PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — The Dollywood Company announced plans Thursday for a brand new lodge-style resort in Pigeon Forge with more planned for the future.
The 302-room HeartSong Lodge & Resort, set to open in 2023, will be located next to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, just down the road from the theme park.
"Called it HeartSong, because I write songs and everything I ever done I started with a song," said Dolly, who named the resort for a song she released in 1994 that was inspired by the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.
The future resort will offer several lodging options for multi-generational families and couples. There will be spacious family suites, bunk rooms, themed suites, and loft rooms. Many of the rooms will include balconies and will feature high ceilings and exposed beams.
Guests will be able to enjoy four-story, lantern-inspired windows in the resort’s atrium, a giant stone fireplace, indoor and outdoor pools, and an outdoor cove with family gathering spaces, communal firepit and screened-in porch. It will also feature 26,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space that can book booked for large gatherings and events.
It's all part of Dolly's dream to make life better for people in her hometown and welcome visitors to the place she loves.
“I’m so proud of this place that we’ve been able to build here in the Smokies,” Dolly 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.”
This resort is something Dolly has been dreaming about and planning for years. 10News first reported on the initial plans for the resort back in 2019.
Dollywood plans to invest more than half-a-billion dollars across its properties in the next 10 years.
While not releasing any details, Dollywood President Eugene Naughton said the master plans include a record-breaking new attraction coming in 2023, three additional resorts, and an "epic" new campground resort.
“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."
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.
“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.
“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.”
“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.”