Yogi on the Dock in LodiMore than 350 park operators, vendors and industry officials have registered to attend Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Symposium and Trade Show, which begins Nov. 7.

The four-day event, held at the Embassy Suites and Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky., will attract representatives from 84 Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts across the United States and eastern Canada as well as aspiring and existing private park operators who are interested in joining the Jellystone Park franchise network, according to an announcement from Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), the Jellystone franchisor.

“Independent campground operators increasingly want to own and operate a Jellystone Park franchise because they see that our business model works and that we are continuing to gain market share, having surpassed $100 million in revenue for the first time this year,” said Kelly Jones, director of franchisee development for Milford, Ohio-based LSI.

Rob Schutter Jr., LSI president and COO

Rob Schutter

The symposium will include reports from LSI Chief Operating Officer Rob Schutter and other top LSI representatives regarding the strength of the campground business; the performance of Jellystone Parks in the U.S. and Canada; the expansion of the Jellystone Park network in the Western U.S.; and emerging travel and camping trends that could provide new marketing and business opportunities for Jellystone Park franchisees.

LSI Executive Vice President Dean Crawford will also provide a photo tour of Jellystone Parks throughout the U.S. and Canada. The symposium also includes a trade show with 80 vendors and educational programs.

Seminar speakers and topics include:

  • Marley Behnke, owner representative, Jellystone Park in Caledonia, Wis.: Behnke will lead a discussion on fun and unique activities to get your bears engaged with your guests. She will also discuss how to properly take care of the bears before, during and after each activity.
  • Vila Free, Olympus Group: Free will discuss LSI’s costume refurbishing program and ways to save on your refurbishing costs.
  • Jones: This session for Jellystone Park owners will cover the latest updates in employment laws as well as new guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Jones will also talk about several court cases shaping employment law for 2017.
  • Kelly Pulskamp, marketing coordinator for LSI: Pulskamp will provide an overview of the most popular social media channels and will provide tips on how to drive business to your park using social media. After taking this seminar, participants should be able to develop a social media plan for 2017.
  • Mike Schauff, landscape manager, Coney Island Amusement Park: Schauff will discuss a broad range of landscaping topics, including proper pruning techniques; planting; design; and the economic benefits of landscaping.
  • Randy Smith, homeland security specialist, Earth Networks Weatherbug: Smith will discuss the types of lightning, lightning truths, myths and safety tips. He will also talk about lightning alert systems.
  • Jim Westover, vice president of operations for LSI: Westover will lead a seminar on how to maximize your food sales and profitability. Participants will learn how to manage food service employees; proper pricing; how to take inventory; the ideal cost of goods sold; food cost worksheets; and how to seek out proper food providers. Westover will also discuss the benefits of co-branding and the impact it can have on food sales and overall customer satisfaction.

This year’s symposium is taking place with the support of numerous companies. The Premier sponsor is Wizard Works Product Development Co. Inc. Wizard Works is also sponsoring the opening reception. The annual awards banquet is sponsored by USI Insurance and First Impression Sign Co. Lunch sponsors include Rocky Top Log Furniture and Gattuso Distributing. The vendor social sponsors are Tengo Internet, Clayton Homes and Nathan’s Famous. Leavitt Recreation & Hospitality Insurance and Peace Frogs are the beverage break sponsors.