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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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I think its a smart move. Postponing an attraction, and focusing on shows is going to hurt dollywood much less than it would hurt other parks. In fact I'm sure plenty of dollywood visitors will be quite happy about increased focus on shows.

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I too think delaying the project is disappointing, but a smart move to ensure long term profitability, or at the very least acceptable.

 

While at first I accepted their reasoning of a shortage of building supplies, I do find it hard to believe they are having trouble getting concrete? Steel I can understand and accept, but sand, gravel, water, and limestone sounds like a stretch.

 

I think the bank funding the project is the real culprit.

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In other words, Dollywood is getting uneasy in this economy and is taking the low road out. If nearly bankrupt Six Flags can afford to add several new rides/attractions at most of its parks next year, there is no reason why Dollywood cannot... they are bluntly stopping the momentum that began in 2004 with Thunderhead.

 

Now I have an idea why Dolly Parton is upset with the way her park is being ran...

_________________

2008 - Tennessee Tornado Crew

 

Are you working there again next year?

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In fact I'm sure plenty of dollywood visitors will be quite happy about increased focus on shows.

 

One thing I love about Dollywood is the way the appeal to kids, thrill seekers, families, older folks, just about everyone kinda like Disney strives to do. It seemed to me like tons of folks were there pretty much just for the shows and food and atmosphere so I'm sure you're right, Dollywood will bring them in with some work on their show roster just the same.

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A disclaimer has appeared on the website of Adventure Mountain, Dollywood's supposed new attraction for 2009:

 

...

 

In other words, Dollywood is getting uneasy in this economy and is taking the low road out. If nearly bankrupt Six Flags can afford to add several new rides/attractions at most of its parks next year, there is no reason why Dollywood cannot... they are bluntly stopping the momentum that began in 2004 with Thunderhead.

 

Now I have an idea why Dolly Parton is upset with the way her park is being ran...

 

The low road out? Excuse me?

 

Do you expect them to spend millions just to appease you? If they go ahead with this project, it will be a massive waste. The 'momentum that began in 2004' is gone for now because people are losing their homes and their jobs, not because the Herschends are being fiscally wise.

 

I am VERY pleased that both DW and SDC are doing this. I would much rather them wait and keep their wonderful staff (many who have been with the parks for 20+ years) than try to blow through this unconsciously like certain other, deeply in-debt chains.

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Are you working there again next year?

 

Most likely not, I have gotten a great new potential career opportunity within the past month, so far so good. Working at a park is a great experience though, I would reccomend it to anyone.

 

And to anyone else who thinks HFEC is the salt of the Earth and would fight you over your opinion, let us agree to disagree... any good fanboy can be critical of the company as well.

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^ As I said in my earlier post, the delay may not be Dollywood fault or doing, but their banks. And that does NOT mean or reflect Dollywood isn't credit worthy. Banks are not lending to themselves, so this delay may be part of the bigger economic problem. On many levels, their statement is perfect, because if they are having funding problems, that certainly would mean they are having trouble securing the supplies.

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^ Couldn't agree more. None of us will ever know with certainty. What we do know is most companies borrow at some level, and the current economic conditions can severely impact any company that relys on season business, and the general publics disposable income.

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But saying they can't get the materials.

 

cfc hit the nail on the head with this:

The big crunch now is getting credit, which contractors would need to purchase those materials in the first place.

 

I think a lot of people think attractions are purchased by a park, they deliver it, and then they hire contractors to build it. WRONG!

 

It's the contractors that have to get all the materials, not the park. The park doesn't pay for the attraction until it is completed. It's the same if you were building a house, you don't pay for it before it's built. A deposit only covers basics, like construction worker wages and supplies to support the construction. Most of the materials are purchased on contractor's credit lines and "thay ain't no credit".

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^^ Thank you, Dennis. I was gonna highlight what Chuck was wise to point out as well, but you beat me to it.

 

I still LOVE how being financially responsible is considered "taking the low road." Who cares how it's worded in the press statement! The bottom line is that the company is looking out for its, and its employees' best interests. If holding back on building an elaborate ropes course for a year or so will secure future growth and prosperity for the park, then why is anyone complaining?

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This is pleasing to me, as I love Dollywood and am glad to see they are taking the necessary steps to ensure that they will be around after this financial crises is over. I think they are actually taking the financial high-road and would much rather wait one more year for a new attraction at a park still open then have them go the way of hard rock park...

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I think in their statement they are kind of taking the low road as well. Why not come right out and say it: The economy is tanking and we don't want to spend money right now on a new attraction. Heck, they could even say that the material costs have risen and put this way over budget and they need to delay it.

 

But saying they can't get the materials.

 

Like it or not, this is how business works. All announcements get a certain positive spin. No individual is ever fired, but rather they "leave to pursue other opportunities". No big lay offs take place: Instead companies "realign the business to meet current market opportunities". And, of course, no project can ever be a failure because "there is no such thing as failure, only feedback".

 

But yeah, as other people have said here, Dollywood is hardly taking the low road here. They've been aggressively expanding the park for several years and have decided to take a break from it. Nothing wrong with trying to milk your existing assets for all the profit you can wring from them without having to open your purse strings for a big capital project each and every year.

 

Heck, shouldn't this decision please the folks who have been decrying the Six Flagsization of their quaint little giftshop-and-local-craftsmen park?

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All the unavailable credit and materials must be down in Orlando.

 

Well, there's a big difference hiring a major contractor for a coaster, and a smaller contractor for a small attraction such as DW's. You're talking 2 totally different monsters, and two totally different scenarios. DW's attraction is not manufactured, not to mention, location location location. If this were a coaster or a flat, I don't think we'd see this problem.

 

I'm sure there's a hundred more reasons why this was put on hold, but one of them isn't Dollywood's lack of money or credit. The press release was just simplified so that everyone would understand it with out getting into an economics lesson, or disrespecting local labor/contractors.

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Do you expect them to spend millions just to appease you? If they go ahead with this project, it will be a massive waste. The 'momentum that began in 2004' is gone for now because people are losing their homes and their jobs, not because the Herschends are being fiscally wise.

 

I am sorry, seeing Dollywood's full parking lot yesterday had me confused, must have been in my head. Sitting in miles of tourist traffic in Pigeon Forge must have been a figment of my imagination as well...

 

It has been proven that Americans view vacations as NECCESSITYs these days, they are no longer a privilege, so they will continue to visit parks, even in troubled times.

 

Not to mention, neither project at DW or SDC was costing them an arm nor a leg, I would have continued with the projects simply because if the economy improves before next season, you could have marketed a new attraction, now you cannot. They are banking on the economy being in the toilet for the next good while- will it? We shall see, but if it improves, they will regret the decision.

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^ Perhaps their biggest mistake is not trying to retain, and then promote you for next season. You seem to have all the insight on Dollywood's financial position. I guess Americans didn't receive the memo that it was "NECESSITY" to visit Hard Rock Park this year? Perhaps HRP should just go ahead and continue building on to the park as well?

 

Wait, maybe I should also plan that huge trip I can't afford right now. What was I thinking? It's a NECESSITY to forgo intelligent financial decisions in the name of reckless spending for my entertainment value!

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