Dollywood planning 5-acre expansion for 2019

Dollywood has started work on a five-acre expansion of new adventures and fun for park visitors.

According to plans provided by the city of Pigeon Forge, the new area, which will be located near the Celebrity Theater, will have eight new attractions including a family coaster, a new restaurant and other amenities such as restrooms.

Ken Maples with Pigeon Forge Hospitality and Tourism says expansion is only in the beginning stages. Work has started on infrastructure needs such as storm drains and sewer systems.

"What little we know is that it's been through planning commission and received preliminary approval," said Maples. "It is an expansion of the park, so, it's an entire new section of the park, I believe somewhere around five acres. It contains various attractions and things like that and it's probably part of their $300 million expansion they announced three or four years ago."

Dollywood spokesperson Pete Owen released the following statement about the project:

“Dollywood is consistently working to expand and improve our parks and resorts.  We do not have anything official to announce at this time. Dolly will announce future plans for the Dollywood company later in the year.”

Specific details are still under wraps for now, but what city leaders say they do know is that this new expansion will help bring more tourists to Pigeon Forge.

"Anytime our guests hear Dollywood is doing something new they are going to come and see it, so they are going to visit our town, eat in our restaurants, visit the park, and also stay in our hotels so we're really excited about this expansion," said Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear.

Assistant City Manager Eric Brackins says he agrees and is excited for the progress.

"It's very important to our economy," said Brackins. "We've been partners with them since 1986 when they first opened the park and every few years they add new attractions to keep the park exciting for their visitors and in turn it keeps visitors coming to Pigeon Forge as well."

Source: WATE, by Jennifer Webb

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Published March 16, 2018