Businesses can't contain their excitement as Dollywood grows
PIGEON FORGE (WBIR) — Dolly Parton will be in Pigeon Forge next week for an announcement about "new land" at the park. A release from Dollywood calls it "Wildwood Grove." Now, Pigeon Forge Tourism leaders and business owners are ecstatic about the growth.
"Yay! More money for me! More business for me and more traffic," Kathy Miller, the owner of Sweet Peas and Ivy in Sevierville, said.
Details are limited about the expansion right now, but the park did submit documents to the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission in March that showed plans for eight new attractions and a restaurant.
"To me as a business, the people that come to Dollywood come and see me, plain and simple," Kathy Miller said.
"It's a win win for us," Leon Downey, the Executive Director for Pigeon Forge Tourism, said.
It's Leon Downey's career to bring people to Pigeon Forge and he said sometimes, Dolly Parton makes his job a little easier.
"Dollywood is the most ticketed tourist attraction in Tennessee, and for us to have it here... it's huge," Downey said.
Downey said anytime Dollywood adds any attraction it drives tourism to Sevier County. And where there are tourists, there's no shortage of businesses.
"Without Dollywood, we wouldn't have the tourist traffic. [Dolly Parton] means everything to us," Kathy Miller said.
The new expansion isn't just exciting for tourists.
"Most of us go to Dollywood as well, so it's exciting for us to be a tourist as well," Downey said.