The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Mon Nov 21, 2016
MILFORD, Ohio — The Jellystone Park network has seen double digit revenue and a record average park sales volume of 1.325 million, according to Leisure Systems, Inc. (LSI), the privately held company that franchises 84 Jellystone Parks across the U.S. and Canada.
“We’re on a roll right now,” LSI Vice President of Operations Jim Westover said, following the franchise company’s annual Symposium, which took place last week at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Covington, Kentucky.
Same park revenues were up 11.6 percent during the first 10 months of this year, while overall park revenues, including parks that joined the Jellystone Park network this year, were up 13.3 percent.
Overall camper nights were up 12.8 percent during the same period, while weekday camper nights were up 3 percent, largely because families are booking more nights when they visit Jellystone Parks because of the growing array of activities that extend into the shoulder seasons.
Jellystone Park store revenues also were up 6.5 percent, largely reflecting increased demand for Yogi Bear themed merchandise, while ancillary revenue from activities and equipment rentals was up 6.1 percent. Some of the ancillary and store revenue increases also reflected expanding use of a targeted text message program provided by Seattle-based Tatango.
While the text messaging program is useful in emergency situations, such as to notify guests about approaching electrical storms and pool closures, it is also increasingly being used to alert guests to Yogi Bear sightings and signup opportunities for different activities and to promote sales of certain merchandise and food items.
“We are looking at $105 million in total revenue this year and we are planning to be up by double digits again next year,” Westover says, citing the likely impact of new marketing initiatives as well as park expansions and the addition of new amenities, attractions and other improvements throughout the Jellystone Park network.
The new marketing efforts will include greater investments in search engine optimization and other online marketing initiatives, including the rollout of the CampSpot online reservations program, which will enable consumers to make instant online reservations through CampJellystone.com, which has 2 million visits each year.
The CampSpot program has a built-in map feature that will allow consumers to lock in the campsite of their choice as well as select additional products to purchase golf cart rentals and park amenities.
The seven Jellystone Parks that are owned and operated by Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Northgate Resorts already use the program, which was developed by RezPlot Systems, LLC, a Grand Rapids technology company. But the CampSpot program is now being offered to parks throughout the Jellystone Park network and LSI is supplementing park operator costs of using the program.
Westover says he expects that most Jellystone Parks will be using the CampSpot program within two years. He says that as more and more parks use the CampSpot system, LSI will be able to expand its ability to track reservation trends and revenue flows on a real time basis across North America.
Jellystone Parks currently use BookYourSite.com for online reservations, which accounts for about 17 percent of LSI’s reservations with the 43 parks that utilize the service.
Westover says that most Jellystone Parks make improvements to their facilities or amenities each year, which helps them generate repeat business and referrals.
“We want to continue to add cabins and water features because our consumers really take to them,” he says.
Several Jellystone Parks are also planning major improvements and expansions, including parks in Cave City, Kentucky; Burleson, Texas; and Lodi, California.
Jellystone Parks are also seeing increased business as a result of greater consumer participation in the 200,000 member Club Yogi Rewards program, which provides discounts and other incentives for repeat campers.
“We had 23,000 new Club Yogi Rewards members this year,” Westover says, adding that LSI will be increasingly using the rewards program to incentivize consumers to take advantage of shoulder season and weekday camping in 2017.
LSI is also planning to step up its marketing of Jellystone Park gift cards.
Jellystone Parks are also increasing their market visibility after becoming the first campground network to join Great Lakes Scrip, a national program that makes it easy for businesses to provide fundraising support for schools, churches and other non-profit organizations.
Westover says LSI has launched a new initiative to help its franchisees to increase their business potential by having LSI’s operations team members work with park operators more like business partners than facility assessors.
“It’s really a business partner approach,” Westover says, adding that he and other members of LSI’s operations team plan to provide increased guidance and mentorship to Jellystone Park affiliates during the coming year through more in depth business planning and financial awareness. “Our focus right now is growth and franchisee relations."