Leisure Systems Inc.’s (LSI) annual Symposium for its Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp-Resort franchisees will be unlike any other in the company’s history.
Traditionally held near the company’s headquarters in suburban Cincinnati, this year’s franchisee gathering will be on land and at sea in conjunction with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) ”InSites 2009 Convention & Outdoor Hospitality Expo” in Orlando, Fla. Then the symposium pulls up stakes and cruises to the Bahamas in observance of the 40th anniversary of the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Resort franchise, Woodall’s Campground Management reports.
“The turnout is looking real good,” said Dean Crawford, LSI executive vice president. At last count, all but six of LSI’s 73 Jellystone parks will be represented at the convention, scheduled for Nov. 9-12 at The Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. Nearly 200 Jellystone Park employees will be attending the convention or cruise.
On Nov. 10, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., LSI will hold a general session for its franchisees, an event where proprietary information for LSI franchisees will be shared.
LSI will conduct its own mini trade show Nov. 11 and 12 on the second floor of the Orlando Convention Center, one floor above the site of ARVC’s Outdoor Hospitality Expo. LSI’s trade show will feature approximately a dozen vendors of merchandise made exclusively available to Yogi Bear franchisees, Crawford explained. LSI show hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 12.
Meanwhile, LSI will not be conducting its own seminars but encourages its franchisees to attend any of the score of professional seminars sponsored by ARVC.
Between 3 and 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, LSI will hold a social and an auction of Yogi Bear items to be liquidated, the highlight of which will be a raffle drawing for a park model, courtesy of Jack London Park Models, longtime supporter of the symposium trade show. “I generate more business from Jellystone Park franchisees than any other group,” said London. “This cabin giveaway is my way of saying ‘thanks’ and celebrating your anniversary.”
One ticket will be given to each Jellystone Park at symposium registration in Orlando. This promotion is only available to Jellystone Parks, so the odds of winning are significant. That night, at the ”ARVC Academy Awards night,” a 5-minute video on the franchise’s history will be shown.
Then, on Friday, Nov. 13, franchisees and LSI staff will be bused from Orlando to Port Canaveral for a cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas during which they’ll head for the Bahamas.
“We have a good turnout for that. Half of our franchisees are going on the cruise,” Crawford said, noting that 80 cabins for representatives of 35 parks have been booked. On Sunday afternoon, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., LSI will hand out its major awards to franchisees. The ship returns to port on Nov. 16.