“The growth is fueled by the addition of six locations to the franchise in 2016, plus the expansion of several existing locations for this season. In fact, same park sales were up 19 percent during the first quarter,” said Jim Westover, vice president of operations for Leisure Systems, Inc.
Total system occupancies were up 18.6 percent, while same park occupancies were up 10.8 percent.
Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems franchises 80 Jellystone Park campgrounds with more than 17,000 campsites and vacation rentals across the U.S. and Canada and plans to expand to more than 100 parks in the next five years.
Leisure Systems’ growing sales and profitability landed the Jellystone Park franchisor a spot in Entrepreneur magazine’s latest Franchise 500® listing, ranking 472 for its exceptional performance across several areas, including financial strength and stability, growth rate and brand power.
“Our inclusion in the Franchise 500® not only reflects the growing financial strength of the Jellystone Park franchise system, but rising consumer and investor awareness of Jellystone Parks as the family camping venue of choice across North America,” Westover said.
Leisure Systems is bullish on 2017 because of the strong performance of Jellystone Park franchises so early in the year.
“Advance reservations at some of our parks are up 75 percent over last year’s figures, so the outlook is very good,” Westover said. “2016 was our best year ever with $108 million in sales and we are on pace to exceed that”
He attributes the revenue and occupancy growth to the continuing addition of water play parks and furnished rental cabins, which enable the campground network to broaden its market base beyond RV and tent campers.
The growth is also being fueled by the increasing popularity of Jellystone Parks in general, which are famous for providing organized family activities and themed weekends. Locations in Cave City, Ky. and Burleson, Texas are undergoing major expansions, adding 300 sites and 50 cabins between the two of them.
Only Jellystone Parks have Yogi Bear™, Boo Boo™, Cindy Bear™ and Ranger Smith™, and children love to interact with them. Jellystone Parks are also famous for providing fun, family activities and themed weekends that include everything from crafts and games to wagon rides.
Themed weekend activities, such as Hawaiian weekends, often include limbo contests, sand castle building, and a luau. Mardi Gras themed weekends include parades, cookouts and dances, while Christmas in July weekends include campsite decorating contests, campsite caroling, cookie and ornament making activities. The increasingly popular Halloween themed weekends include costume and campsite decorating contests and trick or treating activities.
All of these activities give Jellystone Parks the ability to provide families with experiences they can’t find anywhere else.