CAVE CITY, Ky., January 2016 — When Stephanie and Travis Ward need to get away from it all, they don’t have far to go.
They simply pack up their camper, their kids, and their pets and take a 45-minute drive from their home in Hodgenville to the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort of Mammoth Cave, which is owned and operated by Bill and Kay Pott and their daughter, Emily.
“It’s the only campground we go to,” Stephanie Ward said of the park, which was also highlighted by The Travel Channel earlier this year as one of nation’s top 10 campgrounds for families.
“It’s close. It’s super clean. It’s pet friendly and it’s family owned and operated,” Ward said. Leisure Systems, Inc., the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises Jellystone Parks, thinks the Pott family is doing an excellent job as well and recently presented them with the Facility of the Year Award in recognition of the many sustained improvements they have been making at the park.
“This past year, we concentrated on landscaping more than anything else,” said park co-owner Bill Pott. “We really wanted to take the landscaping up a notch. We also totally redesigned the Yogi Circle, which is sort of a centerpiece in front of the ranger station where families take pictures together.”
Other improvements include the addition of a second swimming pool and splash pad two years ago. The Potts also installed a 300-foot-long water slide, a Water Wars water balloon game, a miniature golf course, a jumping pillow, and they continue to add more rental cabins. “We have 73 rental cabins right now,” Pott said, adding, “We have added some almost every year since we bought the park.”
The Potts purchased the campground in 2004. It is the fourth oldest Jellystone Park in a network that has grown to include 82 campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada.
But while the Potts have made consistent investments in new amenities, they have also enhanced the park’s activity program, which is staffed by 10 people.
“When we first bought the park, the first thing we did was pay attention to the recreation program and the activities that people do,” Pott said.
Of course, beyond the Pott family’s attention to detail is the magic of a Jellystone Park itself. Only Jellystone Parks have Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, and Jellystone Parks are famous for providing fun, family activities and themed weekends that include everything from crafts and games to wagon rides. Birthday parties with the bears and daily appearances by Yogi Bear are also very popular. Themed weekend activities, such as Hawaiian weekends, often include limbo contests, sand castle building, and a luau. Mardi Gras themed weekends include parades, cookouts and dances, while Christmas in July weekends include campsite decorating contests, campsite caroling, cookie and ornament making activities. The increasingly popular Halloween themed weekends include costume and campsite decorating contests and trick or treating activities. “We like the intensity of the activities,” Pott said, adding, “If we can get people into the park the first time, the intensity and focus will bring them back.”
Looking ahead to 2016, the Potts are planning even more improvements, including a bubble foam making machine they plan to use for foam parties.
Ward, for her part, said she has already booked reservations for Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend as well as a weekend in October and will be back at the park soon. For more information, visit www.JellystoneMammothCave.com .
About Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts
Launched in 1969, the Jellystone Park™ system is the second largest chain of campgrounds in the United States, boasting 82 campgrounds with more than 17,000 campsites and vacation rentals in 32 states and three Canadian provinces. Its Camp-Resorts are among the best campgrounds in the industry with a quality reputation for being fun, friendly, clean and service-oriented parks. Additionally, each Jellystone Park™ is themed with Yogi Bear™ elements providing instant recognition and consumer appeal. It is truly a place “Where You Camp With Friends.”®Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts are franchised through Leisure Systems, Inc. (LSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Park River Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit www.campjellystone.com .