New Jellystone Resort Open for Business
The new Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Pine Grove, Calif., is open for business.
The park becomes the 73rd member of the Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI) franchise and one of only two in California.
John and Tracy Tomasello bought the 45-acre facility, formerly known as Pine Acres Resort, three years ago. The Tomasellos' three years have been quite a ride, according to the Amador Ledger-Dispatch, Jackson, Calif.
"The first year, the park pretty much ran itself," John said. Many of the RV sites were occupied by year-round residents, settled into a comfortable, inexpensive woodland lifestyle that they were reluctant to give up. They're all gone now.
People certainly had plenty of time to settle in. Elton Rodman and his family first opened Pine Acres as a campground and RV park in 1954. Over the years, the resort mushroomed into a full-service facility, including motel, cabins, full-hookup RV sites, tent campsites, large swimming pool, miniature golf course and spacious outdoor party area. The Rodmans' work made the eventual transition into Jellystone Park quite natural, with the basic infrastructure already in place.
Jellystone Park should be a boon to Pine Grove. As part of the Leisure Systems chain of popular parks, it should draw a steady stream of families eager to enjoy the amenities of the park, but also drawn to nearby points of interest. This would be beneficial to the towns all around, as well as tourist attractions.
Local employment should also benefit from Yogi's arrival. There are 10 people employed now and a projected need for 10 to 30 more employees when the season begins in earnest.
The wear and tear of 54 years on buildings and grounds have pushed the Tomasellos into an extensive renovation project, which is far from completion. Plumbing and electrical upgrades to motel rooms and cabins are works in progress. Dramatic waterslides above and between the swimming pool and wading pond are in the planning stage. Boo Boo's Bistro, Tracy's full-service restaurant, will likely not be operational until next season. Wi-Fi is being installed.
A grand opening is planned for May 23. In the meantime, Jellystone is ready for action. The pool is open to the public for a daily fee, not just to registered guests of the park.
"We want to make it more than a campsite," the Tomasellos said, "we want it to be more like an outdoor hotel."