Gaylord, Dolly Parton to open entertainment park - WSMV News 4

Gaylord, Dolly Parton to open entertainment park

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Gaylord CEO Colin Reed & Dolly Parton at Thursday's announcement Gaylord CEO Colin Reed & Dolly Parton at Thursday's announcement

Gaylord Entertainment announced a partnership Thursday with Dolly Parton to open a family entertainment attraction in Nashville that will be a water and snow park, said officials.

The 114-acre park is projected to open as early as spring 2014 with an expected 500,000 visitors in the first full season. It's expected to hire 450 full and part-time employees in the first phase of development, said officials.

The project will be built in Donelson near McGavock Pike and Pennington Bend Road.

"We are marrying two great companies," said Parton.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean attended and spoke at the event.

"It's a home run for Nashville, and a great day for this city," said Dean.

The planned $50 million venture will be a partnership with Gaylord Entertainment, which owns the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center and the Grand Ole Opry country music show in Nashville.

Parton already operates a theme park and a water park in Pigeon Forge, about 190 miles away in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.

Parton's Dollywood theme park and Splash Country attract approximately four million visitors yearly.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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