Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Ranked Among Forbes’ List of Best Employers

by Jacklyn Krol

Dolly Parton’s Dollywood is one of the best places to work, according to Forbes.

The List and Its Criteria

Earlier this year, Dollywood was named one of the best mid-sized employers by Forbes. The theme park ranked No. 138 overall and sixth-best in the “Travel & Leisure” category. Additionally, Dollywood was the only theme park that made this list. Other top companies include Build A Bear Workshop, California Institute of Technology, and Carvana.

How exactly did Forbes measure the metrics for deciding the best employers? They partnered with a market research firm to survey 50,000 American employees that work for companies with 1,000+ employees. Employees were asked if they would recommend their company to loved ones, among other insights. Forbes then ranked the top 500 mid-size companies.

Dollywood Vice President of Human Resources Tim Berry began his career at the park while in high school and rose through the ranks. He has been with the company for over thirty-six years.

“We are pleased to see others recognize what our hosts have known for so long,” Berry told Dollywood Official Blog. “It’s not just something we say; The Dollywood Company really is an amazing place to work. We have hosts who have been here for 10, 20 and 30-plus years, like myself, because we love our culture and the opportunity to help our guests make memories with their families.”

Berry explained that he does their best to provide benefits and opportunities for each employee. They boast leader development programs, Family Healthcare Center, Park Perks Program. They even offer $2.50 lunch for employees. Dollywood employees have complimentary access to the theme park and water park along with reduced admission for other local attractions. Finally, the company also offers apprenticeship programs through Walters State Community College.

The Dollywood Re-Opening

Earlier this month, Dollywood officially opened for the 2021 season. Things will look a little different due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place, but the magic of Dollywood will remain the same.

“Our people are doing a great job to care for our guests,” Dolly Parton said in a statement. “I’m just glad that everyone is seeing what the good folks at Dollywood have been doing to make it one of the best family destinations in the entire country.” Unfortunately, Parton couldn’t attend the re-opening as she was waiting for the second dose of her COVID-19 vaccine.

The theme park has done its best to upgrade and enhance guests’ overall experience. They added additional restaurant seating along with enhancements to their Lightning Rod, Blazing Fury, Thunderhead, and Mystery Mine rides.