“We were happily honored and surprised,” said Phil Asztalos, who owns and operates the 104-site campground with his wife, Analyn.
The Bremen campground was one of five Jellystone Parks that won The Carroll Award from Leisure Systems, Inc., the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises 80 Jellystone Parks across the U.S. and Canada.
Four other Jellystone Parks in Frankenmuth, Mich.; Mill Run, Penn.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Tabor City, N.C. also received the award after tying each other’s scores for the highest franchise assessment ratings.
Asztalos credited his staff for their efforts in securing the award
“We have really good people working for us,” he said. “They take pride in what they do, and they get really excited when they see positive customer feedback. We took our staff out to dinner to celebrate the award.”
Receiving the Carroll Award is a nice way to end 2017, Phil Asztalos said, adding that his park revenues and occupancies are up 21 percent over last year’s figures.
The growth reflects increasing family interest in the Bremen Jellystone Park as a vacation destination as well as the growth of the economy in the greater Atlanta area.
“We do get monthly campers, the vast majority of whom are people working on the Silverdome,” Asztalos said. “We also have a lot of people coming in right now to visit family for the holidays.”
The Asztaloses opened their campground nine years ago with a simple dream of owning and operating their own family campground.
But in less than a decade, they have won national awards for their efforts. Last year, the Asztaloses received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Leisure Systems after achieving some of the strongest year-over-year growth in the Jellystone Park network.
Asztalos said he became interested in Jellystone Parks many 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 the Asztalos’s dreams became reality in the summer of 2008. That’s when he and his wife 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. Leisure Systems has standards park operators have to meet before they can join the Jellystone Park network. But campground operators who meet those 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 104-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.
Looking ahead to 2018, Asztalos said he anticipates continued growth. He’s also planning to make additional improvements at his park, including refurbishing four of the park’s rental cabins and installing new carpeting on its miniature golf course. They also plan to install a canopy over the park’s jumping pad to provide much needed shade during the summertime. They also recently purchased a “bubble machine,” which they plan to use for special events and activities.
“Kids love to play in bubbles!” Asztalos said.
For more information about the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Bremen, visit www.gajellystone.com.