Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort marks first project in new 10-year, more than half-a-billion dollar investment plan
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Thursday, June 3, 2021) — After having just finished a decade of unparalleled growth, The Dollywood Company embarks on an ambitious investment strategy that will see the Smoky Mountain vacation destination invest more than half-a-billion dollars over the next 10 years across its properties. Announced today, one of the first projects in the campaign is the 302-room Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort.
The new HeartSong Lodge, located adjacent to the much-heralded Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, serves as the next element in the company’s thriving lodging business. Set to open in 2023, the new property ushers in another period of tremendous growth for the company and for the entire Smoky Mountains region. 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.
The new investment plan provides Dollywood’s Dreamer-in-Chief plenty of opportunities to do what she does best for many years to come.
“I’m always dreaming and coming up with new ideas and things I want our guests to experience,” Parton explained. “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.
“I’m so proud of this place that we’ve been able to build here in the Smokies,” she continued. “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.”
Tucked away in a beautiful cove in the rolling foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort is a well-appointed, reimagined property that features a variety of accommodations and amenities. Our ‘reimagined lodge’ is designed to bring that intangible feeling to life, honor everything that makes the Smokies special, and invite you to experience the wonders of finding your own heartsong.
Welcoming the outdoors in with high ceilings, exposed beams and natural layered textures, Dollywood’s newest resort offers lodging options for multi-generational families and couples. Spacious family suites and bunk rooms feature lovely touches that are inspired by the beauty of the Smokies, inviting guests of all ages to gather for meaningful connections.
For one-of-a-kind getaways, the five-story resort also features themed suites and loft rooms tucked into the dormers. Many of the resort’s spacious rooms include balconies, which provide a “place among the leaves” for families to escape everyday stresses while reconnecting.
This reimagined Smoky Mountain lodge features four-story, lantern-inspired windows in the resort’s welcoming atrium, epic indoor and outdoor pools that provide guests a refreshing escape in all seasons, and a picture-perfect outdoor cove with family gathering spaces, communal firepit and screened-in porch. With 26,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, the property can accommodate gatherings for several hundred guests. From the two-story HeartSong Event Center to spacious outdoor meeting spaces and event lawn, the resort offers numerous options to provide a unique and inspiring setting for groups.
“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.
“With the success we’ve experienced at DreamMore Resort, we feel this is the perfect time to expand our portfolio of resorts,” Naughton continued. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we had a relatively strong 2020 and we currently are outpacing our original expectations for 2021, so we are confident in the potential we see in the continued growth of the Smokies. We’ve earned a number of awards and accolades the last few years, and with this addition and the epic plans we have in the works, Dollywood and the Smoky Mountains will continue to be mentioned among the best places in the country for family travel.”
“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.”
With more than three million visitors annually at Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, the Pigeon Forge parks comprise Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attraction.
“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.”
Since 2010, The Dollywood Company has invested more than $220 million into its properties as part of its ongoing investment plan. Expansions undertaken since 2010 include Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, roller coasters Lightning Rod and FireChaser Express, as well as TailSpin Racer at Dollywood’s Splash Country. In 2019, the park opened the $37 million Wildwood Grove.
“As a member of our community for the past 35 years, Dollywood theme park has been a significant part of the growth Pigeon Forge has experienced as a family vacation destination through the years,” Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster said. “Dolly and her team have contributed greatly to our community, and our city is proud to work alongside them as The Dollywood Company continues to make Pigeon Forge a wonderful place to visit, to live and to work.”
Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. It’s the perfect year for a season pass, as guests will want to return throughout the year to enjoy it all. The park currently celebrates the joy of spring in the Smokies with the final weekend of the Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (through June 7). Many great festivals are still planned this year, including Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31), which includes a new evening drone show and dance party every night. Thousands of pumpkins glow to life as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24- Oct. 30), and Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 6- Jan. 2, 2022) celebrates the spirit of the season with millions of beautiful lights, award-winning shows, and festive culinary creations.
For more information about Dollywood, please visit dollywood.com or download the Dollywood App.
About The Dollywood Company: A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 160-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 40 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 27 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has been named a top-three U.S. theme park by USA Today on multiple occasions and a top-10 world theme park by TripAdvisor. Dollywood is open mid-March through early January and offers rides and attractions, shows and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, a favorite of USA Today voters and TripAdvisor reviewers, provides guests with spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.