When Mert and Charlene Yoder bought Clear Water Park Camping Resort near Uniontown, Ohio, 10 years ago, they knew they had their work cut out for them.
Originally built in 1947, Clear Water Park had been neglected for many years and needed major updating to make it competitive in today’s market, according to a news release.
But after spending close to $700,000 in improvements and new amenities, including new pull-through campsites, cabins, a waterslide, a miniature golf course and a gem mining sluice, the Yoders quadrupled the park’s business base, drawing camping enthusiasts within a 50-mile radius of Uniontown, located midway between Akron and Canton in northeast Ohio.
While their efforts have been successful, they’d like to ramp up their family camping business even more. So the Yoders took the next logical step: They contacted Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, and began the process of joining the national family campground chain.
“When we reopen May 1st, we will reopen as a Jellystone Park Camp-Resort,” Mert Yoder said.
Jellystone Parks are famous for offering fun family activities that include everything from crafts and games to “hey rides,” birthday parties with the bears and daily appearances by Yogi.
The Yoders already have a head start on the family activities. They offer whiskey barrel train rides, exotic animal shows, outdoor family movie nights as well as dog swim days. Their snack bar even features homemade ice cream.
But while the Yoders have developed a strong following with their existing lineup of family activities, being part of the Jellystone Park network will enable them to further bolster their activity schedule while increasing the marketing exposure for their 175-site park.
“We wanted to grow the business even more than we have been, and after talking to plenty of other Jellystone Park franchisees, we decided this was the wisest choice for us,” Yoder said.