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Hurricane-Ravaged Cape Hatteras KOA Reopening

April 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

      For many, vacationing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina is a peaceful respite. The beautiful coastline unfolds hundreds of miles of natural beaches and sand dunes covered with sea oats dancing in the coastal breeze.

Cape Hatteras Kampgrounds of America (KOA), located on Hatteras Island, offers premier camping in the midst of such paradise. To the east, the Atlantic Ocean laps the sandy beaches, holding a treasure trove of sea shells and offering bountiful fishing. To the west, the vast shallow bay of the Pamlico Sound courts water sports enthusiasts from around the continent for some of the best kite boarding and wind surfing around, according to a written announcement from KOA.

One of only a handful of resorts in the KOA system, Cape Hatteras KOA was nearly destroyed in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc across much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States. Following an extensive rebuilding process, the campground reopened as an inclusive vacation destination with a variety of accommodations unique to the KOA system.

Elevated Deluxe Cabins offer ocean views and come furnished with linens and kitchen supplies, and a new main building houses a store, café, and, on the third floor, Vacation Suites that rival resort hotel accommodations. These suites overlook the pool, with views of the ocean, or the sound, where sunsets are legendary.

Where once the wreckage of a modest pool sat, an Olympic-sized pool has been constructed, featuring a zero entry area, lap lanes, two water slides, and hot tub. Campground guests have full access to all the campground’s amenities, including the pool, hot tub, on-site recreation, mini golf, jumping pillow, Wi-Fi, cable TV, meeting space, and more.

To unveil this resort facility, Cape Hatteras KOA is hosting a grand reopening for the public on May 1–4. Open house tours begin at noon Thursday and continue through the weekend.

The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m., followed by a pig roast. Friday, May 2. Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers, who was featured on the hit CBS series “Undercover Boss,” will be present for the ribbon cutting, and guests will receive a free kite to fly during the ceremony.

The public is invited to tour the facility and take part in activities and entertainment. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and proceeds from pancake breakfasts and poolside BBQ go toward KOA Care Camps. This charitable organization sends children with cancer to specialized summer camps throughout North America.

Ongoing campground activities provided by KOA’s recreation specialists, the Summershiners, include fun train tours, tie-dye, games, theater, pirate parades, and more held throughout the weekend.

KOA is proud to take part in the revitalization of the Outer Banks following the relentless weather of the past several years. The property was under construction the entire year of 2012, delayed numerous times by weather including two hurricanes and a large nor’easter that blocked entrance to the island and washed away the ocean’s dunes. The bulk of construction wrapped Memorial Day 2013, but improvements continue to be made to the property.

During a recent meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, Chairman Warren Judge thanked KOA for making this investment in Hatteras Island and for moving quickly after Hurricane Irene.

“This project is a good sign of life coming back to the area,” Judge said, noting that campgrounds are well-used on Hatteras Island because people can camp at a reasonable price.

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KOA Partnering With AGS to Market ‘Value Card’

April 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) has partnered with AGS Publishing on a new program for KOA Value Card holders.

According to a press release, AGS will look to introduce KOA customers/Value Kard holders to special offers available to them through merchants that support KOA guest guide publications facilitated by AGS.

“I was thrilled that KOA would seek our partnership on this program, which is very similar to an innovative program we rolled out a couple of years ago called GoodDealsHere.com,” said Brian Schaeffer, president of AGS. “We have been hooking up consumers to supporting park merchants all over the U.S. and Canada through our online app – Good Deals Here – for the last couple of years so physically adding the KOA Value Card to what we are already doing will be an easy transition at the KOA parks we service.”

Schaeffer concluded, “It is a joy to work with KOA and Lorne Armer (vice president of marketing for KOA) as their marketing efforts are very forward looking and align nicely with our outside-of-the-box thinking. These types of programs have resulted in dozens of parks in just the last year switching their guest guide/site map marketing to AGS.”

For more information, call Michael Moore at (877) 518-1989.

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KOA, Lazydays Building a Partnership in Tucson

January 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) recent purchase of the Lazydays campground in Tucson, Ariz., for $4.35 million is proving to be a beneficial partnership, according to a report by the Arizona Daily Star.

Lazydays RV will continue to operate its Tucson dealership and service center while the two companies will work together to promote both businesses.

“It’s a marriage that works well for both of us,” said Randy Lay, CFO for Lazydays. “KOA has a broad network of campgrounds, and our customer bases are very similar.”

Lay said Lazydays thought the campground should be run by the “best of the best” so it could focus on the dealership and service center.

“It’s two separate companies working side by side,” said Jeff Gooch, general manager of KOA Tucson. “Our goal is to improve the park. KOA is about kids, so we’ll probably get a playground with a swing set and stuff for the kids to do.”

The campground has about 400 spaces on more than 43 acres. Citrus trees — more than 400 of them — cover the property. The fruit is free for the taking by campers. “They get to pick all the fruit they can possibly eat,” Gooch said.

The property includes a convention center, workout room, laundry facility, RV storage facility, two swimming pools, putting green, games such as horseshoes, on-site restaurant and bar, and a store with sundries. For campers with dogs, there is a dog park for large and small dogs.

“It’s a great park,” Gooch said. “We have a little bit of everything here.”

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KOA Recognizes 9 ‘Top Service’ Campgrounds

November 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) honored nine campgrounds during its Austin, Texas International Convention Friday (Nov. 22) for receiving top service scores from campers in 2013.

The nine campgrounds received a “Net Promoter Score” (NPS) of at least 90 from campers. Each year, KOA surveys more than 200,000 camping guests shortly after their stays, asking each if they would recommend that particular KOA to others.

Campgrounds honored for the top scores were:

• Filmore, Utah, KOA, David and Corinne Lewis, owners.

• Montpelier Creek, Idaho, KOA, Stuart and Kathleen Marshall, owners.

• Ozark/Fort Rucker, Ala., KOA, William and Lori Hemmis, owners.

• Durant/Choctaw Casino, Okla., KOA, Charlie Tyree, manager.

• Greybull, Wyo., KOA, Cornelis and MaRia Bijvank, owners.

• Pueblo South/Colorado City, Colo., KOA, Tim and Elena Johnson, owners.

• Oroville/Feather Falls Casino, Calif., KOA, Eric Smith, manager.

• Mt. Lassen/Shingletown, Calif., KOA, Charles and Rosemary Butzine, owners.

• Wapakoneta, Ohio, KOA, John and Debbie Schuettler, owners.

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Ventura Ranch Named KOA’s 2014 ‘Rising Star’

November 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

With two ziplines, a climbing wall, many deluxe cabins and a soon-to-be-opened resort swimming pool, the Ventura Ranch, California KOA was a natural selection as Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) 2014 Rising Star Award winner, according to KOA.

The KOA Rising Star Award is presented to a campground owner who has been in the KOA North American system for less than five years, and in that short time has exhibited all of the traits of a seasoned campground professional.

The Ventura Ranch KOA, owned by business partners Scott Cory and Steven Bitter, has quickly become a jewel of the 486-campground KOA system. It was one of the featured campgrounds in the KOA episode of “Undercover Boss€” on CBS in January, 2013.

Cory has been referred to as the “€œWalt Disney of Camping” for his vision when it comes to planning and executing new campground features.

The 75-acre campground is surrounded by fragrant lemon orchards, and also features a jumping pillow, a creek with “Bigfoot’€™s Watering Hole,” a pedal car racetrack and miles of nature trails. There’s even a flock of wild peacocks that call the campground home.

“€œIt’€™s so important that we listen to our guests,” Cory said in explaining Ventura Ranch KOA’€™s success. “€œThey will tell us what they like and don’€™t like, and we’€™ll build upon those comments.” Cory said KOA’€™s system of gathering camper feedback is crucial to his success as an owner.

“€œThis award is so well deserved by Scott and Steve,” said KOA President Pat Hittmeier. “€œThey are constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to what campers will see next. They’ve taken what was a campground in disrepair and turned it into a thriving business.”

KOA is celebrating its 51st Anniversary in 2013. KOA, the world’s largest network of family-friendly campgrounds with 486 locations in North America, was born on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana in 1962.

 

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KOA Reports Increase on Labor Day Weekend

September 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) continued its summer string of holiday successes over the Labor Day Weekend, posting a 4.5% increase in short-term camper nights compared to Labor Day Weekend last year.

According to a press release, the big Labor Day camper turnout brought KOA’s overall 2013 camping numbers to 3% over year-to-date performance in 2012.

“Camping numbers have been positive throughout the summer,” said KOA President Pat Hittmeier. “We’ve seen positive growth in every section of the country. Fuel prices have been stable, and the weather really cooperated this year to give our campers the maximum amount of enjoyment from their KOA camping lifestyles.”

The positive trend doesn’t show any signs of abating. Advanced reservations for the final week of KOA’s summer “peak season,” which runs through Sept. 8, remain strong at 8.6% over last year. Reservations for KOA’s Value Kard Rewards Appreciation Weekend Sept. 13-14 are running 18.8% ahead of the same period in 2012.

Members of KOAs Value Kard Rewards Program receive a free night of camping on Sept. 14 when they stay as paying guests on Sept. 13.

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Jim Rogers to Present at RVDA Annual Meeting

August 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

KOA's Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers, CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), will share with dealers the first comprehensive look at actual 2013 North American RV camping results and offer insights KOA has for future RV camping trends when he presents “A Campground Outlook” during the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Annual Meeting on Oct. 3 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. According to a press release, the annual meeting is held in conjunction with the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Sept. 30-Oct. 4.

Armed with KOA’s exclusive real-time data from 500 campgrounds across the U.S and Canada, Rogers will provide attendees with perspectives on the evolving needs and habits of America’s campers as well as explain how dealers can benefit from the emerging destination camping market.

“Jim is a dynamic industry leader who has championed a proactive feedback and knowledge-driven outdoor hospitality approach to meeting the wants and needs of camper guests,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia.  “He has a passion for RV travel and the outdoors, and we are delighted he will be sharing his knowledge with us at the annual meeting.”

KOA and Rogers will also be involved in a new initiative at this year’s convention, sponsoring RVDA’s programs for young RV executives. KOA will host a young executives networking reception on Oct. 2, and Rogers will deliver a special workshop on Oct. 3, titled “Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” There will be track workshops designated for young RV executives in all time slots on Wednesday and Thursday.

Rogers, who was featured earlier this year in the CBS reality series “Undercover Boss,” has been at the helm of KOA – the world’s largest system of family friendly campgrounds – for the past 12 years. The company, born in Billings, Mont., in 1962, is still headquartered near that first campground location and now has 489 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

The convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada, and the RV Learning Center.

The 2013 convention will also feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top suppliers offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in partnership or sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to Julie Newhouse at jnewhouse@rvda.org.  To register and find more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

 

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KOA Debuts Interactive ‘Greater Outdoors’ Blog

August 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

KOA's 'The Greater Outdoors' blog

Campers now have a new online “home base” for everything they need to know to enhance their outdoor lifestyle.

Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s (KOA) new blog, “The Greater Outdoors,” brings together multiple tools, the very latest information on everything happening outdoors, easy-to-prepare recipes, new product reviews and news of the latest additions to the KOA family of campgrounds, according to a news release.

“We’ve always tried to provide our campers with the best camping information possible via our KOA Kompass website and monthly email newsletters, but we feel The Greater Outdoors blog takes things to a different level,” said Toby Hedges, KOA’s vice president of marketing. “The new blog will be much more dynamic, with fresh content pouring in continuously, instead of just once a month. We think campers will want to check back often to keep up with the latest in RV tips and tricks from our experts, fun and easy camping recipes and also interact with us and each other.”

The Greater Outdoors blog is designed to serve as an “online community” for campers to comment on articles and share their own ideas with other campers.

There will also be multiple entertaining contests and giveaways to enhance campers’ experience on the blog.

Another new feature on KOA’s The Greater Outdoors blog is “Campstagram,” a photo sharing feature linked to the popular online application Instagram. Campers simply “hashtag” their KOA camping photos with #koa or #kamping and the photos will automatically be fed to a rolling display on The Greater Outdoors blog.

“It’s another fun way for KOA to interact with campers, and for campers to share the fun with each other,” Hedges said.

To access KOA’s The Greater Outdoors blog, visit www.koa.blog.com.

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KOA-Sponsored Family Completes 50-State Trek

August 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Martin family took a cross-country trek

When Randy Martin, wife Heidi and kids Kristi and Kyle decided they needed a break from their lives in West Palm Beach, Fla,, they decided to not just go halfway.

The Martin Family, sponsored along the way by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), recently completed a 13-month, 67,000-mile trip through all 50 states, according to a news release.

The family is scheduled to appear on NBC’s “Today Show” Thursday morning (Aug. 22) between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. EST. The special segment was taped last week at the West Palm Beach/Lion Country Safari KOA Campground in Florida.

“I wanted to visit all 50 states so that my children had the opportunity to experience what’s best about the U.S.,” said Randy, the CFO for The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach. “Our trip across America allowed us to bond as a family and meet many new friends while learning about American history and culture.”

The Martins said the trip likely wouldn’t have been possible without the support of sponsors like KOA.

“Thanks to Kampgrounds of America for supporting ‘thatTripUSA’ and for many comfortable nights and friendly, smiling faces at, by far, the best campgrounds in America,” Martin said.

The family blogged about their adventures and managed to maintain a complete website about the trip during their travels. yo learn about the Martin’s adventure visit www.thattripUSA.com.

For more information on Kampgrounds of America, or to plan your next KOA adventure, go to www.KOA.com.

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KOA Will Sponsor Campground at RVIA Show

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last year's California RV Show

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has announced that Kampgrounds of America (KOA) will sponsor the mock campground entrance at the 61st Annual California RV Show and that KOA CEO Jim Rogers will be a featured speaker at the event.

According to a press release, the mock campground was very popular with attendees and guests after being unveiled as the main entry point at last year’s show. Show attendees walk through the exhibit to see RVs in a campground setting before moving on to the main exhibition areas.

This year’s mock campground will cover 15,000 square feet of exhibit space and feature 10 RV products, including two Fleetwood Class A motorhomes, two Tiffin Class A motorhomes, a Winnebago Class A motorhome, a Thor type A motorhome, two Columbia Northwest folding camping trailers, and a Pleasure-Way Class B motorhome.

KOA will also have one of its Deluxe Cabins on display for attendees to visit. The 40-foot unit built by Cavco features an upstairs sleeping loft, flat screen TVs, queen bed suite, full bath and full kitchen. KOA staff will be on hand to answer questions and help make reservations.

“We are delighted to be part of the California RV Show,” said Scott Corey, owner of the Ventura Ranch KOA. “Our cabins and teepees have been a huge hit with campers at our campground. The Deluxe Cabin that will be on display is a great example of ‘glamping.’ Attendees will see that they can enjoy a great outdoor vacation even if they don’t own an RV and be introduced to the RV and camping lifestyle.”

KOA CEO Jim Rogers will be at the show on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. in the Seminar Tent to review the exciting things KOA is doing nationwide, discuss his appearance on the popular CBS program Undercover Boss, and meet and greet show attendees.

The 61st Annual California RV Show will take place at The Fairplex in Pomona, CA from Oct. 11 – 20, 2013. For more information visit www.TheBestRVShow.com or contact Tom Gaither, RVIA’s western whow director at (818) 248-6600 or tgaither@rvia.org.

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