Designing the Majestic Custom Fireplace at Dollywood HeartSong Resort

The cozy and inviting lobby inside Dollywood HeartSong Resort with a big, welcoming Acucraft custom fireplace in the middle, comfy chairs around for guests to relax, and a neat balcony up above that lets people peek over.

The Dollywood HeartSong Fireplace: A Collaboration Between Acucraft, D&S Builders, and NELSON Worldwide

Nestled in the serene landscape of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the Dollywood HeartSong Resort warmly welcomes visitors from around the world. At its heart is this remarkable centerpiece — a towering custom-designed gas fireplace that was purchased for Dolly Parton’s birthday.

This extraordinary fireplace is the result of a close collaboration between the fireplace artisans at Acucraft, skilled craftsmen at D&S Builders, and the innovative, award-winning architectural minds at NELSON Worldwide.

At the heart of this Dollywood project was a desire to blend the timeless charm of traditional masonry wood-burning fireplaces with a contemporary and majestic aesthetic.

Every aspect of the fireplace, from the choice of materials to the intricate design details, was carefully considered to ensure that the fireplace would be a focal point of beauty and artistry. The end result stands as a testament to the entire team’s collaborative spirit and the shared commitment to excellence. 

The fireplace at the Dollywood HeartSong Resort is a remarkable achievement, inviting visitors to the Smokies to gather and make memories in its glow.

Dolly Parton standing in front of Acucraft custom fireplace at Dollywood HeartSong Resort

Make sure everyone at Acucraft knows I love ’em!

– Dolly Parton

Project Details

Drawing inspiration from the classic beauty of traditional masonry wood-burning fireplaces, our team at Acucraft wanted to push the boundaries of conventional designs. The fireplace at the Dollywood HeartSong Resort was designed to be a gathering spot that invites connection.

Hand drawing of Dollywood HeartSong fireplace

The choice to use sophisticated gas logs instead of real wood was a nod to modern needs, offering ease of use and maintenance without compromising the rustic aesthetic appeal. This approach allowed for a seamless blend of the rustic charm of a traditional fireplace with the clean functionality of contemporary design.

The technical specifications of the fireplace stand as a testament to the project’s vision. The viewing area, measuring an impressive 80 inches in width and 81.5 inches in height, ensures that the fireplace is the most striking focal point of the room. The open-view design is complemented by custom doors, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the comforting ambiance.

Project Specs

  • Viewing Area: 80” W x 81.5” H
  • 46” + 36” NG Dual Logset Burners
  • 328,000 BTU’s
  • Open-View with Custom Doors
  • 14” Type B Flue System
  • 10” Combustion Air Intake

In designing and crafting this fireplace, it was important to pay special attention to how it blends with the overall design and atmosphere of the resort. The fireplace’s placement, materials, and style were all carefully chosen to complement the resort’s unique character. 

Hear from the Designer Behind the Flame

Matt Rickheim, a fireplace designer at Acucraft, designed the Dollywood HeartSong fireplace. Below, he shares his approach to designing fireplaces and some of the unique challenges of this project.

“When I design fireplaces, I get to know the customer and where this fireplace is going. I don’t just build a fireplace. You have to get to know the entire project, the entire space. You have to know that when the customer gets the fireplace, it’s going to work as expected.”

“This was a project that really pushed the boundaries of what we do with fireplaces, mainly because of the size. We look entirely at logsets completely differently today because of this project.”

“When you hear Dolly Parton, everybody knows that name. You want to make sure you do a project like this right. The Dollywood fireplace is a project our group was really excited about, and we’re still excited about it. We’re proud of it. I’d put this in the top 10% of unique fireplaces that we’ve had the opportunity to build with someone. It was truly the first of its kind, and it really shows our capabilities. I mean, just look at what we’ve built.”

– Matt Rickheim

About Our Collaborators

Acucraft: Your Custom Fireplace Experts

The success of this collaboration resonates in the creation of an unparalleled fireplace that contributes to the overall charm and uniqueness of the highly anticipated Dollywood HeartSong Resort experience. Whether you’re designing a hotel lobby or a residence, Acucraft can help. Contact us today to speak with an experienced fireplace expert.