Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park – Eureka, MO
My wife and grandson stayed at the Eureka, Missouri, Jellystone Campground May 27-29 in Cottage #11. We had stayed at the Jellystone Campground near Branson the previous year in a cottage to the delight of our grandson. Planning to take him to Six Flags Mid America, we decided to surprise him with another Jellystone experience. The expense was greater for the Six Flags cottage, but that was to be expected due to their location.
Check-in went very well. When we got into the cottage the grandson’s first comment was it was small and not as appealing as Jellystone Branson. Both cottages probably had the same square footage but the one available in Branson has one bedroom with full bed and bunks in one room. It also had a better layout in the kitchen/living areas; but most importantly, it had real furniture, not four plastic chairs stacked against the wall. The second bedroom provided in Eureka is tiny, consisting of the bunks and a small space between them and the wall of the other bedroom. It also has a closet with the fan for the heater below it. That fan is very loud! ( We needed it the first night)
The second night of our stay was warmer and there is no air conditioning in it. The window couldn’t be opened as there was no screen. The bed in the larger bedroom made loud noises any time there was motion due to the material of the bottom of the mattress rubbing against the plastic of the box springs. This may have been unique to our cottage but nevertheless, sleep was a challenge. Management should try sleeping in there. Okay, I now know a person should not assume all Jellystones are the same. From reading the descriptions of facilities and amenities at Eureka, I assumed.
There was a Yogi Train which cost to ride; cute, but not for our nine year old. We were surprised to find a charge of $3.75 per person per mini-golf game. This was free in Branson. We paid, but think for that amount the area should have been cleaner. The pool area was very large and clean. The temperature during our stay was cool but we had a good time at the pool.
One interesting observation was the difficulty large motorhomes or fifth wheel trailers had parking. There are no pull-through sites (I think) so they had to all back in to their spots. This required staff members ask cottage dwellers to move their vehicles. No big deal for us. However, it was a big deal for the cottage next door who were very displeased at having a staff member knock on their door at 7:02 in the morning to tell them to move their vehicle so a fifth wheel could leave. Since they didn’t answer the door quickly, staff then pounded on it to arouse them. Hopefully, they let management know about their displeasure as I have about our situation.
What was our situation? Up to the evening of the 28th all was acceptable, not perfect but acceptable. That evening, as we were at the table playing cards, the plastic chair my wife was sitting upon collapsed. With all the emphasis during check-in about a deposit on the credit card against damage and the note on the kitchen cabinet about the deposit, I was not going to allow management to charge me for a plastic chair. I gathered up the pieces of the chair and took them to the office where I explained to the manager what had occurred. He said he was sorry that had happened and asked if my wife were alright. My response was we would have to see her wrists later.
Again, I made an incorrect assumption that he would show up at our door later that evening to inquire as to the status of my wife. He did not. Then I assumed he would the following morning as he walked past our cabin. He did not. This was unacceptable. At this point all things became annoying. The notice on the kitchen cabinet warns the occupant to allow extra time at check-out for a staff member to check the cottage for damage and unwashed dishes upon which a charge would be assessed. Since the park was so full we allowed 30 minutes. Upon checking out the clerk said we could go. When asked about the delay for inspection or the deposit on the credit card she said not to worry and that there really isn’t a charge levied against the credit card on check-in. Now we had 30 minutes to kill somewhere as we were out of the cottage. Petty comment?–maybe so, but my original attitude about the Campground had greatly changed by now.
What were the consequences for my wife? Both wrists bruised; one had a knot under the skin for ten days; three visits to a chiropractor (so far) and still sitting on a lot of frozen peas. I received no immediate response by email from management, but upon following up as to why I received no response was contacted by the owner/guest services and told of an internet glitch. I do not believe all of my email was reviewed as several of my concerns were not addressed–only hoping that my wife’s wrist was healed and an offer of a $50.00 discount on a future cottage stay which I declined. Of course I realize that they were being careful in their “level one” response as they might have to accept some financial responsibility. Shame on them.
Would I stay at Jellystone again? Certainly not the one at Eureka. I would still recommend the one at Branson. I feel that the tremendous volume of traffic at Eureka due to Six Flags makes management become lax in certain areas as they do not need to depend on repeat business. They had once chance to make a good first impression. They failed.