Same-park reservations at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts franchises are up 11% over 2019, despite many campgrounds not fully operating until June. Families visiting a Jellystone Park for the first time, as well as investments owners are making in their campgrounds, are driving much of the record growth, according to a press release.

Jellystone Park is owned by Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), which franchises more than 75 Jellystone Parks throughout North America.

This year’s reservations increase, which includes bookings through fall, follows 12 years of continuous system sales growth, noted the release.

“The floodgates opened once states began reopening, and we are preparing for what we expect will be a record fall, as many parks are reporting weekend reservations up double-digits or more over last year,” said Rob Schutter, CEO of LSI. “Likewise, we’re seeing a big uptick in franchise inquiries, especially from real estate investors and developers.”

Schutter noted there has been an influx of first time Jellystone Park campers. Along with an increase in bookings, merchandise and activities sales are up substantially, explained the release.

“Families are sticking closer to home, and they’re staying on-site more because they feel safe there,” he said. “The dollars they would have spent on more expensive trips and off-site activities are being used to pay for souvenirs, toys, supplies and equipment rentals, such as golf carts.”

Jellystone Park’s overall 2020 performance also is benefiting from the addition of three new parks, as well as franchisees investing in major expansions and other enhancements.

Northgate Resorts added two New Hampshire Jellystone Park locations to its portfolio, which now includes 11 branded campgrounds. Real estate investment firm RER Ventures joined the Jellystone Park system this year with its acquisition and conversion of an independent campground in North Port Huron, Mich.

Sun Communities Inc. this year completed a multi-million dollar expansion of its park near Denver. Longtime local owners recently finished expanding parks located near Milwaukee, and between Louisville, Ky. and Nashville, Tenn. Other owners have added premium lodging options, activities and amenities, noted the release.

“We’re increasingly seeing experienced real estate and hospitality companies acquiring parks and investing in them,” Schutter added. “As the only campground chain that targets the growing number of Millennial families, Jellystone Park is in a very good position to keep growing.”