GLASGOW – Yogi Bear's Jellystone Camp-Resort, Mammoth Cave in Cave City received six top awards, including Camp-Resort of the Year during Leisure Systems, Inc.'s annual symposium in North Charleston, South Carolina earlier this month.
Leisure Systems, Inc. is the franchise for Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.
Winning so many awards came as a surprise for Bill Pott, who owns the camp-resort with his wife, Kay.
“When they call you up on that stage, they need to warn you ahead of time. It's amazingly humbling. You get up there and you can't even speak, let alone think of something to say because it's more than you can honestly be prepared for. It's a tremendous honor and to win so many in one year is just fantastic,” he said.
Pott went on to say that it is their peers who select the award winners.
“They have recognized what we have done to the park and we're so proud to have brought this recognition to Cave City,” he said, adding that he thinks what he and his wife have done to the campground will bring business and tourism to Cave City.
The Potts recently undertook a $10.7 million expansion project at their campground, which included the construction of a 2.3 acre splash beach alongside a manmade pond and a 110 by 130 foot long modular sports park called a Wibit.
The Camp-Resort of the Year Award is the highest honor given to camp-resorts in the franchise with facilities and operations exceeding all of Jellystone Park standards. The award is also based on how well the camp-resorts score on their annual assessments of facilities and operations, and recipients are required to have had strong business growth and implemented sustained improvements, said a press release from the franchise.
The business also received the Facility of the Year Award, which is given to the camp-resort that has made continual improvements over a span of several years.
Earlier this month, the camp-resort was presented with the Park of the Year Award from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
“It's happened once before that the Yogi Park of the Year and the National Park of the Year happened at the same time,” Pott said. “It's a rare event. We're looking to take advantage of that and say, 'People, come to Cave City. See what you are missing. You've got a wonderful national park with Mammoth Cave. You've got Dinosaur World. You've got Kentucky Action Park. You've got canoe liveries. We've got horseback riding. We've got the Bourbon Trail throughout the state. We've got a million things people can do around us to make it a memorable vacation and place to stay.”
Other awards presented to the camp-resort were: the Regional Camp-Resort of the Year Award for the southern region, Pinnacle Club Award and the Recreation Award.
The Pinnacle Award is given to camp-resorts that score 95 percent or higher on their annual assessments of their facilities and operations, the press release said.
The Potts were also presented with the Jim West Spirit Award, which is based on how well camp-resort owners represent the franchise, the camping industry and how well they welcome people to the industry.
“That's one of the awards you never expect to win. It's not something you can shoot for,” Pott said.
Jim West was involved with the franchise during its earliest days, but is now in poor health.
“He hasn't been to the convention in a couple of years. He's a dear friend and he's a saintly man,” Pott said. “It's such an honor to win this award that is named for him. This is probably the most important award to us.”
The franchise was also a nominee for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which is based on revenue growth.
“Our revenue this year was just over $1 million and we were not the highest revenue growth facility of the year,” Pott said. “But we were one of the top three nominees, which is an honor.”