“We are having one of our best years ever,” said Jim Westover, vice president of operations for Leisure Systems, Inc., the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises 84 Jellystone Park campgrounds with more than 17,000 campsites and vacation rentals across the U.S. and Canada.
Of the 33 states and four Canadian provinces where there are Jellystone Parks, Ohio leads the pack with a 46.8 percent increase in year-to-day revenues.
Other states with strong year-over-year revenue growth at Jellystone Parks include New York with 15.9 percent; Indiana with 9.3 percent; and Virginia with 7.7 percent.
The strongest performing individual Jellystone Parks are located in the following cities:
— Gardiner, N.Y., up 56 percent
— Elberta, Ala., up 55.2 percent
— Big Prairie, Ohio, up 43.1 percent
— Madison, Me., up 42 percent
Westover attributes the revenue and occupancy growth to the ongoing addition of furnished rental cabins at Jellystone Parks, which enable the campground chain to broaden its market base beyond RV and tent campers.
The growth is also being fueling by the increasing popularity of Jellystone Parks, which are famous for providing organized family activities and themed weekends.
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.
“It’s the only campground we go to,” said Stephanie Ward of Hodgenville, Ky., who camps at the Jellystone Park in Cave City, Ky. with her husband, Travis, their children and their pets.
“It’s close. It’s super clean. It’s pet friendly and it’s family owned and operated,” Ward said of the park, which is owned and operated by Bill and Kay Pott and their daughter, Emily Moss.
Jeff Brenneman of Callensburg, Penn. has developed a similar fondness for the Jellystone Park in Harrisville, Penn.
“We can’t camp anywhere else because we like it so much,” he said, adding, “(Our son) Mason loves it. He’s like a king out there. He never wants to leave. We have also met a lot of really nice people and made a lot of good friends.”