Dolly Parton devotees will be relieved to know that the wildfires ravaging East Tennessee have spared the country star's Dollywood theme park.
Dollywood evacuated 19 Smoky Mountain Cabins rental lodgings, and more than a dozen were destroyed or damaged, said Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens, cited in USA Today. Dollywood operates more than 100 cabins in all. More than 50 Dollywood employees worked with firefighters earlier this week to protect the property. As well, guests in 50 rooms at Dollywood's new DreamMore Resort were evacuated.
According to a statement on the Dollywood website, the park has suspended operation for today; it is typically closed on Tuesdays in November, but will remain closed as officials assess the area. Dollywood is slated to resume normal operation on Friday, December 2 at 2 p.m., according to the statement. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort will be open on a limited basis.
Dolly herself provided comments for a special statement on the website, in which she expressed deep concern for the entire region.
"I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken. I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe," she wrote. "It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort, and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared.”
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