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Northgate Ready For Big Improvements In 2018

December 6, 2017 by   - () Leave a Comment

Northgate broke ground in late October at its Golden Valley, N.C. park.

With revenues seeing double digit growth in  2017 , it was an exciting year for everyone at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Northgate Resorts.

It was capped in late October with the announcement that Northgate had broken ground on a multimillion dollar project to convert a former 550-acre Girl Scout camp in Golden Valley, N.C. into a Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, the ninth Jellystone Park that Northgate owns.

All told, the company, which was founded in 2013, now owns 11 resorts, two of which are not branded as Jellystone Parks. Zach Bossenbroek, CEO of Northgate Resorts, said that selecting a new campground to own is a labor of love for everyone involved.

“There is a lot that goes into it,” he told Woodall’s Campground Management. “We look at demographics, where the park is located. We want resorts that are near big population centers or near areas that have a tourism component, something we can draw people in from.”

Northgate’s first acquisition was a Jellystone Park, something Bossenbroek said the company learned a lot from and that they now try to emulate at their other properties.

“We liked the family model of Jellystone Parks, so we decided to keep that moving forward,” he said.

Northgate intends to stay in that mold as they develop their newest acquisition in Golden Valley. Located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Bossenbroek said that the campground itself is massive and provides breathtaking views of the mountains.

“The views are amazing,” he said. “It is such a beautiful location for a campground.”

L to R: Caleb Hartung, along with siblings Zach Bossenbroek and Greta Bossenbroek, continues to push Northgate forward.

With treehouses and a large lodge already located at the campground, plans for the park also include park model RVs, glamping tents and large, multi-bedroom accommodations for family reunions and other large groups.

Director of Operations Greta Bossenbroek said the meteoric rise of the company has kept everyone busy, but that they have systems in place and the right personal to continue growing in the future.

“We are just continuing to be proactive about the way we approach things,” she said.

As the company grows, it continues to win accolades from the campground arena. Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), which franchises the Jellystone Park brand, awarded Northgate with its Multi-Unit Entrepreneur of the Year Award in late November. The award recognized its year-to-year growth, according to a press release.

Northgate achieved its biggest revenue success this year with its Jellystone Park Guadalupe River in Kerrville, Texas, which saw a 233% increase in its operating revenue.

Not only has Northgate seen growth on the campground management side of things, but also with its reservation software, Campspot, which debuted in 2016. Chief Data Officer Caleb Hartung, who also serves as CEO of Campspot, said that Campspot has seen a lot of growth in 2017 and that they continue to build new things into the software.

“We have a greater user experience than the other programs that are out there,” he said. “It really is modern and functional. We have integrated add-ons into the booking procedure so that owners can now sell add-ons, like a golf cart rental, when people are reserving a site. Parks who have used this are seeing a 20%-60% increase in add-on sales.”

Northgate’s Lodi, Calif., location is also set to see major upgrades in 2018.

Looking to 2018, Northgate intends to keep improving its parks, with all of its parks adding new amenities. Besides Golden Valley, the Jellystone Park in Lodi, Calif., is also undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion.

A 40,000 square-foot water play park and lazy river, a dozen pull through RV sites and 18 new rental cabins are slated to be open by next summer.

According to a press release, the new water play park will include two 165-foot long water slides, two kiddie water slides, 13 water blasters, two water cannons, a 750 gallon hydro storm bucket that periodically dumps 750 gallons of water on anyone standing beneath it and a 127,000 gallon lazy river.

Other improvements targeted for completion by next summer include the addition of a mini golf course, an outdoor theater and a bark park.

Northgate also plans to make improvements before next summer at the following Jellystone Park locations:

  • Canyon Lake, Texas: Ten more RV sites with full hookups are being added to this park, as well as a playground.
  • Gardiner, N.Y.: Nearly 20 more cabins are being added to this park, as well as 20 more RV sites with full hookups, plus an open air pavilion with mountain views and a double sided fireplace built with locally sourced stone. “We expect our new pavilion to attract weddings and other special events,” Bossenbroek said.
  • Hagerstown, Md.: Two four-bedroom family lodging accommodations that can sleep up to 16 are being added in time for next summer’s camping season.
  • Luray, Va.: A waterslide complex with multiple slides up to 376 feet in length and a new activity pool is targeted for completion by Memorial Day weekend.
  • Memphis, Tenn.: Two new inflatable slides will be installed at this park.
  • Quarryville, Penn.: A 5,000-square foot Amish-style pavilion is being added to this camp-resort for family reunions and other special events. “The pavilion will have a double-sided stone fireplace, exposed beams and have the feel of a Lancaster Amish style barn,” Bossenbroek said.

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