Dolly Parton Sets Major Business Venture in Florida

Parton is set to open an attraction similar to her Dixie Stampede attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Dolly Parton's team announced Thursday that she will open the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show at Pier Park, next to Aaron Bessant Park in Panama City Beach. It will closely resemble her Dixie Stampede attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

A series of pirate battles will be carried out on the decks of the two full-sized pirate ships in the 15-foot-deep lagoon, as well as in the sky, reported My Panhandle. According to Panama City Beach Mayor Mark Sheldon, Parton's decision to open a location in the city is a good indication that the city is experiencing growth in terms of tourism.

"She's a legend. She's iconic," Sheldon told the outlet. "There's no one who cares more about community than Dolly herself. So during this process, it's been amazing to see another great community partner who wants to invest in Panama City Beach and make this a staple business model for them."

More than 1,000 people will be able to sit in the 60,000-square-foot theatre. The restaurant is expected to create 300 jobs, including those for cast members selected through a nationwide talent search. It is scheduled to open during the spring of 2025.

Parton has also reportedly expressed interest in establishing a hotel in downtown Nashville in the near future. According to several sources familiar with the project, Parton recently purchased a downtown office building for $75 million with the intent of converting it into a hotel, reported the Nashville Business Journal.   

"Since the pandemic, commercial real estate is becoming an opportunity. I strongly believe in the future of Nashville and feel this is a great investment," Parton told the outlet in an e-mail statement.

Almost forty years have passed since the country music superstar opened her sprawling entertainment complex, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, which is now home to two hotels, a water park, and a theme park. Parton has already opened a hotel in Tennessee this year. Dollywood's second resort, HeartSong Lodge & Resort, opened just last month.

In a speech at the resort's dedication, Parton said, "Some people are calling me a hotelier now," adding that more Dollywood hotels are on the way, reported Condé Nast Traveler. As part of her Pigeon Forge theme park, there will be a new museum called The Dolly Parton Experience that will open in the spring of 2024.