Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI) presented a limited number of its annual awards to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts franchisees this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, which prevented many parks from offering their full range of attractions and activities.
“Our franchisees didn’t have a level playing field this year because COVID-19 restrictions varied by jurisdiction, so we adjusted our awards program accordingly,” said Rob Schutter, president and COO of LSI, which franchises Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts across the U.S. and Canada.
The awards were presented to franchisees during an online meeting which replaced LSI’s annual four-day Symposium this year due to the pandemic.
Awards issued included the following:
— The Jim Webb Spirit Award: This award, named after Jim Webb, who played a major role in the success of the Jellystone Park franchise network in its formative years and beyond, is presented to the franchisee who best embodies the same tireless spirit, enthusiasm and commitment to Jellystone Park locations that Webb displayed. This year’s award was presented to Peter Clark of the Jellystone Park location in Woodstock, New Brunswick, who Schutter said has been an inspiration in many ways to Jellystone Park franchisees in both the U.S. and Canada.
— The Dan O’Connell Service Award: This award, named for the highly regarded campground industry pioneer who developed the Jellystone Park location in Amboy, Illinois, recognizes franchisees who work at local, regional and national levels to improve and grow the campground industry. This year’s award was presented to Brent Gasser of the Wisconsin Dells Jellystone Park, who Schutter said had worked extensively with the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO) to ensure that campgrounds across the state could open this year.
— Brochure Design: Schutter said the Jellystone Park location in North Java, New York had the best brochure design this year.
Schutter also presented special Awards of Distinction to all Jellystone Park operators who managed to open and have a successful camping season this year despite state and local COVID-19 restrictions and difficulties recruiting sufficient staff to work during the pandemic.
Schutter also recognized the Quigley family of the Jellystone Park location in Harrisville, Pa., for winning the Medium Park of the Year Award from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) for the fifth time, as well as ARVC’s Plan-it-Green Award for the third consecutive year in recognition of the park’s environmentally friendly business practices. The Quigleys previously won ARVC’s Park of the Year Award in 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2017.
Schutter noted that seven of the 10 finalists for ARVC’s Medium Size Park of the Year award were Jellystone Park locations, including parks in Glen Ellis and Lakes Region, N.H.; Quarryville, Pa.; Luray, Va.; and Canyon Lake and Wichita Falls, Texas.
Erv Banes of the Jellystone Park location in Frankenmuth, Mich., received ARVC’s Pioneer Award, which recognizes early industry leaders and visionaries whose groundbreaking efforts have contributed through the years to the growth and success of the RV and campground sector of the outdoor hospitality industry.
Kelly Jones, former LSI vice president of operations, who is now working as vice president of operations for franchisees at The Jenkins Organization, received ARVC’s Herb Strauss Educational Impact Award. The Jenkins Organization owns the Jellystone Park location in Pelahatchie, Miss.