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Planners to discuss Jellystone expansion

November 30, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts near Williamsport is planning a multimillion-dollar expansion that includes a water park, a water slide and additional guest accommodations, according to information included with a Washington County Planning Commission agenda.

The proposed 10-year development plan has gained the backing of two Washington County agencies, according to the information.

A discussion of the proposed plan is expected to take place at the Dec. 6 Planning Commission meeting, at 7 p.m., at 80 W. Baltimore St.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) sent letters to the Washington County Planning Commission in November supporting the multimillion dollar development plan.

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The campsite's development plan includes building a water park and water slide and 485 new guest accommodations, according to a Nov. 10 letter from CVB President and CEO Thomas B. Riford.

Riford said in the letter that the proposed expansion is good news for Washington County.

"The CVB feels that the growth of Jellystone Park will continue to contribute to the local economy with increased employment and spending by guests at Washington County restaurants and retail businesses," Riford wrote. "The CVB believes that the upgraded campground will be a facility that will be the preeminent Camp Resort on the East Coast."

Timothy R. Troxell, executive director of the Economic Development Commission, wrote in an Oct. 21 letter to the Planning Commission that the proposed expansion would create benefits for park guests, the business and the county.

He wrote that the $2.5 million first phase of the project could create 17 new jobs and increase the county's real estate and lodging taxes.

"Further phases would result in increased employment and taxes without creating a need for additional schools or other county infrastructure," Troxell wrote.

"The retention of existing business and attraction of new cultural amenities in Washington County is very important to our agency, and this project appears to help achieve both of those goals," Troxell wrote.

Troxell and Riford wrote that the proposed expansion also includes connecting the entire park to Washington County's sewer system.

Jellystone Park, open year-round, is on 90 acres on Lappans Road - Md. 68 - near Williamsport.

The park features hiking, biking, various types and sizes of cabins, an 18-hole mini-golf course, RV accommodations, volleyball and basketball courts, swimming, horseshoe pits and other amenities, according to its Web site, www.jellystonemaryland.com.

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