“We’re really excited about it,” said Curtis Van Gilder, who is converting the 40 plus-year-old, 115-site campground into the West Des Moines Jellystone Park with his business partner, Marta Sirck-Docan.
Dallas County’s rapid population growth, fueled by Apple’s recent decision to build a $1.3 billion data center in Waukee, was a major factor in their decision to convert Timberline Campground into a Jellystone Park, Van Gilder said.
“Young families are moving into the Waukee area and bringing young kids, which is a perfect fit for a Jellystone Park,” he said.
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 at the West Des Moines Jellystone Park will be scheduled from April through October, including Easter egg hunts with Yogi Bear, special activities for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Mardi Gras themed weekends with parades, cookouts and dances; pirate themed weekends; Christmas in July themed weekends with campsite decorating and holiday themed crafts; as well as Halloween-themed weekends on the weekends leading up to Halloween.
In addition to tent and RV sites, the West Des Moines Jellystone Park will provide four rental cabins, including three rustic cabins and one park model RV, which includes a full kitchen and bathroom. Other campground amenities include a swimming pool, a recreation hall and dog park as well as basketball and volleyball courts and a camp store. The campground is located about a mile and a half from I-80 and features hundreds of mature catalpa trees.
Van Gilder said he plans to promote Timberline Campground’s conversion to a Jellystone Park at upcoming events, including the Des Moines Home + Outdoor Living Show in March.
Van Gilder and Sirck-Docan hope to expand their campground later this year, potentially adding 70 to 80 pull- through campsites and a new pond on undeveloped land in the campground. They are also working with city officials in Waukee to bring sewer service to the campground.
The West Des Moines Jellystone Park is Iowa’s second Jellystone Park. Iowa’s other Jellystone Park is located in Monticello.
For more information on the West Des Moines Jellystone Park, please visit www.westdesmoinesjellystone.com.