Leisure Systems Inc.’s growing sales and profitability landed the Jellystone Park franchisor a spot in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 listing.
With $106 million in sales in 2016, Leisure Systems was ranked No. 472 for its “exceptional performance across several areas, including financial strength and stability, growth rate and brand power,” according to a press release.
“Our inclusion in the Franchise 500 not only reflects the growing financial strength of the Jellystone Park franchise system, but rising consumer and investor awareness of Jellystone Parks as the family camping venue of choice across North America,” said Jim Westover, Leisure Systems’ vice president of operations.
The Milford, Ohio-based company franchises over 80 Jellystone Park campgrounds with more than 17,000 campsites and vacation rentals across the U.S. and Canada and plans to expand to more than 100 parks in the next five years.
“Our inclusion in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 is a powerful testament to the strength of the Jellystone Park brand as well as our franchisees’ ability to execute our business model at a high level,” Westover said.
Entrepreneur considers several factors in developing its Franchise 500 listing, including franchise costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, as well as financial strength and stability. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order.
“We spend months gathering and crunching data in order to produce the Franchise 500 ranking. We’re proud of the result and the way it continues to be a resource for the franchise community,” said Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur. “Like every industry, franchising is ever-evolving and must smartly react to new technologies and consumer demands. We know it takes a lot to stay competitive, and are excited to celebrate those that do it best.”
This year’s Franchise 500 also takes into account the growing role of technology. “We’ve developed new ways to measure and analyze our collected data as new critical data points come into play,” said Ryan Shea, president of Entrepreneur. “We take into account pertinent factors such as social media presence and financing availability, which have become increasingly important in today’s economy. The result is a more complete and relevant Franchise 500 that can serve as a valuable resource for our readers.”
Leisure Systems is making significant investments in social media outreach and new technology. In addition to having 2 million annual visits on CampJellystone.com and nearly 1 million social media followers across the franchise, the company encourages its locations to utilize the franchise-sponsored text and video message program to alert guests to everything from bear sitings to special promotions on selected food, beverage and gift store items. Jellystone Park franchises achieved double digit increases in ancillary sales last year by using targeted text and video messages.