b'2023 CONFERENCECamp Jellystone celebrated an increase in campstore revenues during its conference. Photo: Jeff CriderJellystone Celebrates 2023s Continued Growth at Novembers Annual Symposium in Tennessee nBY JEFF CRIDER stone team members commended parkSun Outdoors noted the striking financialsummer 2023 had not previously stayed Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Camp-Re- operators for their performances in 2023.performance of the Jellystone Park net- at a Jellystone Park location before. Just sort franchisees celebrated the fact thatThe event was held at Hilton Knoxvillework as well as the fact that three Jelly- overthreequartersofJellystonePark they are on track for their 17th consecu- and the Knoxville Convention Center instone Park locations won Park of the Yearguests76%drove less than three tiveseasonofyear-over-yearrevenueKnoxville, Tenn.awards from the National Association ofhours to reach their Jellystone Park loca-growth during the systems annual Sym- With Jellystone Park franchisees gath- RVParksandCampgrounds(ARVC),tion, and 50% booked their reservations posium in November as top Camp Jelly- ered, a top official with Jellystone parentnow known as OHI.less than two months in advance. This is the best brand in the industry,Kyle Scheele, an expert in innovation said Nick DiBella, senior vice president ofand creative thinking whose successes in-the RV division of Southfield, Mich.-basedclude writing successful childrens books SunOutdoors,whichfranchisesJelly- and gaining one million TikTok followers stone Park locations through its Campin 25 hours, provided a keynote address Jellystone subsidiary.in which he encouraged park operators to Jon Burek, Camp Jellystones execu- pursue their crazier ideas, if only to find tive vice president, told franchisees it wasout if they bring the desired results. particularly noteworthy that 77 JellystoneIf you want conventional results, con-Park locations were collectively able to in- ventionalideaswillgetyouthere,he crease their revenues 4.3% during the firstsaid. If you want crazy results, you have three quarters of this year, consideringto embrace crazy ideas. that this was on top of the record-breakingChasing crazy ideas expands your realm business levels that Jellystone Park fran- of whats possible, he said, adding that many chisees experienced during the COVID-19companies have people on their teams who pandemic.have innovative ideas, but theyre never given While campsite revenues were downa chance to pursue them. Park operators 0.9%, revenue from rental accommoda- should keep a notebook where they write tions was up 8.1%. Store revenues weredown their teams most creative ideas, so also up by 1.2%, while ancillary revenuethey dont get forgotten.from recreation activities, character inter- The Symposium conference included actions and food and beverage sales weremore than a dozen educational sessions, up 8.9%, Burek said.including one led by Derek Schultz, of the Renata Evans, Camp Jellystones viceJellystone Park in Grayling, Mich., and president of retail, said Jellystone Park lo- Moriah Abbott, of the Jellystone Park lo-cations generated $18.6 million in 2023,cation in Binghamton, N.Y., who spoke withsalesforeachparkaveragingabout digital scavenger hunt games like $244,939.the Goose Chase app, which can be used Trent Hershenson, Camp Jellystonesto create fun challenges for people of all vice president of marketing, said 86% ofages. Schultz and Abbott not only talked Jellystone Park guests have children be- about the importance of digital scavenger tween six and 10 years old with their par- hunts, but also broke the group up into ents mostly being in the 35-to-44 ageteams so that they could compete with range, according to the latest guest sur- each other on the spot to see who could veys. Sixty-two percent of Jellystone Parkcomplete the challenge first. They also guestsarefromhouseholdsthatearndiscussed other popular apps, such as $100,000ormoreperyear,with31%Seek, a program that enables users to fromhouseholdsearning$50,000toidentify wildlife, and Star Walk 2, a night $99,999. Seven percent of Jellystone Parksky app that helps the user to identify the guests are from households that earn lessconstellations. than $49,999 annually.John Erdman, a former Jellystone Park Hershensonnotedthat37%oftheoperator and long-time trainer, led a sem-guests who visited Jellystone Park duringinar focusing on how to use the off season 24 January 2024Woodalls Campground Magazine'