2014-06-24 / Front Page

Hickory Hills Joins Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts

Freedom Fest 2014 Is Set For July 4th & 5th
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


Vickie Maxey, owner and operator of Hickory Hills Campground, along with her daughter, Gabrielle Teter, are preparing for several new upgrades to the newest addition to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park network. (Staff Photo) Vickie Maxey, owner and operator of Hickory Hills Campground, along with her daughter, Gabrielle Teter, are preparing for several new upgrades to the newest addition to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park network. (Staff Photo) The newest addition to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort franchise is nestled right here in Owen County, just off of U.S. 231 North between Spencer and Cloverdale.

Looking to take the business to the “next level,” owner and operator Vickie Maxey of Hickory Hills Campground says she began touring several larger camp stores and attended trade meetings in the fall of 2013, including one at Jellystone Park at Barton Lake in Freemont, Indiana.

“We had no interest in a franchise park of any kind at that time. That quickly changed once we saw the park, met the owners and attended a training session with Leisure Systems, Inc., the owners of the Jellystone Park franchise. The layout, development and management made perfect sense to us and the park was beautiful,” she explained. “That day last fall led to several months of research and interviewing. We decided to join the franchise in the spring, and it was a decision that was not made lightly. We have been family-owned and operated for 40 years. It always felt like we were performing without a safety net, so to speak. There is so much changing in the industry and family-owned camp resorts are becoming more rare.”

Hickory Hills will undergo extensive improvements and upgrades throughout 2014, with more to come in 2015.

“We hope that name recognition (Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park) brings the same success to our park as it has to numerous other parks across the nation,” Maxey said. “The franchise name carries with it an expectation of certain quality standards, as well as recreational amenities. With the franchise decision, a long-term plan of expansion and development is included. We will be adding more lots, an in-ground pool, miniature golf, laser tag, disc golf and other family oriented activities. Our social program will expand and include themed weekends, such as ‘Chocolate Lovers Weekend’ or ‘Dinosaur Expedition Weekend.”

The campground will again host its annual Freedom Fest on Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5, with the event to feature live music, a zip line, helicopter rides, a corn hole tournament, a mechanical bull, local artisans such as a chain saw carver, games and professional fireworks by Circle City Pyrotechnics at dusk on Saturday.

The event is open to the public at a cost of $10 per car, with gates opening at 1:00 p.m. each day.

“As we grow, we will still remain a family-owned business with small town values. We will strive to provide a clean, safe and fun, family based atmosphere,” Maxey added. “We will still host not-forprofit getaways for the local youth groups. Hopefully we will team with other tourist based companies in the county to provide a strong draw for outside visitors. This community has a lot to offer when we work together.”

Hickory Hills Campground is located west of U.S. 231N on South Cataract Road. Drive west to Hickory Road, then north about one mile to the campground on Dixie Hill Road. For more information, call 765-795- 6079 or visit www.hickoryhillscamp.com.

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