Legendary country star Dolly Parton is giving an inside look at her business empire, Dollywood.
Parton explained what inspired her to create her Dollywood theme park.
“We’re lucky to be in the part of the world that I believe is just absolutely the most perfect place that God has created, so we just look outside the window and those big, beautiful Smoky Mountains provide all the inspiration we could ever dream of finding,” Parton said to National Geographic via People Magazine.
DOLLY PARTON SHARES THE ONE PART OF HER BUSINESS EMPIRE THAT SHE’S ‘REALLY, REALLY PROUD OF’
Parton, 78, is an honoree for National Geographic’s 2024 Travelers of the Year. Aside from her successful achievements in the music industry, Parton is proud of her most famous business venture — Dollywood, her amusement park located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The “Jolene” crooner continued to dish on what makes Dollywood a memorable experience — the people.
“The Smokies — and the wonderful people who work here — are what make Dollywood so different than many of the other theme parks around the world,” she shared.
“We’re right on the front porch of the most-visited national park in the country, so we take what God gave us and use it to dream up the big dreams we want our guests to experience while they are here riding rides and making memories.”
As for her own travels, Parton admitted she has slowed down quite a bit since life got too busy.
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“Carl and I used to take our RV all around the country when I had more free time, but I stay so busy these days with my movies, my new Broadway play about my life and all of my music opportunities, that we just don’t have the chance to do that as often,” she pointed out.
Parton has been married to her longtime husband, businessman Carl Thomas Dean. The couple tied the knot in 1966. Parton first met Dean when she was 18, and he was 21. They have been married for more than 56 years.
WATCH: DOLLY PARTON GIVES SOME INSIGHT ON HER BELOVED THEME PARK, DOLLYWOOD
Meanwhile, Parton credited several of her iconic hits to traveling on the road.
“I can’t tell you how many hundreds of songs I’ve written on the road, but it’s pretty safe to say that if you’ve sung it, I probably wrote it on the road!” she added.
Parton previously told FOX Business how “very proud” she is of Dollywood.
“That’s one of the other things I’m as proud of as anything I’ve done. That’s a park we started, you know, 30-plus years ago. And it’s just a place for families.”
“We cater to families and kids, it’s fun, great food,” she said. “We’ve got resorts now there where people can come out from all over the world and have a wonderful, safe place to stay. But that whole area up in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, all of Sevier County there in Sevierville, where, I actually you know, is the county seat, is wonderful.”
She would know — while she didn’t grow up in Pigeon Forge where the park is located, she was raised very close by in Sevierville. Both cities are located in the Smoky Mountains, a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains and the inspiration behind some of Parton’s most popular songs.
“But Dollywood itself has just got a lot of… wonderful things about it,” she said. “We have the Dollywood Foundation, where we actually do a lot of great things outside, a lot of charity work that we’re involved in. But Dollywood is something that everybody seems to enjoy, and we’re one of the top-rated parks in the country, so we’re proud of that.”
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