Rentals Growing At Jellystone Parks
Campgrounds are changing. They are no longer simply places where people pitch a tent or park their RV.
Increasingly, campgrounds are places where people can engage in organized family activities. Growing numbers of campgrounds also rent furnished cabins, cottages and even yurts and teepees.
But when consumers want to see just how far campgrounds can go when it comes to offering planned activities and rental accommodations, they often visit Jellystone Parks, according to an announcement from Leisure Systems Inc., the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.
“We’ve been offering planned activities and rental accommodations for 45 years,” said Michele Wisher, director of marketing LSI.
In addition to activities with Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, Cindy Bear and Ranger Smith, Jellystone Parks offer themed weekend activities, such as Mardi Gras, Christmas in July and Halloween themed weekends, as well as nature oriented activities.
Jellystone Parks are also growing their business base by offering a wide variety of rental accommodations, which now account for 2,000 sites across the Jellystone Park network.
“Rentals are key because they enable us to make our parks accessible to families who haven’t camped before or who don’t have their own camping equipment,” Wisher said, adding that cabins and other rental units provided 26% of Jellystone Park revenue in 2013, even though they only accounted for 12% of LSI’s 17,000 sites system wide.
“Rental units contribute a large portion of income to our network. Occupancy levels in rental accommodations are also higher than the typical RV site,” Wisher said.
Several Jellystone Parks have significant numbers of park model cabins with fully furnished kitchens and bathrooms, including the park in Warrens, Wis., which has 66 of them, and the Jellystone Park in Canyon Lake, Texas, which has 38 park models.
Many Jellystone Parks are also finding it worthwhile to add more cabins, cottages and park models, including parks in the locations listed below.
• Akron / Canton, Ohio: This park has added two deluxe cabins.
• Amboy, Ill.: This park is adding five park models.
• Canyon Lake, Texas: This park already has 38 park models, but is adding 2 more this year.
• Elmer, N.J.: This park is adding 10 new park model cabins and one teepee.
• Fremont, Wis.: This park has recently winterized seven cottages to accommodate ice fishing and snowmobile enthusiasts.
• Hagerstown, Md.: The park has 13 park models but is adding 12 more this year.
• Milton, Penn.: This park is adding two new cabins and one lakefront bunk cabin that sleeps eight.
• Mount Gilead, Ohio: This park has added two new cabins.
• Pelahatchie, Miss.: This park is adding a cabin.
• Pittsfield, Ill.: This park plans to add eight lakeside cabins.
• Quarryville, Penn.: This park added five loft cabins last August and this year has added 11 more premium loft cabins. The park has also built a group lodge this year that can sleep 20.
• North Java, N.Y.: The park already has 49 park models, but is adding 10 more this year.
• South Haven, Mich.: This park already has two park models, but is adding six more this year. Combined with the park’s other rental units, the South Haven Jellystone will have a total of 23 rental units this year.
• Waller, Texas: This park just added 28 rental cabins.
Cabins and park-model RVs aren't the only rental options in the Jellystone network, either. Several Jellystone Parks also offer yurts, including parks in Harrisville, Penn.; Larkspur, Colo.; North Hudson, N.Y.; and Tabor City, N.C.