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Dolly Parton to Help Launch New Water, Snow Park in Nashville

Dolly Parton
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Two of Nashville’s biggest entertainment moguls announced last week that they will be partnering for a new 114-acre family entertainment zone in Nashville. Dolly Parton‘s Dollywood Company is embarking on this new project with Gaylord Entertainment, the company that owns the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, as well as the Ryman Auditorium, Wildhorse Saloon, WSM-AM and more of Nashville’s main attractions.

Though the proposed entertainment zone doesn’t yet have a name, the first phase of the project includes a $50 million water and snow park, the likes of which doesn’t yet exist anywhere in the US. The attraction will be located just adjacent to the Opryland Resort. The two companies expect to break ground on the project late this year or early 2013, with an anticipated summer 2014 grand opening.

While Tennessee politicians like Gov. Bill Haslam are touting the value of drawing even more tourism to a state in which tourism is the second largest industry, Parton says she’s just excited to get started. “I’m so excited about this opportunity,” she said in a press release. “I am confident that partnering my Dollywood Company with a great company like Gaylord will create something truly special. We’re all working on new types of entertainment to do in the daytime and nighttime for the whole family so we bring new folks to the area year-round.”

Likewise, Gaylord seems to be more than pleased with the 50/50 partnership including the country superstar. Gaylord Entertainment Chairman and CEO Colin V. Reed said in the same release, ”We are thrilled by the prospect of bringing to Nashville a family-focused entertainment center with one of the preeminent theme park owners and operators in the country … With Dolly Parton’s country music legacy and strong ties to Nashville, we can think of no better partner for this venture than Dolly’s Dollywood Company.”

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