Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dolly Parton Pulls Out of Nashville Water Park Project

In January, Dolly Parton and Gaylord Entertainment, owner of Nashville's Opryland Resort and Convention Center, announced that they were partnering to build a 114-acre theme park in Music City which would start with a combination water/snow park. The groundbreaking was expected to be made in late-2012 or early-2013.

Evidently things did not go well between the two parties as Dolly Parton has pulled out of the project as of last Friday. While there is no official word on why she took the action, it came three days after Gaylord announced that they would reorganize the company as real estate investment trust with their entertainment properties going to Marriot International.

Statements were made by both parties on Friday. Parton said "Gaylord makes decisions that they feel are good for their company and their stockholders and I have to make decisions based on what is best for me and the Dollywood Company. Governor Haslam, Mayor Dean, and all the folks in government have been great to work with. I really appreciate their support through this process."

Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO of Gaylord, said "We are deeply disappointed in today’s news that Dollywood will no longer partner with us to build a family attraction. We have enormous admiration for Dolly Parton and her company, and respect their decision … We will endeavor to find another quality partner so that this important tourism project can become a reality."

Parton's Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN is considered one of the great success stories of the theme park business.

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