b'ralalternativeforuswastostartthere are just a lot of things that we building some.hadconversationsabout,andyou WCM: What are some of the chal- have to make some hard decisions. lenges that the company has faced?Sometimesit\'sgoingbacktothe People are nervous about the currentbank and saying, "Listen. Due to in-economic situation, is there any senseflation.etc."Notfundecisionsto that maybe The Jenkins Organiza- have to make any way you look at it, tion needs to slow down a bit? Maybebut the need is certainly there. wait and see what happens to theI think like many people in our in-economy? dustry, we have learned we will not be Jones:Historically,whetheryouturning on reservations until every talk to KOA, Camp Jellystone, ARVClast thing is a go. Until that final in-or others who have been in the in- spection happens. We have inquiries dustry for some time, the industry isevery day for the property and liter-pretty recession tolerant. While in- ally,we\'rewaitingforacoupleof vestors, property owners or camp- electrical parts. It\'s very frustrating, Movie nights and other fun activities are part of how the Great Escapes brand is buildingground owners maybe aren\'t going tobut the safety of our guests and our family-friendly destinations.see the double digit increases thatteammates is the biggest priority and they\'veseeninthepastcoupleofwe\'re going to make sure everything yearsduetoCOVID,Ithinkwhatis done right, and all the inspections you\'ll see is parks remaining flat orare passed before we move forward. low-percentage increases.WCM: When you look at the Great I think it\'s a couple of things. One,Escapes brand, what does that mean it\'sthat,becausekidswereoutoffor a camper? How does it separate school for so long, we saw occupancyitself from other parks? intimeswhennormallycamp- Jones: Well, it\'s still relatively new grounds don\'t see occupancy. So, au- inthemarket.Whatwehopeit tomatically you\'re going to have kindmeans, and what we\'re building it to of a decrease, because the kids are, inmean, is that it\'s a place where fami-most places, back in school for thelies can come to have fun, unwind full year now. You\'re going to see a lit- and just enjoy each other\'s company. tle bit of a dip there.Very high activity, superior cleanli-I think, typically, gas prices havenessandagreatguestexperience made people camp closer to homeoverall. andnotnecessarilystopcamping.WCM:Arethereanysignature Water recreation areas are key for any parks The Jenkins Organization acquires or builds. We\'re also in a little bit of an unprece- things that people will notice when dented time as far as gas prices arethey enter a Great Escapes park?concerned, so I do think that it is hav- Jones: Each park is unique in the ingsomewhatofanimpact,butIlandscape that it\'s in, but typically think in a time where a lot of busi- one of the features you\'ll find at our nesses are showing losses, for camp- properties,wherewecandoit,is grounds to remain stable is huge. Iyou\'ll find the Wibit water obstacle think that\'s where a lot of parks arecourses. For our property in North sitting.Texas, we built a three-acre lake. One WCM: When we look at ground-upwasn\'t there. Typically, you\'re going developments it seems that the coststoseeupgradedwateramenities, of products have also driven the costswhether that\'s a splash park, Wibits, to develop these parks way up. Howorboth,alongwitharesort-style have the supply chain and cost issuespool. Our parks, regardless of fran-impacted your new developments? chiseaffiliation,havefullactivity Jones: Parks are more expensive toschedules. Our KOA runs full activi-buildtoday.OurprojectinBryan- ties, just like our Jellystones do, just College Station has been stalled sev- like our Great Escapes do. eral different times because of supplyWe have our own mascot, Biscuit, chainissues,specificallyelectricalthe corgi, who is our mascot at our pedestalsandelectricalparts,andGreat Escapes branded parks. They\'re that was for stuff that was ordered be- going to have those character experi-fore COVID even hit.ences and the overall guest experi-The price of lumber has increased,ence is what we\'re focused on. andpricesofotherproductshaveWCM: Why is the water component also increased across the board. Youso important to what the company is have to make decisions on how manytrying to do? You built an entire lake. phases you are going to divide a spe- Jones: History and research show cific project out into now. Maybe takethat one of the main attractions in the another look at the target market thatcampground industry is water attrac-Featuring hundreds of you are building the park for. I thinktions. We\'re listening to our guests businesses that provideeverything from insurance tofurniture, electrical and more,WCMs 2022 Business Directoryis a great resource tofind the products andservices you need.Get your copy today!https://woodallscm.com/flipbook/wcm_2022_directory/ The Jenkins Organization dug out a three-acre pond at its Bryan-College location. 34 September 2022 Woodalls Campground Magazine'