“it’s a gift for everybody!” dolly announced on her birthday today in regards to the new venture. she has partnered with gaylord entertainment to build a new water & snow amusement park off briley parkway. it will be a water park during the warmer months and they would manufacture snow for colder months for winter activities.
gaylord owns 129 acres near the fellowship at two rivers church (formerly two rivers baptist) on the other side of briley parkway from the opryland hotel and opry mills mall. metro has already approved a special zoning district for the property.
gaylord chairman & ceo colin reed admitted at the press conference that closing the opryland theme park in 1997 was a bad idea. he said he spent his first year as ceo fielding complaint letters.
tripadvisor recently ranked nashville as #1 city on the rise as far as destination spots for travelers. the park will only continue to reaffirm that. it also stands as a small victory for opryland hotel resort & convention center reestablishing that side of town for tourism. with the music city center opening downtown next spring, nashville’s new 1.2 million square feet convention center, some feared that would detract a lot from their trade show business.
phase one of the park, which will be a $50 million project on half of the property, will open no later than summer 2014 with plans to hire an estimated 450. they anticipate drawing roughly half a million visitors in the first year. during its heyday, opryland theme park drew 2 million a year to nashville and tourism officials say the area experienced a 19% drop after it closed.