But Bowyer and his staff didn’t stop there. They continued to improve the North Texas Jellystone Park with many new rental accommodations and amenities, including a laser tag area, a gaga ball pit and an air zone with inflatable slides and jumpers.
Next to the campground, they even built a 26,000 square foot water play park called Pirate’s Cove, which currently has seven water slides, a 700 foot long lazy river and a paintball play area.
The improvements are not only resulting in record levels of year-over-year growth, but the North Texas Jellystone is also helping to raise the bar for Jellystone Parks across North America, according to Jim Westover, vice president of operations for Leisure Systems, Inc. (LSI), the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises Jellystone Parks.
Westover said the North Texas Jellystone Park won the coveted Camp-Resort of the Year Award, LSI’s highest honor, as well as LSI’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which 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.
Stafford also won the Jim Webb Spirit Award, which is presented to an individual who has played a major role in the success of the Jellystone Park franchise network.
“This is a big deal for us,” said Stafford, who joined Bowyer at LSI’s annual awards ceremony earlier this month.
While the North Texas Jellystone Park has experienced consistent growth in its business as a result of the park’s continuing improvements, Stafford has also been credited with bringing new ideas to LSI’s leadership team, which are helping Jellystone Parks across North America.
One of Stafford’s ideas was to use a texting program to alert guests on a real-time basis to bear sightings anywhere in the 72-acre campground. The program, developed by Tatango, a Seattle-based marketing company, lets people know whenever and wherever Yogi Bear™, Boo Boo™ and Cindy Bear™ are spotted so that they don’t miss them while they are camping at the North Texas Jellystone.
“The response has been tremendous,” said Stafford, who started using the program after hearing from guests who complained they hadn’t seen the bears, even though bear appearances are noted in campground schedules.
After seeing the success the North Texas Jellystone was having with the texting program, LSI took over the program and made it available to Jellystone Park operators across the U.S. and Canada.
But while the texting program is useful for bear sightings, park operators also use it to remind guests about signup opportunities for different Jellystone Park activities, such as arts and crafts, paintball or laser tag, and to promote sales of certain food and beverage items, such as hot cinnamon rolls, Brother’s Pizza and ice cream, as well as gift shop items.
In fact, Jellystone Parks across the U.S. and Canada are generating significant increases in ancillary sales as a direct result of the texting program.
“We live in an instantaneous world now,” Westover said, adding that the texting program not only boosts sales, but overall guest satisfaction at Jellystone Parks.
The North Texas Jellystone Park is open year-round. For more information, please visit www.northtexasjellystone.com