Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort operators from across the U.S. and Canada came together last week (Nov. 6-9) as they celebrated another year of record growth, as well as increased franchise industry and consumer recognition during the annual Leisure System’s Symposium.
“We have a lot of good indicators going for us,” Jim Westover, vice president of operations for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI) told Jellystone Park operators during their annual Symposium at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky.
LSI currently franchises 79 Jellystone Park campgrounds with more than 17,000 campsites and vacation rentals across North America, but at least four new locations will be added for 2018.
Speaking on day three of their Symposium, Westover said overall revenues for 79 parks, including new parks in the Jellystone Park system, were up 11.4% through September, while same park revenues were up 11.2%.
Campsite revenues were up 11.2%, while rental accommodation revenues were up 8.6%. Store revenues were up 10.6%, while ancillary revenues, such as revenues from special activities and rental equipment, were up 9.5%.
Jellystone Parks also saw significant gains in occupancies, especially during the week.
Overall camper nights were up 10.3%, while weekday nights were up 20.3%. Weekend nights were actually down 5.2%, but that had more to do with the timing of certain holidays this year than anything else, Westover said.
Jellystone Parks’ market growth earned LSI a rank of 472 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 listing in January of this year, based on its audited financial reports, media presence and brand awareness, and Westover told symposium attendees he expects LSI to move even higher on the rankings next year.
At the same time, Westover said, Jellystone Parks are winning accolades from franchise operators, as well as veterans. LSI received a 2017 Franchise Satisfaction Award from the Franchise Business Review and was also included in the magazine’s 2018 listing of the top 50 franchises for veterans.
“We have a heck of a brand business model,” Westover said, adding that when Franchise Business Review asked Jellystone Park owners if they would join the franchise again if they had the opportunity to do it all over, they said they would.
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