PIGEON FORGE — The Dollywood Company said Thursday that it is embarking on an ambitious investment strategy that will see the Smoky Mountain vacation destination invest more than half-a-billion dollars over the next 10 years across its properties.
One of the first projects in the campaign is the 302-room Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort.
The new HeartSong Lodge, located adjacent to the Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, serves as the next element in the company’s thriving lodging business, company officials said.
It is set to open in 2023.
Earlier this year, Tripadvisor named Gatlinburg as the number one trending destination in the United States, with Pigeon Forge ranking fourth on the same list. Last year, Dollywood was “traveler-ranked” number six on Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Top 25 United States Theme Parks list and number eight on the Top 25 Worldwide Theme Parks list based on guest reviews.
“I’m always dreaming and coming up with new ideas and things I want our guests to experience,” Dolly 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.
“I’m so proud of this place that we’ve been able to build here in the Smokies,” she 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. I’m so happy with what we are doing to make sure our guests have a great season this year, and being able to announce the new HeartSong Lodge & Resort is just one more way we’re going to be able to help families reconnect, explore and discover together. I truly believe the natural beauty of the Smokies and the warmth of this special place will inspire every guest to nurture the ‘heartsong’ within them.”
Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort is a reimagined property that features a variety of accommodations and amenities.
Welcoming the outdoors in with high ceilings, exposed beams and natural layered textures, Dollywood’s newest resort offers lodging options for multi-generational families and couples. Spacious family suites and bunk rooms feature lovely touches that are inspired by the beauty of the Smokies, inviting guests of all ages to gather for meaningful connections.
The five-story resort also features themed suites and loft rooms tucked into the dormers and many of the resort’s spacious rooms include balconies.
This reimagined Smoky Mountain lodge features four-story, lantern-inspired windows in the resort’s atrium, indoor and outdoor pools and an outdoor cove with family gathering spaces, communal firepit and screened-in porch.
“From the time we announced Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort in 2015, we have seen the entire region emerge as one of the nation’s leading family vacation destinations,” said Eugene Naughton, president of The Dollywood Company. “We’ve been able to help Dolly achieve the dreams she had more than 35 years ago, and with this announcement today, we’re going to be able to put wings on even more of her dreams.
“With the success we’ve experienced at DreamMore Resort, we feel this is the perfect time to expand our portfolio of resorts,” Naughton said. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we had a relatively strong 2020 and we currently are outpacing our original expectations for 2021, so we are confident in the potential we see in the continued growth of the Smokies. We’ve earned a number of awards and accolades the last few years, and with this addition and the epic plans we have in the works, Dollywood and the Smoky Mountains will continue to be mentioned among the best places in the country for family travel.”
“As a complete family destination, we can’t wait to welcome more visitors who want to experience what makes us different,” added Bill Doyle, senior vice president of Hospitality. “From our award-winning theme park and water park, to our world-class accommodations and unique dinner attractions, we know families are ready for the special moments they can only find here at Dollywood.”
With more than three million visitors annually at Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, the Pigeon Forge parks comprise Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attraction.
“Our state is the proud home of Dollywood, a cherished destination for families from around the globe” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “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 & Resort to this community.”
Since 2010, The Dollywood Company has invested more than $220 million into its properties as part of its ongoing investment plan. Expansions undertaken since 2010 include Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, roller coasters Lightning Rod and FireChaser Express, as well as TailSpin Racer at Dollywood’s Splash Country. In 2019, the park opened the $37 million Wildwood Grove.
For more information about Dollywood, please visit dollywood.com or download the Dollywood App.