On February 1, 2019, World Choice Investments, the operating partner of Dolly Parton’s dinner theaters, expanded its dinner theater holdings to seven with the purchase of three theaters and a restaurant. The theaters were purchased from David Fee and Jim Hedrick’s Fee Hedrick Entertainment in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Parton’s enterprise now operates spectacular shows in Branson, Missouri, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and with the purchase, five theater attractions in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
“My theater production company just purchased Fee Hedrick Entertainment, and I am so excited to have more family entertainment to present to our guests in Pigeon Forge. In 2019, we’ll operate Comedy Barn, Hatfield & McCoy and Smoky Mountain Opry in the same way folks have come to remember them,” Dolly said. “David, Jim and their team have done a great job with these shows through the years and, for now, we don’t plan to change anything. They are fun family entertainment, and that is the business I’m in.”
The terms of the purchase are private but Fee and Fred Hardwick of World Choice Investments stressed this is a win-win for both companies.
“David Fee and his staff have been great competition for us over the years,” Fred Hardwick, Chairman of the Board of World Choice Investments, said. “He produces high quality, successful shows. As Dolly said, this is an opportunity to expand our portfolio of theaters in Pigeon Forge with quality family entertainment. We will also continue to expand our own brands like Pirates Voyage - opening this year in Pigeon Forge.” WCI had previously announced it planned to open Pirates Voyage in Pigeon Forge adjacent to The Island in time for the summer tourism season.
“All of these theaters provide a great opportunity for us to package our shows in an affordable way and to focus with Dollywood to bring people to the area,” Hardwick said. “Dolly’s enthusiastic leadership will continue to focus on bringing the best in entertainment in an affordable way for the families visiting the Smoky Mountains.”