Neighbors Have Concerns, Hopes For New Theme Park - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Neighbors Have Concerns, Hopes For New Theme Park

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By Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The legendary Dolly Parton has teamed up with Gaylord Entertainment to bring a new theme park to Nashville. The joint venture will consist of a water park during the summer months and a snow park in the winter.

The park will be built on 50 acres of land, off McGavock Pike, across from the Gaylord Opryland Resort on Briley Parkway.

PHOTOS: Dolly Announces Nashville Theme Park

Just beyond the proposed park sits a entire neighborhood of homes, many of which overlook the land where it will be built.

"We're really excited. If it weren't in our front yard we'd be more excited," said Jennifer Clay.

She can see the land where the proposed park would be built. The plan has raised some issues in her mind.

"I'm a little concerned about the traffic," Clay explained.

The people who live off of Western Hills Drive are not worried about increased traffic on their individual streets, but they do wonder what the year-round congestion will be like trying to get into their neighborhood.

"Getting in and out of the neighborhood could be a problem, and again, just traffic patterns in general around McGavock and Opryland Hotel could be problematic," said Jennifer McAnally.

Colin Reed, the CEO of Gaylord Entertainment, said his company has taken those concerns into consideration.

Gaylord purchased ten acres of land, across from the park site, where traffic can be routed onto and kept off McGavock Pike.

"We welcome it, that's for sure. We certainly need it out here," said Thomas Sellers.

He is the general manager of John A's Restaurant on Music Valley Drive, directly across Briley Parkway from the park site.

He said the restaurant has seen a steady decrease in business since Opry Mills closed after the May 2010 flood.

Sellers said the proposed park will give the restaurant a year-round boost in business.

"During the winter time it kind of slows down a little bit, everybody stays inside. But since its going to be a winter park and a summer park, it think its the best thing to happen to Music Valley," Sellers said.

The water and snow park is expected to open by the spring of 2014. Metro City Council will need to approve plans for the park before construction can begin at the end of 2012.

This is only phase one of the joint venture between the Dollywood Company and Gaylord Entertainment. This park will use 50 acres, of the 114 acres available to the companies for development.

Email: ccannon@newschannel5.com
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