The mystery buyer of Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is little more than a stone’s throw from the now-shuttered dinner attraction on Interstate 4 near Walt Disney World.
The parent company of the Orlando Premium Outlets shopping center confirmed Tuesday that it holds the contract to buy the property at 8251 Vineland Ave. The company, Chelsea Property Group, is a division of Simon Property Group, the nation’s biggest shopping-mall owner and operator.
Chelsea officials wouldn’t elaborate on their plans for the 13-acre site, which is across Vineland Avenue from Orlando Premium Outlets.
The outlet center, with 110 stores, is already undergoing an expansion that will add 30 more shops. The expansion is scheduled to be finished in November. The center also recently added a parking structure.
Dixie Stampede LLC abruptly closed the Dolly Parton dinner theater Monday, putting more than 160 employees out of work. The attraction, which had been open about 4 1/2 years, said it was looking for a new location, having received an offer for its property that was too good to turn down.
Dixie Stampede employees were notified that their jobs had been eliminated during what was to have been a weeklong break in operations. Rumors that the attraction might be sold circulated last week, though the company had denied as recently as Monday morning that a sale was pending. The company continues to operate Dolly Parton dinner attractions in Branson, Mo.; Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Orlando Premium Outlets, which opened in June 2000, contains many designer-brand stores and has become a popular tourist stop. With the addition of 30 stores and a parking garage, it appears that little developable land remains on its current site.
Chelsea Property Group bills itself as the world’s largest developer, owner and operator of manufacturers’ outlet centers. It was acquired by Simon Property Group in October 2004 and operates as a wholly owned subsidiary. In the Orlando area, Simon owns Seminole Towne Center, The Florida Mall, Waterford Lakes Town Center and a half-dozen other smaller shopping complexes. Orlando Premium Outlets was Chelsea’s most lucrative outlet property last year, with sales nearly double the industry average.
Information courtesy of Orlando Sentinel