b"2022 CONFERENCE Camp Jellystone System Highlights Revenue Growth, Tackles Crisis Management During Annual Symposium nBY JEFF CRIDERCampgrounds affiliated with the YogiCustomers for Life: How to Turn that One-Bears Jellystone Park Camp-Resort fran- Time Buyer into a Lifetime Customer by chise network saw year-over-year revenueCarl Sewell and to become familiar with increase by 4.7% through September com- life-changingstoriessuchasthoseof pared to the same period last year, accord- Johnny the Bagger, which can inspire you to ing to Rob Schutter, Jr., president of Camptreat people differently. Jellystone.Cole acknowledged that many park op-Surprisingly, we were almost 5% up,erators are having trouble attracting and re-coming off of a year when we had huge in- taining staff. He said they need to be treated creases, Schutter said during his address todifferently, too. more than 200 Jellystone Park franchiseesHow do you create a culture where peo-and staff members attending the Yogi Bearple are breaking down your doors because networks annual Symposium.they want to work with you? he asked. The Nov. 6-9 event took place at the Em- Love your employees more than you love bassy Suites Hotel and the Charleston Areayour customers. If you want your people to Convention Center in North Charleston,deliver a great experience, you have to de-S.C.liver a great experience to them. Camp Jellystones President Rob Schutter highlighted strongWhile same park revenues were up 4.7%You can do this, Cole said, by eliminating financial numbers during the companys annual symposium.during the first nine months of this year,friction points in the workplace. overall Jellystone Park revenues were upPeople don't want to be managed. They 14.5% as nine parks joined the Yogi Bear- want to be led, he said. We set the tone themed campground network this year.with the language (we use) with our people. Schutter thanked Jellystone Park fran- What are we doing to take care of the people chisees for their hard work and determina- who matter most? What are their love lan-tion during a challenging year given theguages? Look at every aspect of their expe-campground industrys widespread issuesrience. in attracting and retaining employees.The four-day Symposium included edu-Thecommitmentthatyouallhavecational seminars on a variety of topics, in-shown was the reason for our success againcluding human resources, increasing retail this year, he said. That is something to besales, the Jellystone Park app, the Campspot proud of.reservationsystemandaMarketForce Schutterspresentationwasprefaceddemonstration. with a visit by Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, whoDos and Donts in Hiring brought cheers from franchisees and staffand Managing Employees members, dozens of whom were new mem- Kristine Valkledpackedsessionson bers of the Jellystone Park family.Finding and Retaining Talent and Allow-Those characters underscore who weing your Manager to Manage. are, Schutter said. They are our core breadEvery single industry is challenged with and butter.trying to find talent and training and keep-He added that while many parks maying them, she said, adding, We dont have add amenities and accommodations to im- enough people to fill the voids (left by) some prove their allure, only Jellystone Park loca- of the (retiring) Boomers. tions have Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, Cindy BearYoung people, meanwhile, are increas-and Ranger Smith.ingly looking for jobs that fulfill a meaning-The way you use those characters dif- ful purpose. ferentiates your parks from the competi- Gen Z wants to know: Is your company tion, Schutter explained. Those charactersabout my values? Valk said, adding that create a memory. They create an experi- many younger workers have an interest in ence. Thats what we have to focus on.working for companies that are doing their Schutter also noted for the benefit of newpart to help the environment. Jellystone Park franchisees that the YogiValk said park operators must commu-Bear-themed network is like a family withnicate their values to their employees. members who help one another.Are you listing your values, celebrating There is a kinship between us, he said.your values? Put them on your website, she We never want to lose sight of that.said. People are looking to work for places After Schutter and other top Jellystonethat match who they are as individuals. Park officials briefed park operators on theIts also important for park operators to franchisenetworksperformance,Jessecommunicate to their employees why their Cole, founder and owner of the Savannahjob is important and how they fit into the or-Bananas,providedfranchiseeswithaganization. keynote address that focused on ways toWhen people feel they are a contributor treat customers and employees differentlytheyfeelmoreattachedtowherethey and to literally make them a fan of yourwork, Valk said, Money isn't always the business.factor. Its really about people and how they Your future in business is not based onfeel. Do they feel engaged? Do they have how many customers you have, its basedpurpose and growth potential? onhowmanyfansyouhave,hesaid,It also behooves park operators to give adding, If you create more you wouldnttheir employees information on how their believe' moments, your business will growjob will benefit them from a job training more than you ever imagined.standpoint. Colesaidhiscompany changedtheTell people what they are going to learn rules of baseball to create a better experi- and how its going to help them in the fu-ence for our fans. He said Jellystone Parkture, she said. operators should continually look for newValk encouraged park operators to create and fun ways to entertain their guests.internship programs for college students People are looking for more fun, activi- since many colleges and universities have ties and things that are different, he said,programsinvolvingdifferentaspectsof adding that if you focus more on entertain- campground and RV resort operations in-ing than selling, you will find creative wayscluding hospitality and hotel management, to make a lasting impression on your guests.marketing, IT technology, merchandising, Create enough fun and your customersbusiness management and food service. will do your marketing for you (using theirValk also noted that college students partic-cellphones), Cole added.ipating in internships have an obligation to Cole encouraged park operators to readJellystone Symposiumcontinued on page 3222 January 2023Woodalls Campground Magazine"