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View Full Version : Dixie Stampede NO MORE!


caa1000
01-07-2008, 08:29 PM
:mad: Dixie Stampede has been shut down this afternoon! :mad:

http://www.local6.com/news/14996308/detail.html

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction in Orlando ceased all operations on Monday after selling its property, and some employees found out about the decision when they showed up for work.

The closing became official at 3 p.m. when the attraction's 13 acres, located along Interstate 4 near Walt Disney World, were purchased by an undisclosed owner, attraction officials told Local 6 News.

Some employees of Dixie Stampede were informed of the decision when they arrived for work on Monday, and officials said they were attempting to notify other workers by phone.

Figment22
01-07-2008, 10:06 PM
Holy Cow! That's a shock for sure. Thanks for sharing the local info.

BroadwayGirl
01-07-2008, 11:38 PM
I have to say, neither the closing nor the way they notified their staff is surprising. They have an excellent product but their boneheaded corporate director of marketing (who doesn't even have a degree in marketing) refused to acknowledge that Dixie Stampede would ever be anything more than a tertiary attraction in Orlando behind Disney and Universal/Sea World which lead to many problems in their 5 years in Orlando. Their presence in Orlando did serve to up the quality of some of the other dinner shows, most notably Arabian Nights.

They say they are looking for a new location/facility - it would be great but I won't hold my breath. Their best bet would be to align themselves with one of the theme parks where they could draw more closely from the theme park guests. I wish Dixie Stampede's Orlando employees all the best, especially those who were with them from the beginning. Dixie has said that they will be giving them 60 days severance and I hope they are all able to find new jobs in a timely manner.

caa1000
01-08-2008, 12:34 AM
I have to say, neither the closing nor the way they notified their staff is surprising. They have an excellent product but their boneheaded corporate director of marketing (who doesn't even have a degree in marketing) refused to acknowledge that Dixie Stampede would ever be anything more than a tertiary attraction in Orlando behind Disney and Universal/Sea World which lead to many problems in their 5 years in Orlando. Their presence in Orlando did serve to up the quality of some of the other dinner shows, most notably Arabian Nights.

They say they are looking for a new location/facility - it would be great but I won't hold my breath. Their best bet would be to align themselves with one of the theme parks where they could draw more closely from the theme park guests. I wish Dixie Stampede's Orlando employees all the best, especially those who were with them from the beginning. Dixie has said that they will be giving them 60 days severance and I hope they are all able to find new jobs in a timely manner.

What went wrong with Dixie Stampede? I thought they where doing well and that their annual Christmas Dinner show was having lots of visitors. Was the inconvenience they where not well located, a factor to sell out all of the sudden? Or that I-4 riders could not figure out where it was in the terms the drivers would have to get off at State Road 528, then go south on I-Drive or exit at State Road 535 or the Gaylord Palms exit? What about the people that made reservations in advance for the show? I would assume they will be reimburse, but what a nice thinking of Dolly Parton to sell out the property all of the sudden, after 5 years of support in Central Florida. :confused3

DOOM1001
01-08-2008, 01:30 AM
I read that they got an offer that they could not refuse for that location which is very visible from I-4,I wonder what's gonna go there???It also says they're looking for another location to set up shop in Orlando.

DaddyDon
01-08-2008, 04:48 AM
Wow ....I was just there on the 28th for the Christmas show and it was packed!We have enjoyed the venue more than once...It has to be a blow to all the staff.I hope they all find another job my thoughts and prayers are with all of them.

MickeyMouseMomofSix
01-08-2008, 08:33 AM
Wow! My husband and I were just on their website a few days ago and were thinking of seeing that show instead of Medieval Times on our upcoming trip. Guess we're not now! How sad for those workers. :sad2:

Brian Noble
01-08-2008, 08:58 AM
That's a shame. I've seen the show in Gatlinburg; it was very good.

jgavorni
01-08-2008, 09:57 AM
I feel sad for the workers. :sad: It is bad to tell them that they are laid off when they come to work! They were given NO notice, which tells me that the company does not care about their employees at all!!!

It is also a bad time to try to find a new job. There are not a lot of jobs available.

I guess I will be taking my business to Medival Times. Which has a good diner show.

spiceycat
01-08-2008, 10:59 AM
boy that is just not right.

You tell your workers then you sell it.

I though the location was pretty good - it is next to Orlando Premium outlets and those shops have no problem bringing in the people.

momof3disneyholics
01-08-2008, 11:14 AM
The 2 months pay they are giving their workers is nothing. I was listening to the radio this morning and several workers were calling in and said that they were servers which made 3.00 an hour plus tips. Well, the 3.00 an hour is all they are giving them as severance.
I called a couple of days ago to make a reservation for a guest and they told me they were closed till the 13th for renovations.:confused3 I guess that was when they were negotiating then.

DeeCeeSW
01-08-2008, 12:10 PM
Maybe DS was bought up by the same people who bought Race Rock, another great place that we were shocked to hear had closed down!

diznygirl
01-08-2008, 12:57 PM
My theory is that the outlets bought it to expand. I hope that Dixie does rebuild - we love the show.

jeff968
01-08-2008, 03:31 PM
I read that they got an offer that they could not refuse for that location which is very visible from I-4,I wonder what's gonna go there???It also says they're looking for another location to set up shop in Orlando.

The same thing happened with Race Rock. Also a very I-4 visable location.

PolyGuy
01-08-2008, 03:45 PM
The same thing happened with Race Rock. Also a very I-4 visable location.

Wow...I didn't know that about Race Rock. I checked their website and it said after 11 years, they have closed. We had dinner there last year Super Bowl Sunday. It was dead.

DeeCeeSW
01-08-2008, 05:58 PM
The same thing happened with Race Rock. Also a very I-4 visable location.

Wow, I must be invisible.....

DeeCeeSW
01-08-2008, 05:59 PM
:0(

DeeCeeSW
01-08-2008, 06:00 PM
:confused3

DOOM1001
01-09-2008, 02:19 AM
The Race Rock thing was also the same situation,they said they got an offer to good to refuse.Supposedly they are making a more upscale restaurant on that location with the buyers the former owners of the former dinner attraction called King Henry's feast,they said it made better financial sense to have a nicer restaurant rather than a burger place.

What someone said about the outlets being the ones who bought the Dixie Stampede location got me thinking that I had read maybe less than a month ago that they were planning on an expansion,I probably thought about where they were going to expand for a few seconds but now it makes a lot of sense.I'm going to try and find where I read that.I hope Dixie Stampede finds another place to open up.

DOOM1001
01-09-2008, 02:29 AM
Found it!! Scroll down and you'll see them have an projected opening date of Nov.2008

http://www.simon.com/about_simon/development/redevelopment.aspx

I looked at the area around the outlets on Local Live to see if there was any other area that they could be expanding and while there is some empty spaces none are pretty much next to the original outlet like the DS site.I give the probability that the outlets bought out DS at 90%.

Jason71
01-09-2008, 08:33 AM
I give the probability that the outlets bought out DS at 90%.

Confirmed in the Sentinel this morning.

beachblanket
01-09-2008, 10:44 PM
I'll be really intrigued to see if they actually seek and open a new location in Orlando. While the dinner theater market there certainly isn't as saturated there as in some other places (Las Vegas as example), I've been getting the sense the "yee-haaw" nature of the production just never had quite the appeal in Orlando that is did in places like Pigeon Forge, TN and Branson, MO.


And if they actually do re-open, will it be the same? What they just closed had cost them $28 million to build back when they opened it in July 2003. It was their fourth location and at 115,000 square feet the largest in the chain. It also was their only one to serve alcohol and the first to offer knives and forks to patrons.:banana:

And what is it being replaced with?

A shopping mall targeted at foreign tourists.:rolleyes1

Ah, what once was....
http://www.sogonow.com/static/FCKeditor/UserFiles/Image/Dixie%20Arena.jpg

beachblanket
01-10-2008, 01:26 PM
More memories:

A "living nativity" scene from the last season's Christmas show:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/media/photo/2008-01/34610954.jpg

Trick riding was a huge part of the production, providing employment for a large number of professional equestrians.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/media/photo/2008-01/34610988.jpg

Dolly Parton preparing for the grand opening of the Orlando facility in June 2003. A woman with an estimated net worth of almost $500 million is part owner of the firm that gave 162 employees no advance notice of their termination last Monday.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/media/photo/2008-01/34632416.jpg

swilshire
01-10-2008, 03:53 PM
A woman with an estimated net worth of almost $500 million is part owner of the firm that gave 162 employees no advance notice of their termination last Monday.

From what I've seen from having two kids work at Dollywood, Dolly has little to no hands-on part in any of the properties. There was an article specifying exactly what ownership she had of the Pigeon Forge Dixie Stampede when they had a problem with an employee who molested a child who was in the show. I don't recall the exact figure, but it was next to nothing.

I'm sure all she does to earn her part of the pie is to make an appearance a few times a year. She was very gracious when my daughter met her the year she posed for Christmas photos with the employees.

Sheila

beachblanket
01-10-2008, 04:52 PM
From what I've seen from having two kids work at Dollywood, Dolly has little to no hands-on part in any of the properties. There was an article specifying exactly what ownership she had of the Pigeon Forge Dixie Stampede when they had a problem with an employee who molested a child who was in the show. I don't recall the exact figure, but it was next to nothing.

Ms. Parton is repeatedly described in TN state filings as a "majority" sharholder in Dollywood LLC, which in turn is the primary shareholder of Dixie Stampede LLC, the Pigeon Forge, TN-based company that owns and runs the theaters. So to imply her financial stake here is "next to nothing" is a stretch and further diminished by the fact she felt compelled to issue a press release on Monday. Quote:

"We at Dixie Stampede have been blessed, but I am a firm believer in timing and opportunity. This was an opportunity we could not pass up."

Translation: the real estate the show is 'sittin on is worth a gold mine n' more valuable than the what my Wall Street accountant says is the " future modeled cash flow value of the operation." Yeee-Haw!!!!

Fine - I'm a business person and I understand.

But smart money would have approached the closing of the operation differently. Instead of lying to employees (to quote the Orlando Sentinel: "although rumors of a sale had circulated among staff members for the past week, the company adamantly denied as recently as this morning [Monday] that a shutdown was in the works") why not come clean with staff (the place was shut for a week for "refurb" anyway) and let them know what was happening.

But we're not dealing with smart money here. Instead, we have a bunch of backwater ham-headed "managers" leading their employees on and then abruptly locking the doors one morning. And then providing the absolute minimal state mandated severance benefit.

Real impressive, Dolly. What a class act....

disneyfan67
01-10-2008, 06:06 PM
Ms. Parton is repeatdely described in TN state filings as a "majority" sharholder in Dollywood LLC, which in turn is the primary shareholder of Dixie Stampede LLC, the Pigeon Forge, Tenn.-based company that owns and runs the theaters. So to imply her financial stake here is "next to nothing" is a stretch and further diminished by the fact she felt compelled to issue a press release on Monday. Quote:

"We at Dixie Stampede have been blessed, but I am a firm believer in timing and opportunity. This was an opportunity we could not pass up."

Translation: the real estate the show is 'sittin on is worth a gold mine n' more valuable than the what my account says is the " future modeled cash flow value of the operation." Yeee-Haw!!!!

Fine - I'm a business person and I understand.

But smart money would have approached the closing of the operation differently. Instead of lying to employees (to quote the Orlando Sentinel: "although rumors of a sale had circulated among staff members for the past week, the company adamantly denied as recently as this morning [Monday] that a shutdown was in the works") why not come clean with staff (the place was shut for a week for "refurb" anyway) and let them know what was happening.

But we're not dealing with smart money here. Instead, we have a bunch of backwater ham-headed "managers" leading their employees on and then abruptly locking the doors one morning. And then providing the absolute minimal state mandated severance benefit.

Real impressive, Dolly. What a class act....



You and I don't see eye to eye on a few issues, but on this one you dead on. This isn't the way to treat employees and it really puts Dolly Parton in a bad light. Makes me glad I decided to skip going to this show on my last visit.

beachblanket
01-11-2008, 11:59 AM
You and I don't see eye to eye on a few issues, but on this one you dead on. This isn't the way to treat employees and it really puts Dolly Parton in a bad light. Makes me glad I decided to skip going to this show on my last visit.

Thank you - and by the way, as you're probably aware, Dolly's increasingly limited recording career seems to consist almost solely of doing covers, primarily of 1970s-era rock and pop. Have you heard about the newest one she's about to release?

A version of the Steve Miller's band 1976 hit "Take The Money and Run."

CarolA
01-11-2008, 12:23 PM
You and I don't see eye to eye on a few issues, but on this one you dead on. This isn't the way to treat employees and it really puts Dolly Parton in a bad light. Makes me glad I decided to skip going to this show on my last visit.


Have any of you ever worked in resturants? Tell the staff you are closing and they IMMEDIATELY leave for another job. So then the posts would have read "Glad they are closing my service SUCKED last time" :rotfl:

Sorry, but generally this is the way the industry works because it has too. If you give notice you better just go ahead and close.

beachblanket
01-11-2008, 12:55 PM
Have any of you ever worked in resturants? Tell the staff you are closing and they IMMEDIATELY leave for another job. So then the posts would have read "Glad they are closing my service SUCKED last time" :rotfl:

Sorry, but generally this is the way the industry works because it has too. If you give notice you better just go ahead and close.

That may or may not be true for all food service staff (Iv'e read otherwise about some major restaurant closings here, particularly when some of the waitstaff have been with the entity for awhile).

But what about the talent - the riders, singers and actors? They're all meaningless wandering vagarants too, jumping ship at the first mention of trouble?

And giving the bare minimum severance benefit is "standard practice?"

My, good 'ole Southern hospitality at its best.:rolleyes:

http://www.jsonline.com/graphics/owlive/img/mar06/dolly_030606_big.jpg

Jason71
01-11-2008, 01:20 PM
Have any of you ever worked in resturants? Tell the staff you are closing and they IMMEDIATELY leave for another job. So then the posts would have read "Glad they are closing my service SUCKED last time" :rotfl:

Sorry, but generally this is the way the industry works because it has too. If you give notice you better just go ahead and close.

While that is a valid point, keep in mind, Dixie Stampede had already been closed for a week. The could have told them the final night of the Christmas program.

Speaking of the holiday program, if there's a silver lining here, it's that at least we locals won't have to drive past a giant Christmas tree TWO WEEKS before HALLOWEEN! :scared1:

But in all seriousness, my sympathies go out to all the employees who caught a tough break.

BroadwayGirl
01-11-2008, 11:27 PM
I can understand Dixie Stampede management being in a tough position but it is not unheard of for a company to have a staff meeting prior to reopening between a holiday and a regular season. They knew this was in the works - sales like this just don't happen overnight and real estate closing dates are usually known well in advance. Even if they didn't want to let the staff know about the sale and shut down before the closing went through, they could certainly have planned staff meetings for the different departments on the day of the sale and provided a more personal and compassionate notice about this situation. Obviously not everyone might make it to the staff meetings but at least the majority of the staff would have heard that they were losing their jobs from their employer rather than the six-o'clock news. For a company that prides itself on its family atmosphere they really dropped the ball on how they handled it.

And beachblanket - thanks for the pix. I see a lot of friends and familiar faces. :)

Cool-Beans
03-30-2008, 08:00 AM
Sorry to dredge up a dead thread, but I just found out about this and am wondering if there are any updates. :confused3

Metro West
03-30-2008, 08:09 AM
Sorry to dredge up a dead thread, but I just found out about this and am wondering if there are any updates. :confused3It's closed and the building/land has been purchased by the company who owns the outlet mall next door. We have heard there's a possibility of Dixie Stampede opening in another location but that's just rumour.

Cool-Beans
03-30-2008, 08:17 AM
It's closed and the building/land has been purchased by the company who owns the outlet mall next door. We have heard there's a possibility of Dixie Stampede opening in another location but that's just rumour.Thanks.

I understand why a business wouldn't want to tell it's emplyees that they might be selling. Employees might leave and then the business would have trouble replacing them if it didn't sell or lose business because it didn't have the staff or whatever.

But Dolly Parton could sure as hell take that sort of hit easier than the folks who worked for her could take the hit of being out of a job just like that. I've lost a lot of respect for her and have been a fan since I was a little kid.

I liked the show and am sorry about what happened to the employees. :sad1:

amygg
03-30-2008, 08:37 AM
With all her money she could have treated her employees there better. Three dollars and hour and they only get 60 days severance? Thats pocket change for Mrs Parton. And what about the entertainers? You would think she would really empathise with them, since she herself is an entertainer. This is a side of Dolly Parton I think is unfortunate but is now out there for the world to see. And she definitely had something to do with the sale of it since it was worth many millions. :sad1:

Metro West
03-30-2008, 05:55 PM
I understand why a business wouldn't want to tell it's emplyees that they might be selling. Employees might leave and then the business would have trouble replacing them if it didn't sell or lose business because it didn't have the staff or whatever.

But Dolly Parton could sure as hell take that sort of hit easier than the folks who worked for her could take the hit of being out of a job just like that. I've lost a lot of respect for her and have been a fan since I was a little kid.

I liked the show and am sorry about what happened to the employees. :sad1:Yeah...that left a bad taste in a lot of mouths down here and not just employees.

With all her money she could have treated her employees there better. Three dollars and hour and they only get 60 days severance? Thats pocket change for Mrs Parton. And what about the entertainers? You would think she would really empathise with them, since she herself is an entertainer. This is a side of Dolly Parton I think is unfortunate but is now out there for the world to see. And she definitely had something to do with the sale of it since it was worth many millions. :sad1:I know and I'm sure she's not losing any sleep over the former employees lives. Typical big business anymore. Don't even get me started on Sears! :mad:

disneyfan67
03-31-2008, 01:12 AM
With all her money she could have treated her employees there better. Three dollars and hour and they only get 60 days severance? Thats pocket change for Mrs Parton. And what about the entertainers? You would think she would really empathise with them, since she herself is an entertainer. This is a side of Dolly Parton I think is unfortunate but is now out there for the world to see. And she definitely had something to do with the sale of it since it was worth many millions. :sad1:

Yeah...that left a bad taste in a lot of mouths down here and not just employees.

I know and I'm sure she's not losing any sleep over the former employees lives. Typical big business anymore. Don't even get me started on Sears! :mad:



We as Americans have to start treating other fellow Americans a lot better, IMO. What Dolly Parton did was inexcusable because not only has she became a mega millionaire off the general public by entertaining them, she was dirt poor growing up. This according to her in interviews she has given over the years. She more than anyone should know how hard it is to a be a struggling entertainer trying to make it in that field, much like the ones she abruptly laid off with no warning.

For her to have a hand in this and not step up and try to make things right for the employees that worked for her, shows she's nothing more than phony. I'll be sure to remember this when I see her smiling, surgically altered face on my TV. :mad:

beachblanket
03-31-2008, 08:36 AM
Yep, while Dolly Parton can't "afford" to offer a decent serverance program (what she gave the workers in Olrando was the the state-mandated minimum), she can afford to (quote) "spend a LOT of her own money" to produce and release her latest album:

http://www.miamiherald.com/776/story/468079.html

"I'm looking at it like an investment," she told The Associated Press. "I thought, 'I've made enough money. I can afford to invest a little in myself.'"

Yes, Dolly, I'm sure you can. And I bet you ex-staff in Orlando will be the first in line to buy this wonderful new CD :rolleyes1