Dolly Parton's Dollywood is getting a $37 million expansion.
The 72-year-old singer/songwriter has revealed that her theme park near Knoxville, Tennessee, is set to add a new nature-themed land, Wildwood Grove, in 2019 and it will cost more than the whole park did when it was first built 33 years ago.
Wildwood Grove is the first new area to be added to Dollywood since Wilderness Pass in 2008 and this is the latest stage in a $300 million investment commitment the Dollywood Company made in 2013.
Dollywood President Craig Ross said: "We've been investing heavily. This will be one of the final pieces to the $300 million commitment we made over 10 years' time. We're actually a few years ahead of schedule."
And Dolly jokingly added: "Yeah we are, and I'm going to have to get out there and make some more money."
The new addition has been heavily influenced by Dolly herself.
Speaking to the Knoxville News Sentinel at a media call to announce the new addition, Dolly said: "I'm not in every meeting of course, and they work without me, but they also like to draw on my childhood, my background and talk about what was important to me as a kid, the kind of things we did as children living in the mountains.
"And this is about like kids just exploring nature, and we were part of that because we didn't have a lot of things like Dollywood and places like that to go then, so we really were part of nature and all the things that this area is all about, so it's fun to actually sit and throw my ideas out and get excited about theirs.
"We were talking about the fact that kids don't get out in nature enough anymore. Everybody's so caught up in all their gadgets, all the social media, all the things that they do in their games, their video games and all the stuff that they do that they don't actually even know there's an outdoors hardly anymore.
"So we felt like this was a great thing that we could do for kids to really explore and to be adventurous and to find their own little true self, their own little natural selves, rather than all the technical stuff."
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