“Our financing is now in place and we expect to begin preliminary grading work before the holidays,” said Jellystone Park co-owner Bill Pott, adding that the expansion project will take place on 40 of the 208 acres that his family acquired for expansion purposes last year.
The expansion is needed because our Jellystone Park has been close to capacity during the past few years. “This expansion will enable us to accommodate more guests, many of whom will also visit other Kentucky attractions, including Mammoth Cave National Park, Lincoln’s Birthplace and Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail,” Pott said.
He said the project will have a positive effect on the Cave City economy, not only producing short term construction jobs, but an eventual permanent increase in Jellystone Park’s workforce from 55 to 81 full- and part-time employees during the peak summer camping seasons.
Pott said the 200 new campsites and 31 park model RVs will be installed between the 2017 and 2018. Other improvements will include:
— Construction of a 2.3-acre splash beach alongside a manmade pond, which will include a 110-foot by 130-foot long modular sports park that floats on the water. The floating sports park, called a Wibit, is designed to accommodate up to 100 people at a time. The attraction will also include Wet Willie Water slides. There will also be a sand beach area designated for sunbathing.
— Two additional water feature ponds.
— At least five additional playground areas, plus individual play structures in each playground.
— Five additional bathhouses.
— A pedal cart track.
— Day use pet kennels.
The park also plans to add Nathan’s Famous hot dogs to its snack bar menu.
“We hope to complete about two-thirds of the overall work and the first 100 campsites in time for Memorial Day 2017,” Pott said, adding, “Reservations will not be accepted on the new sites or cabins until they are 100 percent ready for occupancy. But we will let people get on a waiting list for those sites when they are complete and open for use.”
The Cave City Jellystone Park has received national attention and awards in recent years. US News and World Report named it one of “The 8 Coolest Campgrounds for Families” this year, while the Travel Channel named it one of the 10 best campgrounds for families in 2015. The park was also named “Facility of the Year” in 2015 by Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems, Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks across the U.S. and Canada. The park also won Leisure Systems awards for customer service and recreation in 2015.