b'INDUSTRY NEWSSun Outdoors Acquires Leisure Systems Inc.It was announced in late December tostone Parks toarea, I think that provided Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Camp-Resortinclude moresome comfort level for a franchiseesthatLeisureSystemsInc.families seek- lot of the franchisees, he (LSI), the franchisor of more than 70 Jelly- ingdeeperexplained. stone Park locations in North America,connectionsSchutternotedthat had been acquired by Sun Outdoors.withnaturethis was the fourth transi-Sun Outdoors is a division of Sun Com- andwithtion for LSI in his 30 years munities Inc., a publicly traded companyeach other.with the company. In 1989 based in Southfield, Mich. The companySchutterTaftBroadcastingac-has 584 developed manufactured home,toldWCMquired it, then it was trans-RV and marina properties comprising overthat this wasferred to Great American, 155,900 developed sites and nearly 44,900averycom- and then it was purchased wet slips and dry storage spaces in 38patible acqui- byParkRiverandnow states, Canada and Puerto Rico.sition.Rob Schutter Sun Outdoors. SunOutdoorscurrentlyownsmoreImveryIdonotanticipate than a dozen Jellystone Park locations.excited about it, he explained. I think itbefore the acquisition was finalized.any wholesale changes at In a letter from LSI, franchisees werebrings a lot of opportunity for the Jelly- Schutter said that LSI and Sun Out- this point in time, he explained. I think told that Rob Schutter, LSIs current pres- stone Park system. Sun Outdoors ownsdoors hosted a Zoom call with franchiseesas we move forward and have additional ident and CEO, would continue to lead theseveral of our franchise locations as part of some of whom indicated to WCM thatdiscussions with the leadership at Sun system.its portfolio, and the company also hasthey were surprised by the moveto an- Outdoors and the other team members at Jonathan Zacharias, head of RV strat- joint ventures with several other entities atswer basic questions and explain how theSun Outdoors, I believe well look for ways egy at Sun Outdoors, told Woodalls Camp- other Jellystone Park locations as well. Iftransition was going to occur. Schutterto try to improve LSI and improve the of-groundMagazine(WCM)thattheyou were looking at a very compatible typetold WCM that since LSIs managementferings that we provide to our franchisees. company is excited about taking the reinsof acquisition, and a situation where youteam was staying with the company andThings are a little bit fresh at this point in ofLSIandhelpingtheJellystoneParkcould easily blend in with a current port- that LSI wasnt expecting any changes as atime, though. brand continue to grow.folio of holdings, I would say this was veryresultoftheacquisition,franchiseesI think given the fact that it was the SinceacquiringourfirstJellystoneideal.seemed to be in a comfort zone regardingholidays and so on, I think were all just Park in 2013 weve recognized the timelessSchutter said LSI, previously owned bythe whole transition.going to sit back, collect our thoughts, and authentic connection our guests haveParkRiverCorporation,alsoownsanThere were some questions associatedthink about not only opportunities but with the family experiences they uniquelyamusement park and several other ven- with it, but given the situation, where LSIother ways that the two companies can provide, he explained. We are very ex- tures, and that Sun Outdoors only acquiredremains intact, meaning that all of the em- work together to further what we hope to citedtobedeepeningourpartnershipthe assets of LSI, not Park Rivers otherployees are part of this acquisition and willcontinue to expand on the LSI side or the with Jellystone Parks and with our fellowcompanies. He said that he was broughtcontinue to work in their capacities goingCamp Jellystone side, Schutter added. park owners through this investment. Weinto the conversation about Sun Outdoorsforward and the fact that LSI will remainBeing part of Sun Outdoors, I think, is a look forward to growing the reach of Jelly- acquiring LSI around seven to eight weeksin the Cincinnati region or the CincinnatiSun Outdoorscontinued on page6Campground Owners Expo Hosts Inaugural Event in Branson, Mo.AfterasuccessfulfirstThe inaugural Campground Owners Expo received showinBranson,Mo.,positive reviews from vendors and attendees.in the middle part of De-cember, the Campground OwnersExpo(COE)has announced that it will be returningtoBransonin 2022 from Nov. 30-Dec. 3, a little earlier in the calendar thanitsinauguralshow held Dec. 15-18. LoriSeverson,co-owneroftheExpo,told WoodallsCampground Magazine (WCM) the feed-backshehadreceived from vendors and atten-deesontheinaugural show was very positive. I think people loved the opportunitytonetwork and explore the area, look-ing for other ideas to in- ing at the Expo. crease their business, and come back andBad weather and other issues forced talk about it with other people, she said.some vendors to cancel at the last minute, As near as we can tell, so far without put- but Severson noted that there were other ting all the reports together, our confer-ence pulled in attendees from 18 states.vendors who took those open spots. The attendees loved the variety of thingsSeverson and Bud Styer, who worked to do at the show. Our seminars were verywith Severson to put the show together, well received. Social media blew me away!announced the inaugural COE last spring I have never heard so many absolutelyas a way to engage with a smattering of wonderful remarks from so many people.Midwest states and help park owners whoThey were all so excited to be together todont have access to state associations that learnandspreadthatpositiveexperi- dont have the ability to operate a large ence.expo. More than 250 attendees took part inThe first day of the conference featured the show, with about 100 vendors exhibit- Expocontinued on page6WOODALLSCM.comFebruary 2022 3'