Bolstered by Millennials’ rapidly growing interest in camping, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts is on track for its 11th straight year of record sales as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, according to officials from Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), which franchises more than 75 Jellystone Parks throughout North America.
LSI is also set to open new resorts in Ohio and Texas in 2020.
Overall revenue through the first six months of the year is up 10% with same location sales up 12% year-over-year. This follows a 6% sales increase in 2018, the company’s highest revenue year ever.
Ground recently was broken for a new location near Waco, Texas, and a development deal was just signed for a new resort near Dayton, Ohio. Both will open next year. A new Jellystone Park location opened this spring in southern Ohio and a number of locations recently completed major expansions or have them underway, including ones owned by Sun Communities Inc., Northgate Resorts and others.
In July 1969, entrepreneur Douglas Haag opened the first Jellystone Park in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. He called it destination camping, which evolved into what families now call glamping. Haag’s park featured miniature golf, a heated swimming pool, sports facilities, an outdoor theater, and a store selling supplies and Yogi Bear-themed souvenirs.
“Douglas’ vision was brilliant, way ahead of its time,” said Rob Schutter, CEO of LSI. “While the Jellystone Park experience has been upgraded and expanded over the years, it still centers on providing families with an opportunity to spend time together and enjoy activities outdoors, which is even more important today than it was 50 years ago. That’s why the brand is so appealing to both families, new owners and investors.”
Schutter noted that experts often say remaining relevant is a big challenge for older brands.
“Jellystone Park’s continuous growth proves that an industry pioneer can overcome that challenge and continue to be an innovator and a leader, even after five decades,” he explained.
He added that along with campground operators, the brand is seeing increased interest from a wider variety of franchisees, including hospitality management firms, storage facility owners and real estate developers.
Jellystone Park’s leadership team will meet with prospective franchisees at the next Jellystone Park 101 workshop in Charleston, S.C., on Nov. 10.
Find details at JellystoneFranchise.com/workshop.