Little did they know that they would eventually receive national recognition for achieving some of the strongest year over year gains in business in the entire Jellystone Park chain.
But they achieved this milestone earlier this month when they received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Leisure Systems, Inc., the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises Jellystone Parks.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is presented to campgrounds with the strongest year over year growth in business in the 82-unit Jellystone Park network, which includes more than 17,000 campsites and vacation rentals across the U.S. and Canada. The Bremen Jellystone received the award in the small park category, with this year’s revenue exceeding last year’s figures by 32 percent.
“It was a great honor for us to receive the award,” said Phil Asztalos, who developed a fondness for Jellystone Parks years ago when he raced hobby cars at the Nashville Speedway.
“I would always stay at the Jellystone Park in Nashville when I raced,” said Asztalos, who previously worked in manufacturing for Honda and other car companies. He even had the Jellystone logo on one of his race cars.
But Asztalos’s dreams became reality in the summer of 2008. That’s when Asztalos and his wife, Analyn, opened a 100-site Jellystone Park Camp-Resort of their own in Bremen, roughly 45 minutes west of Atlanta.
“People often think Jellystone Parks are owned by big companies. But most of them are still independently owned and operated by families,” Asztalos said.
Of course, not any campground can be a Jellystone Park. Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems, Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks across the U.S. and Canada, has standards park operators have to meet before they can join the Jellystone Park network. But campground operators that meet the specifications can join and more campgrounds are becoming Jellystone Parks each year.
“In our case, we built our Jellystone Park from the ground up,” Asztalos said.
His 100-site park, which accommodates RVs and tent campers, also has six rental cabins. Onsite amenities include swimming pools, a miniature golf course, a jumping pillow, a glow-in-the-dark game room, a souvenir store and train rides. The park also has activities and themed weekends.
Jellystone Parks are famous for providing fun, family activities and themed weekends that include everything from crafts and games to wagon rides. Birthday parties with the bears and daily appearances by Yogi Bear are also very popular.
Themed weekend activities are scheduled from March to November, including Mardi Gras themed weekends with parades, cookouts and dances; pirate themed weekends; animal safari and Olympic themed weekends. Every weekend in October is Pumpkin Fest Weekend and includes pumpkin patch activities, pumpkin painting, a treasure hunt, hay rides, train rides, face painting, a pumpkin pie eating contest and time with Yogi Bear™. In the spring, the park also has three consecutive weekends with Easter egg hunts with Yogi Bear.
Asztalos said he has had visitors from all over the U.S., but most of his campers are families and travelers from the greater Atlanta and Birmingham markets.
“Having the Jellystone Park name brings in a lot of families with kids,” Asztalos said. For more information about the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Bremen, visit www.gajellystone.com.