Forbes Article Names Dollywood Among America’s Best Employers

February 23, 2022
Dollywood Stands as Only Theme Park Included on Forbes’ 2022 List of America’s Best Midsize Employers

Dollywood Stands as Only Theme Park Included on Forbes’ 2022 List of America’s Best Midsize Employers

With hiring events in full swing and great opportunities available for the 2022 season, another national publication has named Dollywood Parks & Resorts as one of America’s Best Employers. Forbes has placed Dollywood on its list of America’s Best Midsize Employers for the second year in a row. The recognition comes on the heels of Dollywood’s recent inclusion on the Top Workplaces 2022 list.

With a caring culture and ample benefits, as well as additional company growth and unparalleled opportunities on the horizon, Dollywood employees, also known as hosts, understand firsthand why the company has received so much positive attention as an employer.

“I can’t describe how honored we are for the awards we have earned recently. Being recognized regionally is amazing, but to be named to multiple national lists truly is humbling for us,” said Tim Berry, Vice President of Human Resources and a 37-year employee himself. “We really are a large family and—for many of our hosts—that is what sets us apart. We are constantly working to improve as an employer by finding new benefits and opportunities that make our working family stronger.”

“This season we are introducing a new program which provides free lunch to employees during every working shift,” Berry continued. “Last year, we announced an initiative to help our hosts find childcare through our partners at WeeCare and help subsidize a portion of those costs. Herschend Entertainment, our operating partners, announced a new program entitled GROW U. on Tuesday, which will pay tuition across 100 diploma, degree and certificate programs as part of the Guild Education Learning Marketplace. Our success starts with our hosts, so we work hard to make them feel cared for and appreciated every day. We know if they feel that way they will pass that same feeling on to our guests.”

Dollywood Ranks 141 Among 500 Companies

Dollywood was represented well among the 500 companies on Forbes’ list of the best midsize employers. The list includes companies across 25 industry sectors, with only 12 companies on the list in the “Travel & Leisure” category, of which Dollywood was included. Among those companies, Dollywood ranked number 141 on the list and was the only theme park on the midsize list.

Among the companies in the Travel & Leisure sector on the list are World Travel Holdings (93), Drury Hotels (106), Potawatomi Hotel & Casino (213) and Choice Hotels (344). Among the Top 50 companies across all industry sectors on the list are Vera Bradley (1), FICO (2), Penguin Random House (4), Caltech (7), Briggs & Stratton (11), Atmos Energy (18), DocuSign (23), Johnsonville (25), Build-A-Bear Workshop (28), L.L. Bean (35), ESPN (40) and Scholastic (41).

Results Derived From Employee Satisfaction

According to Statista, the firm that administers the best employers survey on behalf of Forbes, an independent survey was taken by nearly 60,000 Americans who work for companies with more than 1,000 workers. In total 1,000 employers were recognized across the 25 sectors. The 1,000 companies are divided into 500 large (more than 5,000 U.S. employees) and 500 midsize (1,000 to 5,000 employees) employers. The evaluation was based on direct and indirect recommendations from respondents in an anonymous survey who were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employer to friends and family. Their evaluations also included other employers in their respective industries that stood out either positively or negatively.

Pointing to Dollywood host job satisfaction, the Pigeon Forge park has long been voted as the friendliest theme park in the world. Dollywood is also the only park to win the Golden Ticket Award for Best Guest Experience, which factors friendliness of employees into its criteria. The prestigious Golden Ticket Awards are given annually by industry publication Amusement Today. This recognition is the gold standard for theme parks worldwide.

Dollywood Careers

Positions are available at each of The Dollywood Company’s properties and are posted at An upcoming hiring event is slated for Sevier County High School on Saturday, February 26, happening from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Most event attendees are hired on the spot with a position for the 2022 season at either Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country or Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa.

Positions are available for the entire length of the 2022 operating season, as well as shorter peak season openings, which are perfect for applicants looking for a fun summer position or for those looking to earn a little extra money during the Christmas holidays. Applicants must be 14 years of age or older.

Employee Benefits and Park Perks

Dollywood Parks & Resorts hosts receive a variety of unique benefits, including access to the Dollywood Family Healthcare Center, along with complimentary Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country admission for family and friends. Hosts are provided free meals for every working shift and also take part in Dollywood’s Park Perks program, which provides free or reduced admission to a large number of regional attractions, theaters and experiences. Dollywood also pays a portion of childcare costs for hosts whose children are cared for at a WeeCare-affiliated provider. A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision, is available for qualified full-time employees.

Additionally, through Dollywood’s operating partner Herschend Enterprises’ GROW U. program, all hosts are eligible for 100 fully-funded diploma, degree and certificate programs across 30 learning partners within Guild Education’s Learning Marketplace. Herschend’s GROW U. utilizes Guild’s Marketplace to offer classes in high-demand fields such as business administration, culinary, finance, technology and marketing. The company will also provide partial funding for 150 additional programs in fields including hospitality, engineering, human resources and art design.

In addition to the long list of employee benefits, there are numerous development opportunities available to help employees grow leadership skills, including an apprenticeship program in conjunction with Walters State Community College.

For more information about working at Dollywood Parks & Resorts, please visit