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.”