“Rising to the Challenge” is the theme for Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI) Symposium scheduled for Nov. 5-8 at the Embassy Suites and Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky.
“Every day our owners and operators rise to meet all sorts of challenges they encounter,” Kelly Jones, director of franchisee development for LSI, told Woodall’s Campground Management. “At this year’s annual symposium, we will be helping our franchisees with tools to address the new ADA challenges, employment challenges, social networking needs and the challenge of reducing costs in today’s market.”
LSI answered the challenge of keeping campground conferences relevant by modifying this year’s symposium for its 78 franchisees. The gathering has been shortened by one day, without reducing the number of educational seminars offered to its franchisees.
This year’s symposium will also feature a trade show and a first-time look at the new Yogi Bear-branded merchandise for the coming season.
On Tuesday morning, President and COO Rob Schutter Jr., will give franchisees an in-depth look at company and franchisee operations. Schutter will have a good story to share. Through August, same-park revenues were up 9% from a year ago with occupancy up around 4%, according to Woodall’s Campground Management.
“In a down economy, people are looking for more affordable, economical locations,” he explained. “Many of the Jellystones have the amenity packages that satisfy the needs of American families. Also, because of our strong development of in-park activities and special events, we have been fortunate in maintaining our customer base and revenue base.”
Rental unit revenues continue to be a driving force behind increased occupancies at LSI camp-resorts with a 12 percent increase through the end of August, he said. Most of these lodges and cabins are park models.
The resorts that offer RV rentals, typically travel trailers, reported an 80% increase over 2011.
“That typically is not the way we encourage our parks to expand their rental fleets, but there is a certain segment of our customer base that enjoys staying in an RV,” Schutter said.
In fact, this segment has shown double-digit growth each of the last three years, he continued.
“We continue to see parks convert sites into their rental pool or building additional sections to accommodate them. We have seen traditional site nights erode a little bit but made up by people deciding to be seasonals. That is one change we have seen and we’re going to take a long, hard look to stem that tide. We would like to see our destination sites stabilize more. Either way you look at it, it’s been a good year.”
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