Parton's withdrawal from the project comes after shareholders for Gaylord Entertainment, which was to be a partner in the venture, voted on Tuesday to reorganize the company as a real estate investment trust. The new Ryman Hospitality Properties will turn over management of its resort properties to Marriot International on Oct. 1.
Parton first announced plans for the park in January. It was touted as a $50 million venture that would be the first of its kind in the U.S. It was projected to open as early as summer 2014.
Gaylord, which owns the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center and the Grand Ole Opry country music show in Nashville, announced plans for the reorganization in May. Parton said at an August news conference that the water and snow park was in a "holding pattern" while Gaylord straightened some things out.
In a Friday statement, Gaylord Chairman and CEO Colin Reed said the company was disappointed that Parton would no longer be part of the project.
"We continue to believe that a water park attraction on the property adjacent to Gaylord Opryland would be a valuable contributor to both our hotel and Nashville tourism," he said. "We will endeavor to find another quality partner so that this important tourism project can become a reality."
Parton said Friday in a statement that "Gaylord makes decisions that they feel are good for their company and their stockholders and I have to make decisions based on what is best for me and the Dollywood Company."
Parton's Dollywood theme park and Splash Country in Pigeon Forge attract approximately 4 million visitors yearly. The theme park opened in 1986, and the water park in 2001. Parton also owns the Dixie Stampede dinner theater in Pigeon Forge.
Gaylord Entertainment: http://www.gaylordentertainment.com/
Dolly Parton: http://www.dollyparton.com/