It was announced Tuesday (Dec. 21) to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort franchisees that Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), the franchisor of more than 70 Jellystone Park locations in North America, had been acquired by Sun Outdoors.

Sun Outdoors currently owns more than a dozen Jellystone Park locations.

In a letter from LSI, franchisees were told that Rob Schutter, LSI’s current CEO and president, would continue to lead the system.

“Sun has been an active member of our franchisee base for nearly a decade, growing its ownership from a single Jellystone Park in upstate NY to over a dozen locations across the U.S. today,” Schutter noted in the letter. “Along the way they have earned numerous franchisee awards and have distinguished themselves for the investment and innovative improvements they have added to their locations and the high level of support they continually provide to their teams. Sun has been a valuable partner in the Jellystone Park franchise and today marks a welcomed expansion of that partnership that I believe we will all benefit from.”

Jonathan Zacharias, the head of RV strategy at Sun Outdoors, met with franchisees during a Zoom meeting on Tuesday.

“In preparation for today, I have witnessed Sun’s eagerness to collaboratively invest in the Jellystone Park franchise,” explained Schutter. “I am looking forward to the resources they will provide to Jellystone Park through their experience as operators and their proven desire to invest capital and create value for their stakeholders. With your input, I am excited to help direct that investment and to ensure it delivers for our guests and for you: our partners in the Jellystone Park franchise. 

“In closing, there are still a small number of us who can recall the previous times this storied business was purchased, and that I myself joined LSI through an earlier acquisition over 30 years ago,” he added. “Through both of those earlier sales our business grew and our franchisee network was strengthened. I firmly believe this time will be even better and I look forward to embarking on this next journey together.”