Earlier this week Dolly Parton today visited the construction site of Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort, marking her first media appearance at the property which is slated to open in late 2023. During the media-only event, Parton also accepted an award from the American Chestnut Foundation on behalf of her late uncle, Bill Owens. The event took place in what will become the resort’s atrium area.
During the event, Parton expressed her vision for the 302-room resort while also sharing stories about why the Great Smoky Mountains still remain a sought-after respite for her during her hectic schedule.
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“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.”
Representatives from The American Chestnut Foundation presented Parton with the Chestnut Conservation Champion Award, which honored Owens for his long history of helping the foundation as they work toward developing a blight-resistant chestnut tree. Their works has helped save the American chestnut after it was almost eliminated due to a fungal pathogen, which spread quickly across the eastern United States in the early 1900s.
“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.”
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Once the resort is completed, the hybrid tree will be planted in a prominent place to honor Owens and the work of The American Chestnut Foundation. Chestnut trees will be featured prominently in the artwork which will adorn the walls of guest rooms throughout the resort.
Tucked away in a beautiful cove in the rolling foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort is a well-appointed, reimagined property that features a variety of accommodations and amenities. Welcoming the outdoors in with high ceilings, exposed beams and natural layered textures, Dollywood’s newest resort offers lodging options for multi-generational families and couples. Spacious family suites and bunk rooms feature lovely touches that are inspired by the beauty of the Smokies, inviting guests of all ages to gather for meaningful connections. A new guest room rendering also was shared with media during the event.
For one-of-a-kind getaways, the five-story resort also features themed suites and loft rooms tucked into the dormers. 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. 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.
Media members also had an opportunity to tour Suite 1986—Parton’s former tour bus which has been turned into the ultimate hotel suite. Now located at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, the Suite 1986 Tour Bus Experience illustrates another facet of the country music icon’s life—the free-spirited traveler. The Prevost was Parton’s home away from home as she traversed the country throughout the last 15 years. This unique sanctuary is where Parton wrote dozens of songs and worked on a number of hit projects that continue to cement her status as an international superstar.
Suite 1986 guests enjoy these special accommodations as well as additional experiences which can be added to the stay. Guests also have the chance to indulge in special culinary creations from the award-winning staff of the resort. The suite features a dedicated concierge service for the entire length of stay, as well as a number of exclusive Suite 1986 items that guests are able to take home as a keepsake from this incredible experience. The tour bus sleeps two guests. In addition, stays include a DreamMore Resort guest room to accommodate up to four additional guests. The Suite 1986 Tour Bus Experience is a two-night minimum and starts at $10,000. The profit from every stay will be donated to The Dollywood Foundation. Requests for bookings are available now. For more information about how to book this once-in-a-lifetime experience, please visit dollywood.com/suite1986.
For more information about Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort, please visit dollywood.com/heartsong.
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