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Campground plans to grow

Jellystone has been a sweet switch for Beaver Trails Campground.

The locally owned campground 8 miles each of Austin became a Jellystone park two years ago and has become so popular with campers that it is now planning an expansion.

Jellystone, already one of the largest campsites in Minnesota, continues to increase its number of campers each summer. It has 300 campsites, and manager Tammy Westrich plans to add more cabins.

"We will grow," Westrich said. "The biggest turn-away I get is that we don't have enough cabins. Cabins are the new trend."

The plans also include a mini-golf course, splash park and volleyball court.


Westrich said the park has received an excellence rating from the Jellystone, but "we're excited to keep improving." The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce also awarded the operation its new business of the year award earlier this year.

Kelly Everson and her family have been seasonal campers at Jellystone for nine years, which means they live at the campsite from April 15 to Oct. 18, and commute to work. Jellystone has 125 seasonal campers like the Eversons.

"We have two boys, 12 and 8, and there's so much for the kids to do," Everson said. "We have quite a few friends who are seasonal campers, so it's fun and forces us to have some family time."

The campground features three water slides and a jumping pillow. And even with 300 campsites, which are fully booked on holidays, Everson says it doesn't get too crowded for her family.

"It's kind of fun because they have all of these activities and themes on the weekend. It's fun to see all of the people enjoying things like we do," she said.

Coming up, the campground has events scheduled such as a birthday party for Cindy Bear, Cindy Bear's fanatical chocolate weekend, and a Hawaiian luau complete with a pig roast. There's a themed weekend celebration every weekend until the campground closes for the season in October.

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