Richard and Nancy Felber, owners of the Dogwood Valley Campground near Mount Gilead, Ohio, recently received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Leisure Systems Inc., the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts across North America.
According to a press release, the Felbers won the award for having achieved the most significant year-over-year sales and occupancy growth in 2016 of any Jellystone Park that generates less than $1 million a year.
In 2015, the Felbers won Leisure Systems’ Operator of the Year Award in recognition of their excellence in management as well as their improvements in their assessment ratings. In 2014, their first year as Jellystone Park operators, the Felbers were also awarded the Rookie of the Year Award.
“We are very honored and pleased to receive these awards,” said Nancy Felber, who runs the 202-site campground with her husband, Richard, their daughter, Sara, and son-in-law, Nick.
The Felbers previously operated a successful custom cabinet business in Florida before purchasing the former Dogwood Valley Campground in 2010. They spent three years making improvements to the campground before they joined the Jellystone Park franchise network in 2014.
Joining the Jellystone Park network was a worthwhile move, Nancy Felber said, because it put the park on the radar of families in Ohio and across the Midwest.
But the Felbers have also made numerous improvements to their campground to build their business base. They installed new city water and sewer service connections; a 2,000-square foot store and office; and two new swimming pools, complete with a 250-foot water slide and a 75-foot tubular slide.
Last year, the Felbers added three more cabins so the park now has a total of 10 rental units. They also added several floating play structures on the lake along with new activities, including wood burning and ceramics.
This year, the Felbers are paving all of the park’s main roads. They are also adding new activities, including archery and leather tooling, which will enable park guests to make their own bracelets and belts.