Dolly's DreamMore Resort hits building milestone

Posted at 12:12 PM, Oct 22, 2014

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, the second part of the company’s $300 million, 10-year expansion project, is one step closer to its planned summer 2015 opening.

Dollywood Co. President Craig Ross and other officials on Wednesday hosted a “topping out” ceremony for the 307-room resort hotel, at its construction site in Pigeon Forge. The latest milestone was the completion of the building’s main spire, which is the tallest part of the building and finishes its silhouette.

“Almost 30 years ago, Dolly announced her dream of building a theme park in this community and not only a theme park but a resort in the beloved Smoky Mountains,” Ross said. “Today we are taking a really big step toward realizing that dream. Because of her vision it was also important for us to serve as an economic engine. We are supporting thousands of jobs within this community, and bringing millions of folks to this beautiful part of the country.”

The next phase of construction will focus on the interior of the property, which will feature nine room types, large windows and porches to take advantage of the mountain views, as well as meeting space.

Construction is on schedule despite this year’s rains, which the company attributed to the planning of local contractor D&S Builders.

The resort is part of the company’s plan for Dollywood to evolve from a theme park to an all-inclusive, family-oriented destination.

Guests of the resort will receive services including complimentary transportation to and from nearby Splash Country and Dollywood via trolley. The company is investing significant funds into that transportation as well as expanding parking there, Ross said.

Unlike Dollywood, the resort will be open year-round and festivals and entertainment are planned for January through March when temperatures keep Dollywood mostly closed.

Other amenities include an indoor and outdoor pool complex, a spa and full-service farmhouse-style restaurant, as well as family gathering areas such as fire pits, swings, hammocks and story spots. Dolly Parton will have a suite at the site that will be available for rent when she is not in residence.

Gemstone Hotels and Resorts will manage the property with Jan McCormick as managing director, while Kevin Osborn was introduced as general manager and Cordelia Marzak as director of sales and marketing.

The resort will employ 250 to 300 people, depending on the season. Reservations will be available starting in mid-January.