By Anita Wadhwani / The Tennessean
A spokesman for Gaylord Entertainment said Friday that the company is "100 percent" committed to a water and snow theme park park project with Dolly Parton despite an online report by WKRN-TV that quoted Parton saying the project was on hold.
Parton, according to the Channel 2 website, said of the $50 million project: "Well, that is a kind of ... we are working on it, that's kind of in a holding pattern right now.
"Gaylord is actually involved at the moment with some changes of their own," the news site reports Parton saying. "So we are just kind of waiting until they get there things straightened out before we go forward with that."
The Nashville-based hotel chain has scheduled a shareholders' meeting for mid-September to discuss a restructuring that will allow Marriott International to manage its four hotel properties, including the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, for $210 million.
The $50 million snow and water park isn't due to open for two more years.
Last week, Dollywood Enterprises spokesman Pete Owens responded to an email from The Tennessean with this update on the project. Owens wrote: "The story is the same as this spring. We are continuing to do design and development work on the project. We are not quite ready to release any additional details."
Herschend Family Entertainment, a Norcross, Ga., family park operator is to be partners on the project as well. It operates similar attractions in other markets and is involved in the Dollywood theme park.
Plans for the proposed 114-acre family entertainment zone near the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center were unveiled earlier this year in a joint announcement by Parton and Gaylord.
The snow and water attraction would be the first big amusement park-style project to open in Nashville since the closure of the Opryland theme park in 1997.
When asked about Parton's comments on Friday, Brian Abrahamson, spokesman for Gaylord Entertainment, said: "Our company is 100 percent committed to the Dollywood water and snow park project."