Dolly Parton won't build Nashville water theme park

Dolly Parton won't build Nashville water theme park

Posted: Updated: Sep 28, 2012 06:26 PM CDT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Dolly Parton says she will no longer be involved in a planned water and snow park in Nashville.

In a statement Friday, Parton said due to the decision by Gaylord stockholders on September 25 to sell the daily operation of its Opryland Resort and Convention Center to Marriott, the Dollywood Company has ended its participation in the previously announced Nashville water park.

"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," Parton 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."

She added, "I think everyone knows I love Nashville and I hope the work we've already done will spark more family entertainment in Nashville."

Nashville's News 2 first reported Parton had doubts about the proposed theme park last month.

When asked about the park's progress during a news conference celebrating her latest gold record in early August, Parton took a deep breath and then said, "Well, that is a kind of... we are working on it, that's kind of in a holding pattern right now."

"There are a lot of changes going on, I am not really sure. We are still working on that," she added before taking an unrelated question.

The proposed park was slated to employ 450 full-and part-time employees and would've been a big boost for the Nashville economy.

In a statement released late Friday afternoon, Gaylord Chairman and CEO Colin Reed expressed disappointment but said, "We continue to believe that a water park attraction on the property adjacent to Gaylord Opryland would be a valuable contributor to both our hotel and Nashville tourism. We will endeavor to find another quality partner so that this important tourism project can become a reality."

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean added, "I am disappointed with this news, but I am happy to hear that Gaylord still plans to pursue the possibility of a water park. A theme park would be great for Nashville and our tourism industry. I think the world of Dolly Parton, who has been wonderful to both Nashville and the entire state of Tennessee."

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