Dolly Parton (Photo: Rick Diamond)Looking forward to checking out Dolly Parton's in-the-works, over-the-top new amusement park/waterpark which is tentatively scheduled to open next summer? Well, here's some bad news. If it does open at all, it unfortunately won't have any Dolly around to spice it up. The legendary entertainer has pulled out of the picture, announcing Friday that she is no longer associated with the project.
Parton, who announced the park's plans in January to great fanfare--including accompaniment from Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam--hinted that there was a clash between her business interests and partner Gaylord Entertainment's.
"Gaylord makes decisions that they feel are good for their company and their stockholders and I have to make decisions based on what is best for me and the Dollywood Company," she said. "Governor Haslam, Mayor Dean, and all the folks in government have been great to work with. I really appreciate their support through this process."
"I think everyone knows I love Nashville and I hope the work we've already done will spark more family entertainment in Nashville."
Gaylord Entertainment Co. is known for the Opryland Resort & Convention Center, as well as the Grand Ole Opry country music show in Nashville. Parton owns Dollywood theme park and Dollywood's Splash Country water park. Local news WKRN reported Friday that Parton and Dollywood pulled out of the latest project due to a decision by Gaylord to sell the Opryland Resort and Convention Center to Marriott.
WKRN also reported in August that Parton was showing hesitancy about the deal. The two entities were scheduled to collaborate on a proposed 114-acre park which would feature water attractions in the summer, and manufacture snow in the winter. It's not been confirmed if plans will still move forward without Parton in the picture.