When the Montoya family has its family reunion this summer, they expect close to 450 people to show up, including a great grandmother, who turns 100 this year. But they’re not going to hold the event at a hotel.
Instead, the five generations of the Montoya family will congregate at the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Larkspur, Colo., a relatively low cost venue that has the added benefit of being in the great outdoors.
“Our family loves camping. It’s something that’s gotten down from generation to generation. We never even thought of other options,” George Garcia, a family spokesman, stated in a news release.
The idea of having family reunions in campgrounds is spreading across the country as people look for affordable, innovative ways to spend quality time together, according to Michele Wisher, director of marketing for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks.
Across the Jellystone system, reunions happen throughout the summer involving families with relatively small groups to huge gatherings like the Montoyas, Wisher said.
Garcia said his family chose the Larkspur Jellystone partly because of its facilities and location in a scenic setting near Denver, which is convenient for most of the Montoya family.
The campground also has numerous amenities, including a grocery store and laundry facility, a 2.1-mile, 18-hole championship disc golf course, which is naturally maintained by herds of friendly goats, a playground, a heated swimming pool, two small fishing ponds, a gem-mining sluice, and a pedal cart track.
The Montoyas plan to make use of the park’s pavilion for their meals and special events. They also plan to make use of the campground’s volleyball courts, Garcia said.
But while Jellystone Parks are famous for having organized family activities and themed weekends, Garcia said the Montoyas already have enough of their own activities planned to keep themselves entertained.
“We’re all very close, from first cousins to sixth cousins,” he said. “We hope to just continue this tradition forever.”