b'Jellystone Park Officials Highlight Strong Year to FranchiseesCampgroundsintheYogiBearsJellystoneParkCamp-Resort franchise network generated more rev-enue in 2020 than they did last year, despite a decline incamper nights.Camper nights were down 6.5% through Septemberbecause many locations were unexpectedly closed inMarch and April due to the pandemic, but same parkrevenues were up 4% during that timeframe. Overallsystem revenues were also up 5.5%, according to JonBurek, executive vice president of Leisure Systems Inc.(LSI), the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchisesthe Yogi Bear-themed parks across the U.S. and Canada.Burek joined LSI COO Rob Schutter and other topLSI officials on Nov. 12 to discuss the Jellystone Park net- Jon Burek Rob Schutterworks 2020 performance with franchisees. LSI did nothold its annual four-day Symposium this year due to the tributed to the large number of first-time guests whoCOVID-19 pandemic. purchased Yogi Bear-themed clothing and souvenirsIf you were to ask me at the beginning of the year while visiting Jellystone Park locations in 2020. The typ-where I thought we would end up, its nowhere near icalstoreataJellystoneParklocationgeneratedwhere we did, Schutter said in his remarks to Jellystone $159,400 in retail sales in 2020, according to RenataPark operators, adding Thats a testament to all of you Evans, LSIs vice president of corporate retail.and all of your efforts and your staffs efforts. About half of the campers who visited Jellystone Park The Jellystone Park system saw overall system revenuesSchutter acknowledged the extraordinary challenges locations this year had never been to a Jellystone Park increase 5.5% in 2020 despite a drop in camper nights. park operators faced this year, from varying state and location before, a surge of new business that bodes welllocal COVID-19 restrictions to difficulties recruiting suf- for the future, Burek said. he said.ficient staff to work during the pandemic. Jellystone Park locations are also attracting an in- While 47% of Jellystone Park guests visit the YogiI commend everybody for their efforts, he said, creasingly affluent clientele, said Trent Hershenson, Bear-themed parks as a result of LSI and franchiseeadding,We can honestly say, from our standpoint, we LSIs vice president of marketing. In 2020, 54% of Jelly- marketing efforts, 39% of guests are referred by friendsheard of no incidents involving any spread of COVID at stone Park guests said they had household incomes of or family members who have stayed at a Jellystone Parkany of our parks. $100,000ormore,with24%ofallguestsreporting location.Burek, for his part, noted that business was excep- household incomes of $150,000 or more, Hershenson (This) underscores the importance of quality andtionally strong at Jellystone Park locations in 2020 de- said. Only 11% of campers had household incomes of customer service at your parks, Burek said, adding,spite the pandemic. less than $50,000 with 35% earning $50,000 to $100,000 Those guests who came to us for the first time wentWhile overall camper nights were down 6.5% and annually, he said. away with tremendous experiences. In some locations,weekend-camper nights were down 11.3% due to de- Burek noted that Entrepreneur magazine ranked more than 60% of the guests that showed up were new.layed openings across the system, weekday nights only the Jellystone Park franchise network No. 1 in the While LSI officials shared their annual updates withfell 3.3% while rental units, including cabins and RVs, campground category for the fourth consecutive year. franchisees online this year, the company also offeredwere up 1.1%, he said. He added that the system continues to expand, with park operators the opportunity to meet with key ven-RV and tent site revenue was down 3.4%, but rental three new locations added in 2020 in Milton and Glen dors that sell Yogi Bear-themed apparel and merchan-unit revenue increased 16.2% over 2019 figures. Ellis, N.H. and North Point Huron, Mich. At least five dise in person in Cincinnati, Ohio, the week of Nov. 9.Store revenues were up 15.4%, an increase Burek at- more Jellystone Park locations are expected in 2021,Jeff Crider WCMCampLife, USG Partner to Offer Remote Meter Reading IntegrationRV parks and campgrounds can soon right to turn their long-discussed idea for re-automate utility metering and invoicing, mote meter reading into reality.thanks to an industry-first integration be- Getting out to read site meters eventween electrical products provider Utility once a month is onerous, said Wade Elliott,Supply Groupand CampLife, a reservation president of Utility Supply Group. You cansoftware system, according to a press re- have a trusted member of your staff do it, butlease. more often than not its going to be you. AndThe remote meter reading program is then you have to takescheduled to launch in Decemberfirst that data and put it intoat Homestead RV Community, a new camp- somethingandsub-ground near Mobile, Ala., and then for other tract last months meterCampLife customers. values to come up withMany campgrounds dont charge daily an allocation and cal-or short-term guests for utilities because it culate a charge. Thisnormally requires personnel to manually integration with Cam-collect, enter and invoice meter values. The pLife solves two prob- a site can be remotely refreshed and set atcost in staff hours and wages usually ex- Wade Elliott lems: getting the meter check-in (starting utility billing) and thenceeds the utility revenue earned for stays data and billing it, and not being able to bill updatedinthesamewayatcheck-outshorter than a month. utilities for overnight campers. (closing the bill and automatically addingRemotemeterreadingdoesthree Wevebeensayingforyears,when the charges to the reservation invoice).things: 1) saves staff time, 2) eliminates un- youre not charging for something, its free, This makes metering a natural part of ar-necessary trekking through the park, which continued Elliott. Even though you may raise rival and departure routines.exposes staff to the elements and other the base rent, when youre not charging for CampLife has also enhanced its existingcampers, and 3) makes it cost-effective to power, people leave the air conditioning set meter management tools so that all cus-charge all guests for the energy and water on low while theyre out for the day. They tomers, not just those who opt into the re-they actually use, the release states. The dont conserve, because they have no need motemeterreadingprogram,canmorenew functionality offered by CampLife and to conserve. You can make the case that 30 easily track and invoice multiple utility types.Utility Supply Group protects park profits overnight campers use more power than a Customers can watch a video showcasing save time and money, which they can rein-and encourages guests to mindfully con- month-long camper because a month-long these updates in Cam- vesthowevertheyneed.Ifwinterisaserve resources. camper gets to see their electric bill. And the pLifes support portal. slower season for a campground, its theConsideringcurrenttrendsrising overnighters dont. Park owners shouldnt Were proud to be perfect time to set up new services like re-electricity rates, increased RV camping and have to subsidize the cost of electricity, not the first software com- mote meter reading and start 2021 withglamping,andmodernRVsusingmore when its easy to pass through the utility panytopartnerwith every advantage.poweroutdoor resorts using reservation charges.Automatedmeteringisfairto Utility Supply Group in To learn about remote meter reading ca-systems with remote meter reading will re- everyone. thisway,saidTyler pabilities and hardware requirements, callcapture otherwise lost revenue. And with This integration can retrieve meter val- Duffy, CampLifes pres- Utility Supply Group at (800) 800-2811, ormore parks updating their infrastructure, ues on demand with the click of a button. ident. Every time we visit GetCampLife.com to schedule a soft-the two companies realized the time was In CampLife, the beginning meter values for Tyler Duffy automate a task, parks ware demo.WCMWOODALLSCM.com January 2021-3'