Posts Tagged ‘Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge’

Dollywood Becomes Hollywood On Tuesday, Nov. 22

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Monday, Oct. 31, 2016) —Dollywood becomes Hollywood on Tuesday, Nov. 22, complete with red carpet arrivals, media interviews and special viewing areas for guests, as Dolly Parton has invited the cast from her new NBC movie, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, to visit the park for the worldwide premiere.

Dollywood adds another operating day to its 2016 calendar to allow park guests the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see behind-the-scenes of a real Hollywood premiere. Dollywood opens from 2 -9 p.m. on this special day, providing a sneak peek at the festivities which include red carpet arrivals and more!

The premiere event begins at 5 p.m. with red carpet arrivals following. Parton and cast members of Christmas of Many Colors make their way down the red carpet along Dollywood’s Showstreet as media from across the country cover the action.

The Coca-Cola Refresh Team brings the Coca-Cola Polar Bear to make photos for guests in attendance. Coca-Cola also offers special holiday beverage samplings during the event.

Guests at the premiere also can enjoy Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, the nine-time award winner for Best Christmas Event. Two new holiday shows and four million dazzling Christmas lights combine with the park’s award-winning rides, delectable holiday dishes and heart-warming Christmas atmosphere for a delightful yuletide experience.

Smoky Mountain Christmas guests can upgrade a paid one-day admission ticket to a regular 2017 season pass for as low as $27 (plus tax when buying four or more). Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a regular one-day ticket ($65) toward the purchase of a 2017 season pass. A season pass purchased during Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with Dollywood’s entire 2017 season. (A one-day ticket is valid for upgrade on the day of visit only.) Also, guests who purchase a Dollywood one-day ticket after 6 p.m. receive free admission to the park’s next operating day.

Please visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD for more information, including operating days and hours, daily show schedule and more helpful tips to help plan a visit.


About The Dollywood Company:   A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit Operating days and hours vary.


Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or



Three Months of Ripken Experience: 363 Teams, 23 States, $6.7 Million

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 2016) – The first three months of youth baseball tournaments at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge have been everything the city expected – and perhaps more.

“Baseball lives on statistics, and the numbers coming out of the Ripken Experience are awesome. Visitor spending of $6.7 million in Pigeon Forge is simply wonderful,” said Eric Brackins, Pigeon Forge assistant city manager, who worked closely on development of the $22.5 million project.

Cal Ripken Jr., a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and chairman and founder of Ripken Baseball, cut the ribbon on the six-field complex on March 9. The first tournament was March 12-13. Ripken Baseball has a 10-year contract to manage the facility.

Cal Ripken Jr. with young player

Cal Ripken Jr. with young player

From mid-March through the third week of June, there have been 11 tournaments that drew 363 teams from 23 states. The Alaska Quakes from Anchorage traveled the greatest distance to play on the fields that offer unobstructed views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

“The 363 teams and their followers, almost 18,000 people, benefit Pigeon Forge in many ways. They stay in our hotels, they dine in our restaurants and they have fun at our attractions and theaters,” Brackins said, noting that tournament scheduling gives them plenty of recreational time.

The appeal of Pigeon Forge as a family vacation destination was a major reason the city built the complex and contracted with Ripken Baseball to operate it.

“We were confident Ripken Baseball could attract teams, and we were equally confident Pigeon Forge would appeal to the players’ families. We’re attracting new people to Pigeon Forge and the Smokies, and we know that new visitors are almost certain to return for future vacations,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

The Southeast, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic produced the greatest number of teams in the first three months. There were 144 teams from Tennessee, 43 from Georgia, 37 from North Carolina and 24 from Ohio.

In addition to Alaska, other distant states that produced teams included Wisconsin, Texas and Massachusetts.

A tournament with 44 teams from 16 states and Canada in the last days of June will push the team total to more than 400.

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge is on a ridge above Pigeon Forge. Each field borrows its design from well-known professional ballparks, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The others are Calfee Park in Pulaski, Va., the oldest park in the Appalachian League; Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., known as “Little Fenway”; Engle Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., a filming location for the “42” movie about Jackie Robinson; BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge will host tournaments nine months out of the year and offer year-round branded events in its 14,000-square-foot clubhouse.

Visitor information about Pigeon Forge is available online at and toll-free at 800-251-9100.



Tom Adkinson




What’s New in Pigeon Forge for 2016

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 2016) – Baseballs, a violin and a speeding roller coaster top the list of what’s new in Pigeon Forge for 2016. The little city with only 6,000 residents is ready to show some Great Smoky Mountain hospitality to millions of guests.

Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge – Listen for the crack of the bat and the snap of horsehide hitting leather when the $22.5 million Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge opens on March 9.

Clubhouse at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

Clubhouse at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

This six-stadium youth baseball complex will be a tournament destination for elite teams nine months of the year. Each field borrows its design from well-known professional ballparks, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Former Major League Baseball players Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken are behind the company that will draw thousands of young players to a site that offers spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Lightning Rod at Dollywood – The Dollywood theme park will add another superlative attraction this spring. It’s Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster and the world’s first launching wooden roller coaster. The thrilling $22 million ride is the largest attraction investment in the park’s history.

Lightning Rod, the world's fastest wooden roller coaster

Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster

Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph to a point 20 stories high. Lightning Rod races down a 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-foot-long track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wooden coaster in the world.

Lighting Rod joins other Dollywood thrill rides such as Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster; FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster; and Thunderhead, a wooden coaster consistently ranked one of the world’s top five wooden coasters. At the adjacent Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, RiverRush stands as Tennessee’s first and only water coaster.

Wallace Hartley Violin – When the RMS Titanic sank into the frigid North Atlantic, a legend was born about the ship’s bandleader, Wallace Hartley. His cherished violin was found strapped to his body after the sinking and was returned to his fiancée, only to be lost to the world for almost a century. It sold at auction in 2013 for $1.7 million.

Pigeon Forge visitors can see the Hartley violin in a special exhibition at the Titanic Museum Attraction from June 5-Aug. 14. Every day, there will be special early-morning admission for a limited number of Titanic enthusiasts to view the violin and shoot heirloom photos.

RetroRunning All Around Town – There’s a special running event April 29-31 exclusively for people age 40 and older. The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge will host RetroRunning, a one-of-a-kind race because it’s the odd length of 5 miles, 916 yards. As race organizers note, everyone who runs will set a personal best for that distance.

The weekend will include programs from Jeff Galloway, the nation’s leading running coach and columnist for Runner’s World, and Rudy Maxa, travel journalist and the voice of National Geographic Traveler’s “Walks of a Lifetime” podcast.

New Hotels – Pigeon Forge’s amazing inventory of more than 14,000 lodging units will grow in 2016 with the opening of a 137-room Courtyard by Marriott property, a 112-room Hilton Garden Inn and the 178-room Black Fox Lodge.

Information about all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is available online at or by calling 800-251-9100.



Tom Adkinson, APR





Cal Ripken Jr. Joins with Pigeon Forge To Launch $22.5 Million Youth Baseball Complex

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (November 2014) – Construction is underway on the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge, a $22.5 million youth baseball complex, after Cal Ripken Jr. and Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear dug trenches with backhoes to launch the project.

Ripken, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, represented his company, Ripken Baseball, at the groundbreaking event.Ripken in backhoe_72

The city-owned complex has six fields and is designed as a tournament destination for elite youth baseball. Pigeon Forge has a 10-year contract with Ripken Baseball to market and manage the facility, which will host world-class youth baseball tournaments nine months of the year and offer year-round branded programming, including events.

Each field borrows its design from well-known professional ballparks, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The others are Calfee Park in Pulaski, Va., the oldest park in the Appalachian League; Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., known as “Little Fenway”; Engle Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., a filming location for the “42” movie about Jackie Robinson; BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.

“Pigeon Forge is an excellent location for our new facility, and soon, this ground will be home to thousands of young ballplayers running, playing and competing. We all look forward to that day,” Ripken said.

Opening Day will be in spring 2016. The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge will look out onto the Great Smoky Mountains and will feature a two-level clubhouse with more than 14,000 square feet, a 2,749-square-foot concession/restroom building with an adjacent pavilion, as well as the six lighted synthetic turf fields.

“Youth sports is an almost $9 billion industry in the U.S., and the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge will steer some of that business to us. For several years, we have hosted summertime softball tournaments at our city park and have seen the impact of sports. However, this investment by the city means we’re taking youth sports to a totally new level. Teaming up with Cal and Bill Ripken puts us on the map immediately,” said Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear.Ripken_Wear_sign_72

The Pigeon Forge location is Ripken Baseball’s third Ripken Experience complex. The others are in Aberdeen, Md., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Ripken Experience Aberdeen powered by Under Armour is in the Ripkens’ hometown and is the site of the Cal Ripken World Series, which brings 10 teams of 12-year-old players from around the world to compete for a World Championship title each summer. The Ripken Experience Myrtle Beach features elite baseball and softball competition for 13- to 18-year-olds and is used as a spring training facility for college and high school teams.

Information about visiting Pigeon Forge is available online at or by calling toll-free to 800-251-9100.

About Ripken Baseball, Inc.

Ripken Baseball, Inc. is a sports entertainment company based in Baltimore, Md., that represents the business interests of Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken. Established in 2001, the mission of Ripken Baseball is to inspire athletes through remarkable experiences. Ripken Baseball currently owns and operates multiple Minor League Baseball teams and plays host to numerous youth tournaments, camps and clinics at the Ripken Experience baseball complexes in Maryland and South Carolina.



Tom Adkinson, APR (for Pigeon Forge)



Katy Ford (for Ripken Baseball)

Maroon PR