Dollywood announces new roller coaster and hotel as part of 10-year expansion plan
this morning announced the first two projects in a planned $300 million in capital expansion over the next 10 years at and around the Tennessee theme park.
Opening next summer, Firechaser Express will be a dual-launch family coaster that travels forward then backward on the 2,427-foot track. The coaster will have a height requirement of just 39 inches, and will be themed to firefighters protecting the forest of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Then, in the summer of 2015, Dollywood will open its first on-site hotel, the DreamMore Resort. The facility will feature 300 rooms on a 100-acre site that also will include a spa, indoor and outdoor pools and a full-service farmhouse restaurant. The hotel will be within walking distance to the Splash Country water park and will offer complimentary transportation to Dollywood.
Updated, 8:30am: "We hope to build several resorts in the area and continue to build great new places to stay," Dolly Parton said during this morning's live announcement webcast. She also revealed that she will "star," in hologram form, as the Ghost of Christmas Past in a new holiday show later this year.
"Dollywood is investing big, to become a full-fledged family destination," Craig Ross, president of the Dollywood Company, said. The $300 million will be divided among new attractions and hotel development.
Awesome news! The resort will be a perfect fit for the park. And a new family coaster is always welcome, particularly something unique like FireChaser Express.
$300 million over 10 years? Sounds like chump change compared to the money going into Universal parks over the next two years. Seems like that would barely cover a couple of rides and a hotel.
Costs to build and develop in the Smokey Mountains is far less than doing so in Orlando or California. Certainly, $300 million is a drop in the bucket compared to what Universal is doing, but for a place like Dollywood, it represents a the same level of spending in the next 10 years than was spent on the park since its inception. Also remember that Dollywood is not installing attractions with the intricacy and intellectual property rights costs that Universal and Disney are.
Great news! The folks at Herschend continue to be at the forefront of family entertainment with this announcement today. It is an exciting time to be a fan of both Dollywood and Silver Dollar City. I look forward to the next decade of growth at these terrific family destinations.
Any word yet on where exactly the DreamMore Resort will be built in relation to the park?
I have never been to Dollywood, but I'm really happy to read that they're putting money into it, both in terms of new attractions and rides and more importantly, the on-site hotel. I think that really is the key, as people visiting a park (i would think) would rather stay right there on property if that choice is available.
I'm a little confused about the layout of this upcoming roller coaster based on the little information I've read. I'll be glad when they finally show us a layout of what the track will be like so it will make more sense to me.
I feel for Dolly in this respect - given the fires currently burning across the US introducing Fire Chaser could not have come at a worse time. That said, I think is it a good fit for her park.
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