Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ is the nation’s leading family camping destination, famous for providing guests with amenities such as pools, water slides and splash-grounds; activities including jumping pillows, mini golf, and pedal carts; and fun-filled theme weekends such as Chocolate Lovers Weekend and Halloween Spooktacular Weekends. Jellystone Park guests can choose from a variety of accommodations, including premium cabins and yurts, as well as deluxe RV sites and traditional tenting campsites. There are more than 80 Jellystone Parks in the U.S. and Canada.
LSI Press Releases
NATURAL BRIDGE STATION, Va., May 17, 2018 — The Jellystone Park Camp-Resort is starting this year’s summer camping season with a fresh new look as well as a 60-foot inflatable water slide. “We are excited to get our camping season underway,” said John Harlan, who bought the campground in 2011. “All of our buildings have […]
Donna and Monty Arnold’s granddaughter, Stella, is only 4 years old, but she knows the Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines is building a children’s water play park and she can’t wait to try it out. “She’ll tell us, ‘Nana and Papa, it’s time to go to Jellystone!’ ”Donna Arnold said, adding her family regularly visits the 116-site park, which is also installing six new cabins. The new 11,000-square foot Kids Water Zone is expected to open in June, said Jellystone Park co-owner Don Tardy, who bought the campground six years ago with his wife, Jan, and her two adult children, Colt and Bree Perrin. In addition to installing six new cabins from Champion / Athens Park Homes, the park is upgrading several existing campsites to “Platinum” RV sites that include covered decks, picnic tables and barbecue grills as well as hoses with spray nozzles that can be used to playfully spray other park guests as they pass by their campsites on hayrides on hot summer days.
The Wisconsin Dells Jellystone Park is kicking off the summer camping season in a big way Memorial Day weekend with daily Hero Parades honoring police, firefighters, EMT workers, teachers, members of the Armed Forces and other public workers, all of whom can receive a 20 percent discount with proper identification. “We feel it’s important to honor the true heroes of our community,” said park owner Brent Gasser, whose campground won the “Facility of the Year” and Landscape of the Year” awards from Leisure Systems, Inc., the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises Jellystone Parks across North America. Memorial Day weekend activities start with a flag salute with Yogi Bear™, which is followed by a parade in which campers are invited to decorate their bicycles, skateboards and scooters in patriotic colors. Other activities include red, white and blue t-shirt coloring, games of capture the flag, as well as messy games of “shaving cream waffle ball,” “slime kickball” and the “messy egg toss.”
Patriotic parades with golf carts, bikes and pets are among the Memorial Day and Victoria Day weekend activities scheduled at Jellystone Parks across North America. “Our franchisees typically sell out for Memorial Day and Victoria Day weekends weeks or months in advance,” said Michele Wisher, vice president of marketing for Leisure Systems, Inc., which franchises 84 Jellystone Parks across the U.S. and Canada. This year, however, quite a few Jellystone Parks still have at least some tent or RV sites and even cabins available for Memorial Day or Victoria Day weekend availability.
The Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Canyon Lake has won the Accommodations of the Year Award in the large park category from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO). “This is a nice win for us,” said Zachary Bossenbroek, CEO Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Northgate Resorts, which owns and operates eight other Jellystone Parks across the country, including the Canyon Lake park, which was recently named on TripAdvisor’s list of the top 25 hotels for families in the United States.
Jellystone Park Guadalupe River has won a Park of the Year Award from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) in the large park category. “We are very pleased to receive this statewide recognition as we continue our efforts to build Jellystone Park Guadalupe into one of the top campgrounds in Texas,” said Zachary Bossenbroek, CEO Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Northgate Resorts, which acquired the Kerrville resort in late 2015 and converted it into a Jellystone Park in 2016. A private company that owns and operates eight other Jellystone Parks across the country, Northgate is highly regarded for the quality of its RV resorts. Located along the banks of the Guadalupe River, the park features 178 RV sites as well as 72 furnished cabins and cottages, including 13 new Boo Boo Bungalows and 10 new Hill Country Cottages.
Donna and Monty Arnold’s granddaughter, Stella, is only 4 years old, but she knows the Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines is building a children’s water play park and she can’t wait to try it out. “She’ll tell us, ‘Nana and Papa, it’s time to go to Jellystone!’ ” Donna Arnold said, adding her family regularly visits the 116-site park, which is also installing six new cabins. The new 11,000-square foot Kids Water Zone is expected to open in June, said Jellystone Park co-owner Don Tardy, who bought the campground six years ago with his wife, Jan, and her two adult children, Colt and Bree Perrin. In addition to installing six new cabins from Champion / Athens Park Homes, the park is upgrading several existing campsites to “Platinum” RV sites that include covered decks, picnic tables and barbecue grills as well as hoses with spray nozzles that can be used to playfully spray other park guests as they pass by their campsites on hayrides on hot summer days. “We are constantly making improvements,” Tardy said, adding that the investments are paying off. Advance reservations are up 25 percent this year compared to last year’s figures, and the season is just beginning.
It’s been a long winter and Yogi Bear™, Boo Boo™ and Cindy Bear™ have been enjoying their hibernation inside the activities hall at the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. But the bears’ hibernation will come to an abrupt end at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27. That’s when campers of all ages, armed with pots and pans, will parade over to the recreation center and, at the count of three, bang their cookware together to wake up the bears. “The waking of the bears is our traditional way of kicking off the camping season at Jellystone Parks across the country,” said Michele Wisher, vice president of marketing for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems, Inc., which franchises 84 Jellystone Parks across the U.S. and Canada.
2018 has delivered the longest winter Gina Lenhard can remember in the 26 years she and her husband, Mike, have operated the Jellystone Park. But the persistent cold weather isn’t stopping the Lenhards from opening their 170-site campground next Saturday, April 28. “As long as we can turn the water on, we’ll be ready to open,” Gina Lenhard said, adding, “The nice thing is we have 26 warm, cozy cabin rentals. We also have a new bunkhouse we installed last year that sleeps up to 15. This way, families can still enjoy quality time weekend getaways with lots of activities no matter what happens with the weather.” Voted the “Best Campground in the Adirondacks” in the May/June issue of Adirondack Life, Jellystone Park also offers a full lineup of organized activities and themed weekends for late spring, summer and fall, including a “Wake Up The Bears Weekend” May 18-20, when guests are invited to bring their pots and pans and join in a parade to wake up Yogi Bear™, Boo Boo™ and Cindy Bear™ from their winter slumber.
Pamela and Todd McCreary have spent the past decade building Country Stage Campground into one of Ashland County’s top five campgrounds. Now they’re taking their 150-site campground a step further by reopening April 27 as the Cleveland Sandusky Jellystone Park. A grand opening ceremony with Yogi Bear™, Cindy Bear™ and Boo Boo™ will also take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28, with speeches by Ashland Mayor Matt Miller and Amy Daubenspeck, executive director of the Ashland Convention & Visitors Bureau, who will talk about the impact of the Cleveland/Sandusky Jellystone Park on the local economy. “We’re beyond excited at this point,” Pamela McCreary said, adding that the park already has close to 20 reservations for their opening weekend, despite the cool weather. “We’ve never had so many people make reservations for our opening weekend,” McCreary said. “These are all new campers and they’re coming because we’re a Jellystone Park.”
Advance reservations are up 183 percent at the Jellystone Park at Tower Park, compared to last year’s figures, an increase park officials attribute to their investments in new amenities as well as new “Red Carpet” RV sites and rental cabins. “We’re investing millions of dollars in improvements and new amenities and people like what we’re doing,” said Zachary Bossenbroek, CEO of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Northgate Resorts, which purchased the former Tower Park Campground in July of 2016 and converted it into the only Jellystone Park Camp-Resort on the West Coast. An impressive lineup of improvements and new amenities are coming to Jellystone Park this spring and summer, including a miniature golf course, which opens in early April, followed by a new fishing pier, beach and “bark park” later that month.
Yogi Bear™ and Dollywood are about to become neighbors. Bear Cove Village, the closest campground to Dollywood, is joining the Jellystone Park franchise network with a grand opening celebration planned for park guests from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 10. We’re going to celebrate by having a ‘Yogi Bear and Friends Birthday Bash’ with Yogi Bear, Boo Boo™, Cindy Bear™ and Ranger Smith™,” said park owner Heather Blankenship. “We will play birthday party games and serve free hot dogs, pizza and cake for all of our guests.” Blankenship is offering 50 percent off all RV sites and rental accommodations on the weekend of March 9 - 10 to celebrate her campground joining the Jellystone Park network.
Timberline Campground will become Iowa’s second Jellystone Park Camp-Resort when it reopens April 1 for the 2018 camping season. “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.
David Snow and his family have spent the past 21 years building Marine Park into the one of the most sought after seasonal camping destinations in Newfoundland. Now, Snow and his family are working to increase their overnight camping business by transforming their 450-site campground into Canada’s sixth Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, and by becoming a Jellystone Park franchise we can tap into their experience and expand our overnight traffic,” Snow said.
For the first time Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts appears on Franchise Business Review’s Top 200 list of award-winning franchise opportunities. The company has also moved up 207 slots to #265 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list for 2018.
Jim Westover, the Vice President of Operations for Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resorts, offers some insight into how the brand has grown since its inception approximately 50 years ago. Listen as Jim is interviewed by Mike Cupfer of FranchiseBusinessReview.com.
Brent Fannin – Delaware Beaches
2011 was our first year as a Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™. We saw record occupancy levels with increases of more than 35% year over year! The addition of nine cabins to our park yielded occupancy levels well over 90% each weekend! The conversion to a Jellystone Park™ did exactly what we expected – it grew our business.
Joey Coleman & Rick Coleman – Tabor City, NC
In 2001, we began a unique challenge to build a campground on our family farm 35 miles inland from Myrtle Beach. People responded to our design of large concrete pads, full hook-ups, plenty of open space, and ultimate customer service. But we soon had “growing pains” with procedures and operations.
In 2003, we joined Jellystone Park™. The operations…
Rick Spear – Estes Park, COWe’ve been in the Jellystone franchise system for 20 years this year. It was a family endeavor to begin with, but over those 20 years we’ve seen significant growth of our campground. In particular, just the last three years in a row we’ve been up double digits, 10-11% points three years in a row. We’ve really been coming on strong, and continue to see good grow…
Denny Quigley & Tami Alessio – Harrisville, PA2011 was our first year as a Jellystone Park™. Since then, we have definitely noticed that we are attracting a lot more guests from a much larger radius that extends nationwide. And we are seeing more guests from Canada. Over this three year time period, our store sales have increased almost 45%! The increased business also helped to allow us to do…
Erv & Marilyn Banes – Frankenmuth, MI
We decided to convert to the Jellystone Park™ system in 1996 because the market conditions were changing. Several of our colleagues had converted and grown in the process. We found that by changing our customer base to families, rather than seniors, we expanded.
The advantage of a Jellystone Park™ is that it is so much more alive than the average park. Plu…
Chip Smith – Monticello, IAWe got into the Jellystone brand at the beginning of last year. This is the end of our first season. We are pretty excited about it. What I like most about the brand is the fact that they are drawing in families from three hours away. They all know what we’re there for, and they’re willing to spend a longer time at our park than just the weekend. The investme…
Roger & Anna Barry – Fremont, IN
When we joined the Jellystone Park™ system in 1980, we were a small operation without a plan. What we have learned through the years from LSI and our fellow Yogi Bear™ owners and operators has been extremely valuable. We now have over 500 sites, RV Sales, waterslides, and a seven family member team of owners and operating managers. We couldn’t have done it w…
Theresa Isaacson – Caledonia, WI
We’re going to be entering our 13th season, and I sure would hate to own a property without being Yogi branded. The reason we really like Jellystone Parks is because of the support behind us. With 80 other parks in the system, we have 80 sources of question-and-answer type people to go to. The support is wonderful. The franchise, the LSI system itself – their …
Bill Pott – Cave City, KYI really like the way it brings me a nice class of customers. I get happy families. I get people who want to come and to spend money to have fun. They enjoy our park. It’s just wonderful they way they come in, and you get so many that want to meet the other guests, they want to go have fun on the Jumping Pillow, then they want to go to the Splash Pad – and they want …