Dollywood plans to delay opening amid coronavirus concerns

National

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Dollywood Parks & Resorts announced Friday afternoon that the opening of the theme park to guests would be delayed.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins will remain open at this time.

Dollywood officials released the following statement on Friday:

The coronavirus pandemic is an escalating and ever-changing issue. As a result, The Dollywood Company is delaying the opening of its Dollywood theme park to guests for the next two weeks beginning tomorrow (March 14). Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Pirates Voyage also will be closed beginning March 16. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins will remain open at this time.

“We have been following the coronavirus crisis very closely and based on developments within the last 24 hours and in consultation with health experts, we are going to delay our season opening until March 28,” Craig Ross, Dollywood President said. “Despite the delay in opening, we are committed to taking care of our hosts while the park remains closed.”

“We need to focus on good health and praying for those who are affected. We know brighter days are ahead,” Dolly Parton added.

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Dollywood officials said the park will open this weekend as scheduled but will postpone its Friday media day activities amid coronavirus concerns.

Thursday evening, park officials said the park would open as scheduled and that they had increased efforts to help prevent the spread of germs.

Dollywood Public Relations Manager Wes Ramey said the theme park is continuing to consult with its medical experts and is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.

“The exciting economic news we planned to share does not seem appropriate based on what is going on. It doesn’t feel right,” Dolly Parton said. “We need to focus on good health and praying for those who are affected. We know brighter days are ahead.”

Park officials also saying more than 300 sanitation stations had been added throughout the park and commonly touched surfaces would be cleaned more frequently.

“We’re diligently following guidelines from the CDC and working with our partners at Covenant Health,” Dollywood tweeted, linking Covenant Health’s information page about the coronavirus.

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