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Dolly Parton announces major theme park expansion

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:47:56 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 21 2013 08:01:51 PM CDT

On Wednesday, Dolly Parton announced plans to add new attractions to the region.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. -

Tourism is big business in Tennessee, and one of the places that's most evident is in Pigeon Forge, the home of Dolly Parton and the theme parks bearing her name.

On Wednesday Parton announced plans to add new attractions to the region -- a new rollercoaster and a resort on the property.

"We're excited about building this whole area, but this is really exciting to have our hotel," Parton said in a press conference.

Dolly was joined by Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, who recently added $8 million to the state's tourism budget.

The new ride and resort are part of a $300 million investment said to create more than 2,500 jobs.

The resort, being called Dreammore, is set to open in 2015, but Dolly says the idea has been a dream of hers for years. "Someone in one of our meetings said, 'Well, like the Biltmore, call it the 'Dreammore!' [I thought it was] perfect. When you sleep you dream, and hopefully you dream more," she said about the name.

The new ride is called the Firechaser Express. It's described as a ride for the entire family. "It gives the family a chance to interact together and we've tried to cater a few things at the resort to be all family-friendly," Parton said.

All of this is just some of what's on Dolly's to-do list; still to come is an album, a tour, and a Lifetime movie. "It's a Christmas movie," she said. "It's going to come out sometime this year."

At 67 years old, it seems this East Tennessee native is not slowing down anytime soon.

The Dreammore resort will be located near Dollywood and Dolly's Splash Country. We're told it will include 300 rooms, including a special suite designed by Dolly herself.

The resort is set to open in the summer of 2015.