Dolly Parton visits Pigeon Forge to check out HeartSong Lodge and Resort construction site

Dolly shared how the resort would bring guests closer to the Smoky Mountains.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — The Smoky Mountain Songbird made her return to East Tennessee on Friday.

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Dolly Parton paid a visit to the construction site of the HeartSong Lodge and Resort in Pigeon Forge. This was Dolly’s first appearance at the Lodge, which is set to open in late 2023.

Dolly shared her vision for the new HeartSong Lodge. 

 “The mountains have always meant the world to me and I see them as God’s coloring book,” Dolly said “It’s always about seeing the beautiful colors.”

The 302-room resort will offer lodgings for multi-generational families and couples.

Dolly also accepted an award from the American Chestnut Foundation on behalf of her late uncle, Bill Owens. Owens had worked with the foundation to save the American chestnut from a fungus that almost eliminated the species in the 1900s.

“Bill lived here in the mountains. He loved it here and he actually got very involved in chestnut trees,” Dolly said. “When blight killed them off, he wanted to be responsible for bringing them back and he and his wife, Sandy, worked planting trees here at Dollywood and their own property.”

A spokesperson with Dollywood said that once the resort is completed, an American chestnut tree will be planted to honor Owens. The chestnut tree will also be featured in artwork throughout the resort.

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