Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Announces Major Expansion with $500 Million Resort

by Halle Ames

Country legend Dolly Parton has announced that Dollywood is getting a nearly $500 million resort expansion.

Talk about an expensive Dollywood facelift!

On Thursday, Dolly Parton made the exciting announcement to fans about the construction of the HeartSong Lodge & Resort. This will be the first of many in the half-a-billion-dollar campaign funded by the Dollywood Parks & Resorts group over the next decade, reports WKRN.

Since construction has just begun, the HeartSong Lodge & Resort will not be ready to open until 2023. However, the sizable project will include a five-story, 302-room lodge featuring a sprawling indoor and outdoor pool complex and 26,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor event space. The new building will be located next door to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa.

The last addition to the Dollywood property was in 2019 with the $37 million Wildwood Grove development. Furthermore, it will be the first new resort for guests since 2015, when the DreamMore opened.

Popularity of Dollywood in Tennessee

Dolly Parton made an announcement about the expensive additions saying Dollywood is currently more popular than ever.

“I’m always dreaming and coming up with new ideas and things I want our guests to experience,” Parton said. “We wanted to talk about this last year, but with everything going on, we knew we needed to pause because it just wasn’t the right time to do it. Things are looking brighter, and with the popularity of the Smokies soaring, there are more people than ever wanting to visit our area.”

More than three million adoring Parton fans travel from all over to visit Dollywood’s theme park and waterpark. They are part of the Pigeon Forge parks, which are some of Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attractions.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said it is an honor to host Dollywood since its start in 1961.

“Our state is the proud home of Dollywood, a cherished destination for families from around the globe,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “Tourism sustains jobs, increases economic opportunity, and highlights the best of Tennessee, and we’re grateful to Dolly Parton, Dollywood, and all who helped bring the new HeartSong Lodge and Resort to this community.”

Furthermore, Dolly Parton reveals the two “dreams” she had in mind when creating Dollywood.

“I’m so proud of this place that we’ve been able to build here in the Smokies,” Parton said. “I always dreamed of accomplishing two things with Dollywood. I wanted to give jobs to the folks who live here, and I wanted to give visitors another reason to come and experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. We celebrated our 35th season last year. So, I think it is fair to say we’ve been able to do that.”