Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) has again teamed with Keystone RV Co. to offer campers a chance to win a $40,000 Keystone Cougar RV plus a decade of free KOA camping.
According to a press release, the 2013 Great KOA Giveaway kicked off today (March 1) and offers campers several ways to enter to win the grand prize, as well as weekly prizes from KOA and fellow sponsors Cabela’s and Weber Grills.
There are several ways to enter the contest, including on both KOA’s and Keystone’s Facebook pages. Campers can also enter via KOA’s website at www.KOA.com or from KOA’s monthly e-newsletter, KOA Kompass. Campers can earn more entries by playing a quick, fun game called Mountain Match. The game can be accessed through both the KOA Facebook page, KOA Kompass and KOA.com.
KOA Value Kard Rewards members will also automatically receive an extra five chances to win for each night they book a stay at a KOA campground between March 1 and Sept. 16.
For more information on the 2013 Great KOA Giveaway, go to www.KOA.com or find KOA Kampgrounds Inc. on Facebook.
The KOA Campground in Fayetteville, N.C., is hosting some special campers.
Woodall’s Campground Management reported that six Prevost buses housing staff and professional wrestlers from the WWE arrived at the campground on Wednesday (Dec. 7) in preparation for WWE’s “Tribute to the Troops” scheduled for Sunday (Dec. 11) at Fort Bragg located 16 miles away.
The buses are camped at the entrance to the park, which underwent a major expansion last year. The campers pretty much keep to themselves, said Tom Dreyer, campground manager, adding, “I have no clue who they are.”
While he is unaware of his guests’ actual identities, there no secret about who the performers will be. Grammy Award winning R&B sensation Mary J. Blige, comedian George Wallace, Extra’s Maria Menounos and Multi-platinum rock band Nickelback (whose song is used for the RAW theme) are all scheduled to appear in the four-hour-long show.
The special will also include messages of encouragement and thanks from various celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Jackman, The Muppets, Robin Williams, Bradley Cooper and Nicole Kidman among others
A 90-minute edited version of the entire performance will air on television on Dec. 14.
WWE Tribute to the Troops is an annual event held by WWE together with Armed Forces Entertainment in December as a way of honoring the men and women of the United States armed forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Music City Coaches in Nashville handles the transportation for WWE.
Dreyer said he had little warning of the special visitors. He saw the reservation Tuesday night and noticed that six Prevosts were scheduled to arrive. He got suspicious and quickly concluded it was someone important.
They are certainly a source of curiosity among his other campers.
The bus caravan will head to Fort Bragg on Saturday, Dreyer said.
People still want to have toys, even in a rough economy.
Those pearls of wisdom are from Kathy Chowning, an owner-operator at RV Sales in Moriarty, N. M., which has sold more Excel fifth-wheels than any other dealer in the nation since 2001. Her parents started an RV business in 1967 and Chowning began her own company in this city east of Albuquerque in 1982, according to the Mountain View Telegraph.
“We have a strong customer base,” she said. “When they want something they come back to us”
She also pointed out that KOA campgrounds, national parks and the like were booming this summer. Last summer, when gas prices were far higher, there was less traffic at these sites, she said.
“It’s important to America to go out and see America and take your home with you,” she said. “It’s real hard for people to give up their toys.”
Even still, Chowning hasn’t sailed through the recession without any trouble. It used to be that the RV industry took “the cream of the crop when it came to doing loans.” That meant financing with good interest rates.
Now that source for loans has virtually dried up and credit unions have stepped in. Loans are anywhere from 7% to 14%, depending on the amount borrowed, but she said she had one come in at just under 4%.
Still, it’s a diminished market due in part to the reluctance of creditors to lend money, Chowning said.
“We’re all trying to get a little bit of a share of what is out there and is available,” she said. “All of us need to remain positive.”
Chowning called the pattern of recession a vicious cycle, one that’s hard to get out of when businesses are overly cautious.
“If we all wait around to see what the economy does, then the economy will do nothing,” she said. “You’ve got to keep it going to get it going and you’ve got to get it going to keep it going.”
Jill DeTemple, an assistant at RV Sales, said the company has seen a lot of first-time buyers, people who come in with nothing to trade in. She added that business picked up in the spring. DeTemple has been with the company for five years and called it an “honest, fair, family business.”
The company also holds a community event each Halloween, the annual Trailer-to-Trailer Fall Costume and Candy Festival.
The company collects donations from local businesses and from attendees to pay for the cost of putting on the event, which allows kids to trick-or-treat in the safety of the RV park. There is often a haunted house on the back of a semi-truck near the circle of trailers. It also collects canned goods or donations for the Bethel Storehouse.
That money is often used for holiday goodies for less fortunate families, she pointed out.
“It fills (Bethel’s) coffers right before Thanksgiving,” she said.
Usually the Chownings break even on their own costs, but last year they came about $1,000 short of the more than $4,000 they spent on the event. Chowning said she’s sending out “feelers” early on this year to make sure that they don’t end up in the red again.
If there is not enough support, she said they may end up revamping the way they do the annual event, now going on its 16th year running.
“I think I’m in panic mode,” she said. “We’re asking the community to back us up on this. We can’t lose money on things like this.”