Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment gives over $5 million in bonuses and company cruise to employees as final thank you to Fee/Hedrick employees

Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Dec. 18, 2018 —The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will be giving each of its 500 employees a large end of the year bonus, in addition to a fully paid 5-day company cruise to the Bahamas, as a thank you to their employees for all of their hard work. The bonus amounts to a total company payout of more than $5 million. Bonuses will be based on years of full-time service to the company.  

Every full-time employee in good standing and on payroll with at least a year of service will receive a bonus.  All bonuses are based on time spent with the company, attitude, work ethic and contribution to the company’s success and are at the discretion of management.  The bonuses are being prorated based on hire date and will be given as a final farewell to share the wealth to the company’s employees as the company is being sold to World Choice Investments as of Jan. 1, 2019.

“Jim Hedrick and I want to reward our employees,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment. “Our success story did not happen overnight, and many people participated in making this company what it is today with their hard work and talent.”   Fee reiterated that the amount each person will receive will be based on how long they had been with the company and how well they have performed. “I am brimming with gratitude, and it has been my great honor and privilege to have led this company for the past 24 years,” Fee said.  “As always, bonuses are a gift and remain at the discretion of management.  We sincerely hope that this gift will make a brighter Christmas for all of our employees. 

“We chose a company cruise to thank our employees because when our employees travel and they become tourists themselves, they expect an exceptional vacation experience. It helps them to relate to all of our tourists who come and vacation in Pigeon Forge,” Fee said.  Fee and Hedrick are both former cruise ship entertainers. (Fee was a magician and Hedrick was a juggler.) They have provided other trips for their employees at various times during the past 24 years, including cruises to the Caribbean and a company trip to Las Vegas.

“After 24 years in business with the help of over 500 employees, Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group has become one of the largest and most successful live entertainment companies in the United States with almost one million customers annually,” Fee said. “The Comedy Barn Theater, the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud Theater, The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater, the Magic Beyond Belief show starring Darren Romeo and our restaurant ventures are all successful due 100 percent to the dedication, loyalty and hard work of our employees!

“Our company and all of our venues are in the process of being purchased by World Choice Investments,” Fee said.  “We are thrilled and honored that such a world-class company would purchase our brands with the intent of making our venues bigger and better. They plan to invest in our brands so that they can continue to grow in the future. Thanks to the hard work of our employees, our companies are having our best year ever – entertaining almost one million customers this year.  It is the hard teamwork – from the janitor to the performer – that has made us successful.  Because of our success, we are able to announce that not only will we be having a final Fee/Hedrick company cruise to the Bahamas, but we will also be giving over $5 million dollars back to our employees at the end of the year for Christmas! 

“It is Jim’s heart’s desire to retire, and I can tell you what a wonderful business partner and life-long friend he has been to me,” Fee said.   “As for me, I am thrilled, as I plan to stay and consult with World Choice for approximately one year.  I will do my best to make sure that the transition is smooth and that the future contains the very best shows we can build together here in Pigeon Forge and across the United States. “I thank all of our employees who have been and currently are a valued part of the Fee/Hedrick family,” Fee said.  “I hope they fondly remember these days, the good work they have done, the friends they have made and the good times we all shared.  As we thank them with this final Christmas bonus, I hope they will join me as we all look forward to a new, fun and exciting adventure together.

“Now the great entertainment of Fee/Hedrick will become a significant part of the exciting and growing company of World Choice Investments,” he said.  “We have long held a strong respect for Dolly Parton and World Choice and have recognized their strong position in the spectacular family entertainment market. We look forward to seeing our theaters alongside such wonderful venues for family fun, entertainment and adventure as Dolly’s Stampede and Pirate’s Voyage Dinner and Show.  We wish them nothing but the best as they stampede into the future.  We again, thank all of our employees, family and friends who have helped us along the way. It takes a team to build a dream.”

All Fee/Hedrick existing locations will re-open in 2019 as previously scheduled, with the exception of the previously announced Pirate’s Revenge Dinner and Show, which will not be opening. “The Smoky Mountain Opry” ™ and “Magic Beyond Belief” ™ shows will remain at The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater.