Dolly Parton makes first appearance at new HeartSong Lodge & Resort

At the media-only event, country music icon, Dolly Parton, shared her vision for the resort.
Dolly Parton visited the construction site of Dollywood’s new HeartSong Lodge & Resort for the first time at the property set to open in late 2023.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Dolly Parton visited the construction site of Dollywood’s new HeartSong Lodge & Resort for the first time at the property set to open in late 2023.

At the media-only event, the country music icon shared her vision for the resort that showcased over 300 rooms while also sharing stories about why the Smokies still remain close to her heart despite her hectic schedule.

“In its simplest form, HeartSong is about the Smoky Mountains and why I continue to come back home year after year,” she explained. “It is the place I recharge and stay grounded. The beauty of the mountains—at every hour and in every season—is simply an inspiration. From the time I was a child, I roamed the hills of Locust Ridge and explored God’s coloring book.”

The HeartSong Lodge & Resort will be the “one-of-a-kind getaways,” boasting a five-story resort featuring themed suites and loft rooms.

“Many of the rooms include balconies, which provide sweeping views of the vast resort property. This 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,” a Dollywood spokesperson said. “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.”

During the event, The American Chestnut Foundation presented Parton with the Chestnut Conservation Champion Award on behalf of her late uncle, Bill Owens, who had a history of helping the foundation as they work toward developing a blight-resistant chestnut tree, according to a spokesperson.

“My uncle Bill worked for decades with The American Chestnut Foundation to help their effort in creating a new tree that is blight resistant,” Parton said. “As a result of that work, he has been honored in a new documentary about the chestnut tree. To honor him, we have this beautiful hybrid chestnut tree on stage. We have some representatives from the foundation here as well.”

Once the resort is completed, the hybrid tree will be planted in a prominent spot, as well as be featured in artwork across the guestrooms, according to a spokesperson.

While there, Parton even grabbed her guitar and sang a song about the lodge.

In addition, members of the media got to tour Suite 1986: Parton’s former tour bus, which has been turned into the ultimate hotel suite. It is now located at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and will give guests a glimpse of where the music star wrote dozens of songs and worked on a number of projects throughout her superstar career.

According to a theme park spokesperson, Suite 1986 Tour Bus Experience is a two-night minimum and starts at $10,000, which will be donated to The Dollywood Foundation. Those interested can book a stay here.

To end Friday, Parton rode through a parade in Dollywood, waving and talking with visitors.

More information about HeartSong Lodge & Resort can be found here.

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