The Jellystone Park campground in Sioux Falls is seeing more local campers and fewer long-distance travelers, a change the park attributes to rising fuel costs and difficulties people have getting away for longer trips
SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – When Ray Aljets built the campground that later became Jellystone Park Camp-Resort 23 years ago, most of his business was east-west traffic, particularly families from Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis who traveled westward to visit the Black Hills. Today, however, 65 to 70 percent of the Jellystone Park’s business is families who live within 100 miles of the park. “We still get the east-west traffic,” said Aljets’ son, Bruce, who now runs the park with his wife, Donna, and two of their children, Ray and Christina. “But now most of our business is local.”
Business is strong, too. Last year, for example, the park surpassed its 2010 revenues by 11 percent, and this year looks to be just as strong as last year, if not stronger, Bruce Aljets said, adding that his park opens for the camping season on April 1st. But the dynamics are different.
Fuel costs are higher than they used to be, which encourages people to visit campgrounds that are closer to home. Today’s families also have a harder time getting away for extended periods of time. Both parents usually work and often have a harder time getting their vacations to coincide. Kids also have more sporting activities available to them in the summer than they used to, all of which encourages families to camp closer to home. The good news, Bruce Aljets said, is that camping is as popular as ever, with one caveat. “People don’t want to rough it,” he said. “They want the comforts of home when they camp. Even tent campers want Wi-Fi so they can watch Netflix movies.”
As a result, Aljets provides his guests with cabins with house-like amenities, including cable TV and Wi-Fi service and hot showers. The campground also has a jumping pillow, pedal cart rentals, a heated swimming pool and spa, an indoor theatre and a miniature golf course. And for those who don’t have a tent or RV, the park provides a dozen rental cabins.
Aljets’ Jellystone Park also has an activities director and provides organized family activities from May through the end of October that are designed to appeal to all ages, including Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekend events; Mardi Gras and Christmas in July celebrations; and Bruce’s favorite, the “Messy Weekend” July 27th to 30th, which includes a chocolate pudding Slip N Slide, bobbing for worms and other messy activities. Late summer and fall activities include a corn maze and Halloween-themed weekend events, including costume and campsite decorating contests. A complete listing of activities and themed weekends is available at www.jellystonesiouxfalls.com.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort of Sioux Falls, SD is honoring the true Super Heroes – police, firefighters, emergency personnel and armed forces – of our communities the weekend of September 16-18, 2011.
A number of special events and programs are scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011. A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will be donated to Operation Cares—an organization that provides support to families of service men and women who have been called away to support and defend our country.
“We’re excited to once again recognize and honor our everyday ‘superheroes’ who risk their lives helping our community,” said Donna Aljets, owner of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. “In addition, due to the outpouring support we had last year, we look forward to hosting a number of events that will also benefit Operation Cares.”
Activities scheduled for the day include: a rocket launcher, humvee and obstacle course provided by the South Dakota Army National Guard; presentations on “Stranger Danger” by the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s office; the Brandon Fire Department’s fire truck; the Sanford Helicopter; wagon rides; visits from Yogi Bear and Boo Boo; an evening community bon fire; and other activities throughout the day.
All campsites and cabins are discounted 25% to any retired or active “superhero” with a valid ID. For those “superheroes” who are not campers, the daily admission fee at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is also discounted 25%.
The festivities begin on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and will conclude around 10:00 p.m. The event is open to the general public. For more information, call 605-332-2233 or visit http://www.jellystonesiouxfalls.com/ for more information.
For the third consecutive year, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Campground of Sioux Falls is welcoming families to get lost in seven acres of twists, turns and dead ends in the world’s only Yogi Bear Corn Maze.
Opening Friday September 2, the corn maze is located at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground at the I-90 Exit 402. Admission is open to the general public and includes the corn maze with two levels of difficulty, jumping pillow, wagon rides and visits by Yogi Bear. Discounts are given to camping guests or groups of 20 or more
“Whether you solve the maze under blue skies, with flashlights, or the light of the moon on a starry night, the maze is fun for all ages,” said Bruce Aljets, owner of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground. “Once again, we are excited to offer folks from the tri-state region a unique, budget-conscious option for the whole family to enjoy.”
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground of Sioux Falls was named Campground of the Year in 2009 by the Jellystone Park franchise system. The campground has won a number of awards since it was founded in 1989.
For more information regarding the corn maze hours and rates, visit siouxfallscornmaze.com or call 800-638-9043.
While all Jellystone Park™ campgrounds offer excellent opportunities for family fun and top-notch camping, each year the system’s franchisor, Leisure Systems Inc., digs deep into the details to determine the very best of the best. This year, that campground is the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and it’s been named Camp-Resort of the Year.
This is the highest honor that can be awarded to a Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park. The facility as well as its operators must exceed all Jellystone Park standards of operation. The recipient must be ranked in the Pinnacle Club (inspection rate of at least 95%), have shown a strong growth in business, implemented sustained improvements to the facilities and be viewed as a leader in the campground industry.
Jellystone Park campground at Sioux Falls offers some of the best family camping and entertainment in the region. Just three miles from the Falls of the Sioux River and near attractions like Catfish Bay’s recreational waterski park, the Great Plains Zoo and Wild Water West water and amusement park, this campground has large campsites and three types of cabins. Kids will love the Jumping Pillow (and parents will love how it tires the little ones out), while everyone will enjoy the heated pool and spa, indoor theater, miniature golf, arcade and theme weekends and daily activities in-season. The campground owners, the Aljets, are always ready with a warm welcome for guests.
Jellystone Park campground at Sioux Falls opens again in April.
The Jellystone Park campground in Sioux Falls has added a number of attractions that are sure to make your South Dakota vacation even more fun. During the past two years, park owner Bruce Aljets has made over $200,000 in improvements including a new cabin, hot tub, patio area, jumping pillow and additional playground. Families will also enjoy the corn maze which opens late summer.
The campground is close to Sioux Falls attractions including Catfish Bay, Falls Park, Wild West Water Park and EROS (Earth Resources Observation Satellite.)