Chicago-Area Jellystone Reverses No-Pop-Up Decision—Sort Of

Chicago-Area Jellystone Reverses No-Pop-Up Decision—Sort Of

A Chicago-area Jellystone campground franchisee reversed its decision to disallow pop-up campers and tents after pressure from the big bear.

The Millbrook Jellystone affiliate cited a “vision of a resort that is exclusive to Travel Trailers, 5th Wheels, Motor Homes, Cabins and Park Models” on February 13, and promptly faced a major social media backlash. Originally, Leisure Systems, the franchisor for Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, said it couldn’t influence the policy of a private franchisee, but a Facebook statement from the Millbrook campground indicates that corporate pressure reversed the policy.

“The franchisor believes that the policy conflicts with the Jellystone Park brand promise of providing families with the opportunity to camp ‘their way’ at locations filled with great amenities, fun activities, and Yogi Bear™,” the post said. “In accordance with their directive, we will be offering a limited number of tent and pop-up camper sites.”

It’s was not made clear why only certain campsites can accommodate a pop-up RV, and we have confirmed that the campground will only be offering three sites for pop-up RVs and tents.

After the initial announcement, many commentors accused the owners of the campground—national mobile home park proprietor Zeman Homes—of classism, saying that the location has had issues with rowdy campers in the past, and is using the value of the RV as a litmus test for the quality of the guest. Other Zeman-owned campgrounds also announced the policy in February, and have not overturned it.

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Jason Epperson

Jason travels the country full-time with his wife Abigail, and three children.

  • Lori McBurney#1

    March 11, 2019

    I don’t see it as a class issue. Why don’t they directly address the problem campers instead of punishing everyone using tents and pop-ups? I think it is easier for people to address a group instead of individuals. You see it in the workplace all the time. Someone habitually trashes the break room and the managers or owners won’t talk to the individual responsible; instead, they put up signs and have meetings taking everyone’s privileges away to punish the few. Sorry, didn’t mean to vent but it is everywhere.


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