Three Jellystone Parks in Texas have won top awards from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), which hosts TexasCampgrounds.com, the travel planning website! The Parks are in Wichita Falls, Tyler, and Kerrville , which is also known as Jellystone Guadalupe as Kerrville, Texas is right on the Guadalupe River.
–– The Jellystone Park in Wichita Falls won the “Park of the Year Award” in the large park category.
The annual award, presented to a campground with more than 100 sites, is based on consumer reviews, levels of employee training, accreditations and certifications, as well as involvement in the community and with TACO. “We very much appreciate this recognition,” said park owner Donna Abrams. “We have been working hard on improving every aspect of our park operations and amenities.”
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Abrams is preparing to open a new 30-by-60-foot, 58,000-gallon sports pool for water volleyball, water basketball and other games in time for Memorial Day weekend. The new sports pool complements the park’s two other swimming pools and its interactive water zone and splash pad.
Other new attractions for this year include a gem mining sluice; two-seat and four-seat pedal carts; two types of paintball games for both younger kids and older players; and a 105-foot-long obstacle course, which was installed inside a shady pavilion for use during hot summer days.
The 116-site park has also converted its former park office into a four-bedroom family cabin that can sleep up to 16 people. The cabin comes equipped with a full kitchen with a stove and an oven so families and other large groups can cook their own meals. Jellystone Parks in Texas know how to welcome families!
“This unit will be great for family reunions, birthday parties, scouting groups, and sports teams,” Abrams said.
The four-bedroom family cabin complements three new three-bedroom cabins that will also be available beginning Memorial Day weekend. After the new rental units are installed, the park will have 39 rental cabins.
Other improvements in the works for this year include a newly expanded dog run, which will have new amenities such as a water fountain and an agility course. Other park activities include miniature golf; a 6,000-square foot Miner’s Maze; digital scavenger hunts; Gaga ball, a Bear’s Playground; and a catch-and-release fishing pond with shaded fishing piers. A small petting zoo is also onsite with various animals including dwarf Nigerian goats, free range chickens, a Sulcatta tortoise, a goose, a rabbit, miniature horses and a mini steer.
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All of those amenities and activities are in addition to the theme weekends and character visits with Yogi Bear and friends that all Yogi Bear Water Parks are famous for.
— The Jellystone Park in Tyler won the “Park of the Year Award” in the medium size park category.
Five months after receiving the highest award in the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park franchise network, the Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines has won a “Park of the Year Award” in the medium-size park category. “We’re thrilled to be receiving top campground industry awards at both the state and national levels,” said Don Tardy, who co-owns and operates the campground with his wife, Jan, and their adult children, Colt and Bree Perrin.
Last November, the owners won the Camp Resort of the Year award, the highest honor in the Jellystone Park franchise. The award is presented by Leisure Systems, Inc. (LSI), the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises more than 80 Jellystone Park Camp Resort across the United States and Canada.
The award recognizes the Camp-Resort with facilities and operations that exceed all the Jellystone Park standards. Recipients must be Pinnacle Club members, meaning they rate 95 percent or higher on the annual LSI assessment of their facilities and operations. Award recipients also must have achieved strong growth in business, implemented sustained improvements, and be leaders in the industry.
The Tardys also won LSI’s Facility of the Year Award, for parks less than 225 sites, which is presented to the Camp-Resorts that have shown sustained improvements to their facilities. In addition, the Tardys earned a place in the 100 Percent Club by scoring 100 percent on the annual inspections of their facilities and operations by LSI assessors. They also received an award for the quality of their comfort stations and an outstanding customer service award for scoring 88 percent or higher on their guest satisfaction surveys.
The Tardy’s attribute their success in part to the many improvements they’ve made to their park, the latest of which is an 11,000 square-foot water zone that opened over Memorial Day weekend last year. Yogi Bear Water Parks are the best! Other improvements in recent years include a large maze, a laser tag course, a miniature golf course, pickleball courts, a basketball court, a sand volleyball court and improvements to the horseshoe and washer pits.
The Tardys have also converted many of their campsites into “Premium” and “Platinum” RV Sites. The sites include covered decks, picnic tables, and barbecue grills and are larger and more user friendly for today’s big RV rigs and coaches.
The Tardys have been busy adding cabins, too, the latest of which are three 800+ square-foot units with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. “Each of them can sleep as many as eight people. They are very nice for larger families or for when two families want to come together,” Tardy said, adding that the large cabins also have covered decks and attached areas with fire pits and picnic tables.
“We’re finding that our campers appreciate more space in their cabins and their RV sites,” Tardy said.
Altogether, the Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines has 100 campsites and 33 rental cabins, including 14 loft cabins. Several of the cabins have pond views.
— The Jellystone Park in Kerrville won the “Best Accommodations Award” in the large park category.
Jellystone Park Guadalupe River in Kerrville has won the “Best Accommodations Award” in the large park category.
The large park accommodations award, presented to a campground with more than 26 rental units, is based on the quality of furnishings, including sleeping accommodations and linens as well as the kitchen and bathroom setup and park setting. This was the second consecutive year that Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Guadalupe River won an award from TACO. Last year, the Yogi Bear-themed campground won the association’s “Park of the Year Award.”
Located along the banks of the Guadalupe River, the park features 178 RV sites as well as 72 furnished cabins and cottages, including tiny homes that are designed with Yogi Bear, Boo Boo and Cindy Bear themes.
All of the rental units have full bathrooms and fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes, depending on the size of the unit. The tiny homes sleep five while the riverfront cottages sleep up to eight. Many of the rental units are available in riverfront locations.
The Guadalupe River Jellystone Park location features a wide variety of onsite activities and entertainment. Two years ago, Northgate equipped the park with a 19,641 square-foot water zone with three water slides that are 20-feet, 160-feet and 165-feet long; two kiddie water slides; two water cannons; 13 water blasters; and a 750-gallon hydro storm, an elevated water tank that periodically dumps its contents on anyone who happens to be underneath it. Last year, Northgate expanded the water zone with four new water slides, one of which is a racer with two lanes. The new slides are 196-feet, 242-feet, and 334-feet-long.
All of these improvements complement a growing array of onsite activities, including a gem mining sluice, miniature golf course, a gaga ball pit and laser tag, and an expanded activity schedule.
Upcoming theme weeks include Chocolate Frenzy Week from June 3 – 9 with a chocolate dunk tank, chocolate bull riding, chocolate tug-o-war, chocolate painting and various chocolate slides; Carnival Week from June 17 – 23 with a hot dog eating contest, a kids’ watermelon eating contest, a carnival pie throwing contest, an adult cornhole tournament, karaoke and three-legged races; and Christmas in July Week July 22 – 28 with candy cane and candy bar bingo, Christmas arts and crafts, Christmas karaoke, a reindeer run and a North Pole ice cream social with Santa. Sounds like Yogi Bear has a lot of fun planned at Jellystone Parks in Texas!
For more information about the Jellystone Park Guadalupe River in Kerrville, including a complete schedule of activities and theme weekends, please visit http://jellystoneguadalupe.com/.
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