be in two phases, first, with the opening of the Fire Chaser Express rollercoaster in 2014 and, second, with the opening of the new resort in 2015.

Pigeon Forge tourism chief Leon Downey cheered the announcement, noting that tourism in the town of 5,000 residents' only industry.

Dolly Parton announced that there will be more shows at Dollywood. In fact, she says, she will star in a Christmas show where she gets to play the ghost of Christmas past.

Parton says she will be featured in Lifetime movie that is schedule to air this Christmas. Some of the filming for the movie will take place at Dollywood and Parton says she's even written some of the songs for the movie. 

Parton says she has also finished a new CD that is expected to be released later this fall. 

News Channel 11 will be in Pigeon Forge covering the events and reaction to Dollywood's announcement. We'll have a full report Wednesday beginning on News Channel 11 at 5:00 p.m.

Copyright 2013 WJHL. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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