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Occupancies were up only slightly for Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resorts in 2005, but revenues climbed by about 10%, according to Dean Crawford, senior vice president of Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), which oversees Jellystone parks across the country.
While some Jellystone park operators said their revenues were flat, others reported that their business was up by 20% or more, Crawford said.
“It was a good year. It wasn’t a bad year. (But) it varies across the board,” he said, adding that the weather was a major variable as several parks sustained heavy setbacks during the year. Of note were Jellystone operations in Robert and Lake Charles, La., devastated by Hurricane Katrina and the North Hudson, N.Y., park, which suffered from extensive flooding in June.
Jellystone Park operators learned about the overall performance of their fellow franchisees during LSI’s annual symposium, which took place Nov. 2-5 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.
The symposium, attracting more than 200 park owners and employees representing about 85% of LSI’s 70 parks, also drew several groups of individuals who are exploring the merits of purchasing Jellystone Park franchises.
Along with a trade show featuring more than 70 vendors, the symposium featured numerous educational seminars as well as a keynote address by Peter Yesawich, chairman and CEO of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, a marketing, advertising and public relations agency based in Orlando, Fla., who addressed lifestyle and travel trends.
Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), also spoke briefly during a presentation of awards to outstanding Jellystone park operators in several cities across the country.
Looking ahead to 2006, Crawford said many LSI-affiliated parks are optimistic. “I think everybody is positive,” he said, adding that a number of parks are adding more amenities, including full hookup campsites and water features.