One of the largest private campground chains in the country is getting bigger, thanks in part to an increased craving for wholesome, face-to-face, family oriented activities, according to a press release.
“The dramatically increased use of hand-held electronic devices has left many families craving more face time with one another,” said Rob Schutter, chief operating officer of Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts across the country.
Schutter said consumer demand for the wholesome activities that Jellystone parks provide is on the rise. Revenues and occupancies are also growing at Jellystone Parks across the country, and more independently owned and operated campgrounds are joining the Jellystone Park network.
Leisure Systems achieved an annualized revenue growth rate of about 8% in 2013, while its vacation rental occupancies increased by 8.5% and traditional sites by 3.4%, when comparing same park to same park data.
In the past three years, 14 campgrounds in 11 states have become Jellystone Parks, including campgrounds in Elberta, Ala; Gloucester Point, Va.; Harrisville, Pa.; Madison, Maine; Milford, Del.; Montrose, Colo.; Pittsfield, Ill.; Bloomington, Ind.; South Haven, Mich.; Tyler, Texas; Fredericksburg, Texas; Uniontown, Ohio; and recently added Mount Gilead and Big Prairie, also both in Ohio.
And while most Jellystone Parks are owned and operated by husband and wife teams, Jellystone Parks are also increasingly being acquired by other campground networks, which see them as valuable investments.
Several Jellystone Parks have been acquired by Chicago-based Equity Lifestyle Properties, a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT); Texas-based Legacy RV Resorts, a private company that owns 14 campgrounds across the country; and Grandville, Mich.-based Northgate Holdings LLC, which owns and operates four campgrounds across the U.S.
“In our due diligence of numerous parks across the country, we’ve discovered that the Jellystone Parks are some of the best operated, highest grossing and most profitable RV parks,” said Northgate Holdings CEO Zachary Bossenbrock. “Furthermore, the Jellystone Park brand and franchise standards have a tremendously loyal following. Not only are Jellystone Park guests loyal to a specific Jellystone Park, which often times experiences 50% or better repeat business, but to the Jellystone system in general. We see great value in having a customer base that is loyal to the Jellystone brand.”
There are currently over 17,000 campsites in the Jellystone Park network, including 12,000 traditional campsites, 3,000 seasonal campsites and over 2,000 rental units.
Looking to the future, Schutter said he anticipates continued growth in revenues and occupancies at Jellystone Parks this year, as well as continued growth in Jellystone network as more independently owned and operated campgrounds become Jellystone Parks.
Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts is now offering one free night of camping to anyone who purchases a towable or motorized RV from General RV Center through Nov. 30.
“We are excited to offer this special promotion in partnership with General RV because it gives us a unique opportunity to introduce Jellystone Parks to both new and existing RV enthusiasts across the country,” Lauri Hart, who manages the Club Yogi Rewards program, said in a press release.
Customers who purchase an RV from any of General RV’s 10 locations between now and Nov. 30 will receive 6,000 Club Yogi Rewards points, according to a news release.
General RV customers who are not already Club Yogi members will be directed to www.jellystonerewards.com, where they can enroll in the program and enter a code that enables them to collect their Club Yogi Rewards Points. General RV customers will have until Dec. 31 to either redeem the points for a Tier E Free Night Certificate or enroll in the Club Yogi Rewards program so they can save the points for later use.
The Tier E Free Night Certificate is good for a free night of camping at Jellystone Parks across the U.S. and Canada.
Diana Mendez and her husband, Miguel, live in Queens, N.Y. But every weekend they escape to the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Woodridge, N.Y., where they have rented a seasonal campsite for the past 23 summers.
Unlike typical campsites, which are rented by the night, families who rent seasonal campsites rent them for the whole season, usually at a discounted rate. And because the campsite is theirs, they can leave their RV on site and don’t have to worry about packing and unpacking every time they want to camp, according to a news release.
“It’s like a sanctuary for me,” said Diana Mendez, who works with children with disabilities. “We work hard during the week and we all look forward to coming here on weekends. It’s always a wonderful experience.”
“Across the country, growing numbers of families are renting campsites at Jellystone Parks for the entire camping season,” said Michele Wisher, a spokesperson for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks across the country.
Seasonal campsites also provide an important revenue stream, accounting for 11% of Jellystone Park income in 2012, while making up about 16% of its campsites.
In addition to offering seasonal campsites, swimming pools and other amenities, Jellystone Parks are famous for providing fun family activities that include everything from crafts and games to “hey rides,” birthday parties with the bears and daily appearances by Yogi Bear.
Diana Mendez said there are many other benefits to seasonal camping at Jellystone Parks. She said her family has developed close relationships with other seasonal campers. She added that there’s nothing better than camping when it comes to strengthening family relationships.
The Mendezes raised both of their children camping at Jellystone Park. The kids are now 19 and 17, but they still enjoy camping. “I think that it brings you closer together as a family,” she said. “You’re in an RV, so you’re forced to always be together. And at nighttime, you can make campfires with your family and friends and it becomes very intimate.”
AccessCamping.com, a camping website portal with links to more than 500 campground databases across the U.S., has added links to RV clubs as well as databases of Canadian campgrounds, according to a news release.
“We think these latest additions will further enhance AccessCamping.com’s stature as a ‘must see’ website for anyone planning to visit campgrounds in North America,” said Brian Schaeffer, president and CEO of Texas Advertising, which launched the website portal a little over a month ago.
Texas Advertising launched AccessCamping.com as a web portal with links to more than 500 databases with listings of both privately owned and operated campgrounds as well as government-run campgrounds.
The newest additions include links to more than 40 RV clubs, ranging from brand-specific groups, such as the Coachmen Owners Club, Gulf Streamers International, the Jayco Travel Club, the Vintage Airstream Club and the Winnebago-Itasca Travelers Club, to clubs that cater to specific demographics, such as RVing Women, the National African American RVers Association and the International Snowbird Travel Club.
AccessCamping also added links to more than 70 Canadian campground databases that collectively list more than 2,000 public and privately owned campgrounds in Canada.
AccessCamping.com also includes links to online databases of the major campground industry directories, including those provided by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), the Trailer Life and Woodall’s North American Campground directories, as well as the websites of campground chains, such as Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) and Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.
Schaeffer said AccessCamping.com is needed because most websites have limited campground listings. “The government run websites, for the most part, list only government run parks while the websites for campground industry associations typically limit their listings to parks that are members of their associations. As a result,” he said, “most websites only give the camping consumer a partial view of what’s out there in terms of potential camping venues. The good news about AccessCamping.com is we truly ‘pamper the camper’ by giving them more camping options than any other source.”
For more information on AccessCamping.com, contact Schaeffer at (817) 307-0129 or email him at email@example.com.