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KOA: Campground Sales Activity is Increasing

June 26, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

KOA's Chris Fairlee

Editor’s Note: The following news release comes from Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).

Purchasing a campground is a huge decision. Each year, dozens of families throughout North America “make the leap” and purchase their very own KOA campground.

At the other end of that purchase is another family – the current KOA owners – who have owned and nurtured the campground for years, even decades, before deciding it was time to sell.

Kampgrounds of America does everything it can to make the transition as easy as possible for both of those families.

“Our sales department works very hard to find new owners for existing KOAs and make sure they are ready to take over when a current owner decides it’s time to sell,” said Chris Fairlee, vice president of sales and conversions for Kampgrounds of America Inc.

“We hold Buyer’s Workshops at various locations around the country each year that answer prospective owner’s questions, and give them a clear view of what it takes to own and operate a KOA campground,” Fairlee said. “The workshops start new potential owners down the road to ownership. It’s our goal to make both the buyer and the seller happy with their decision.”

Fairlee said there are several similar workshops held each year by independent campground brokers, but none can match the level of detail provided to buyers thinking about a KOA purchase.

“We don’t have to guess at how the season is going for our campgrounds on the local, state or regional level,” Fairlee said. “We have that data at our fingertips.”

So far in 2013, the efforts of Fairlee and his team are working.

“We have closings set for five KOA campgrounds for this summer alone,” Fairlee said. “By the end of August, we will have re-sold as many KOAs as we did in all of 2012.”

He said the recent KOA Buyer’s Workshop in Nashville, Tenn., was one of the most successful in KOA’s 51-year history.

“Buyers are usually pretty serious about it by the time they come to our workshop,” he said. “One participant was a college professor who is currently working overseas. He flew in from Abu Dhabi specifically for our workshop and is now purchasing his first KOA.”

Fairlee said a recent increase in sales activity is being driven by the availability of credit by banks and SBA loans, and increased public exposure for camping, such as KOA’s recent episode of “Undercover Boss” on CBS.

“Traffic to our Own A KOA website (www.ownakoa.com) went up 930% in the week that the ‘Undercover Boss’ episode aired in January,” he said. “We’ve had more than 500 inquiries for more information from potential new owners so far in 2013.”

Fairlee said new KOA owners often tell him the effort KOA makes to find new owners is a big reason they purchased a KOA franchise.

“They like to know that we are going to do everything we can to help them when the time comes to sell their KOA,” he said. “They view it as if it’s an insurance policy for their new business.”

Along with the www.ownakoa.com website, KOA supports new franchisees with its huge www.KOA.comwebsite (the most popular camping website in North America), and consumer-based marketing such as its KOA Kompass e-newsletter and nearly a million distributed copies of the annual KOA Directory.

At the forefront of KOA’s sales efforts is Cecil Pegram, who has more than 20 years experience matching existing KOA campgrounds with new owners.

Pegram often works with potential new owners for five years or more before they are ready to purchase a property.

“Cecil takes the long view,” Fairlee said. “We have a vested interest in getting just the right owner into just the right KOA. We don’t disappear after we’ve sold you the property. You will continue your partnership all down the line with KOA.”

“The KOA system only wants great, quality owners taking over at our campgrounds,” he said. “That’s because we know that they are going to be a part of the KOA family for the long haul.”

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Entries in ‘Great KOA Giveaway’ Top 3 Million

June 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

More than 3 million total entries have been received thus far for the “2013 Great KOA Giveaway Contest.” According to a press release, the contest is sponsored by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) and Keystone RV Co.

One lucky entrant will win a new Keystone Cougar RV and a decade of free KOA camping when the grand prizewinner is selected in October. The contest, which began in March, also includes weekly prizes of free weekends of KOA camping, portable grills from Weber Grills, and Cabela’s gift certificates.

“We designed this summer’s contest to entice campers to keep coming back and registering to win each week,” said Mike Gast, KOA’s vice president of communications. “We’ve already seen 105,000 unique e-mail entries, and 3.1 million overall entries, and we still have four more months to go.”

The grand prize – a $40,000 Keystone Cougar RV provided by Keystone RV Co., and a decade of free KOA camping – will be awarded by KOA CEO Jim Rogers during the California RV Show in Pomona on Oct. 12.

“The huge number of entries in our Great KOA Giveaway contest reflects the public’s increasing interest in camping and RVing,” Gast said. “RV manufacturers, including our partners at Keystone RV Co., are reporting a strong increase in the sales of new recreational vehicles, and advanced reservations for the summer at KOAs across North America are more than 13% higher than the same period last year.”

To enter the 2013 Great KOA Giveaway, go to www.KOA.com or http://bit.ly/GreatKOAGiveaway.

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KOA’s Rogers’ Undercover Boss Show to Reair

June 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

If you missed the escapades of Kampgrounds of America CEO Jim Rogers on a CBS airing of “Undercover Boss” last January, you’ll have another chance to see him in action when the episode reairs on June 21 at 7 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones, and at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

According to a press release, the rebroadcast was initially scheduled for June 7, but was removed from the schedule for that date by CBS on June 6.

The original showing of the KOA “Undercover Boss” episode in January easily “won the night,” ranking first in households watching; first in actual viewers; and first among both adults in the 25-54 age group and the 18-49 age group.

Ratings for the episode were up 20% over the “Undercover Boss” episode that aired the previous week. The KOA episode was the third-most-watched episode of the 12 shows in the award-winning reality show’s recently concluded fourth season.

“Undercover Boss was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to both receive totally unfiltered feedback from employees and our franchisee partners, as well as promote KOAs new Deluxe Cabins, destination attractions, KOA Care Camps, and outstanding guest service to over 9 million viewers,” Rogers said. “We showed North America the great diversity of KOA’s outdoor hospitality.”

The show also provided a bump for KOA.

Reservations across the 485-campground KOA system were up 17% for the weekend of Jan. 11-13, compared to the same weekend last year, and reserved nights at the four KOA properties featured in the episode were up 169% over last year.

KOA’s popular KOA.com website also benefited, with a 128% increase in visits versus the same weekend last year. The initial showing of the “Undercover Boss” episode also set records on KOA’s mobile website, which saw an increase in site visits of 391% over the same weekend in 2012, and an increase in total visitors of 1,218%.

“The effects of our participation in the show will be felt by KOA and our industry for a long, long time,” said Rogers. “You just can’t buy that kind of exposure for your brand.”

 

 

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Trend: Americans Plan Road Trips for Summer

June 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Scrape the bugs off your windshield and check your radiator coolant because the next few months are stacking up to be one of the top summers for road trips in years.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, with consumer confidence up, fuel prices down and frustration over airline fees growing, Americans are expected to hit the road in big numbers over the next few months, rolling to such hot spots as Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

Travel experts and surveys conducted in the last few weeks point to a season of busy freeways and crowded roadside attractions.

Three in four summer travelers said they would be taking a trip by car, up from 70% who said they planned to drive last summer, according to a survey of more than 1,200 Americans taken by the travel website TripAdvisor.

A survey by the travel website Expedia found that 14% of travelers said they were more likely to take a summer road trip this year than last year because of an improving economy.

“I think we are going to see a little more of those longer trips,” said Jim Rogers, chief executive of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), a Montana-based franchise with more than 400 campgrounds throughout North America. “It’s not going to be just the weekend trips.”

Summer reservations at KOA campgrounds across the country are up 14% compared with the same period last year, and Rogers attributes the rise to declining fuel prices and rising confidence in the economy.

“It’s not going to be a tsunami or a tidal wave, but it will be a definite wave,” he said of the road-trip trend.

To read the entire article click here.

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KOA: Father’s Day Weekend Bookings Up 4.1%

June 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Fathers and their families throughout North America went camping at Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) locations in increased numbers last weekend, according to figures released by KOA today (June 18).

KOA said camper nights across the 485-campground KOA system in North America were up 4.1% this Father’s Day Weekend, compared to Father’s Day Weekend in 2012, the company announced in a press release.

“Our offer that kids stay free at participating KOAs during Father’s Day Weekend resonated with campers,” said KOA Vice President of Marketing Toby Hedges. “Campers know that there are few things that compare to camping when it comes to spending quality time with your children.”

The 2013 Father’s Day Weekend results continued the trend of strong holiday camping numbers at KOAs this year. Advanced reservations for the Fourth of July holiday are up 13.2%, and total peak season reservations (Memorial Day through Labor Day) are up 9.2% over the same period in 2012.

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Bakers Bump KOA’s ‘Undercover Boss’ Episode

June 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

CBS has decided not to immediately re-air the KOA “Undercover Boss” episode featuring  Jim Rogers, CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), which was scheduled to air tonight (June 7).

Programmers at CBS decided at the last minute to air an episode of American Baking Competition instead, KOA stated in a news release.

The producer of “Undercover Boss” said that the KOA episode will still air at a later date, yet to be determined.

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KOA Rebrands; Identifying Three New Segments

June 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Billings, Mont., KOA Campground will become the Billings KOA Holiday Campground tomorrow (June 7), according to a press release.

The change is the beginning of a new brand structure for the 51-year-old iconic North American camping company. KOA said that three new brand segments will better identify the specific offerings of its 485 campgrounds for the millions of North American camping families that use KOA each year.

Over the next few years, KOA campgrounds across North America will be rebranded as either a KOA Journey, KOA Holiday or KOA Resort campground.

“Segmenting our famous KOA brand in this way will help our campers select just the KOA they need for their next trip,” said KOA’s Vice President of Marketing Toby Hedges. “Each KOA is unique, but each Journey, Holiday and Resort KOA will have amenities and services in common that will make it easier for campers to find just the right campground. KOA began 51 years ago right here in Billings, so it’s only right that we should begin this new chapter for KOA at the Billings KOA Holiday.”

The three brands designate:

• KOA Journey Campgrounds are identified as being convenient to major highways, include long pull-through sites and provide a relaxing overnight oasis for travelers.

• KOA Holiday Campgrounds, such as the Billings KOA Holiday, are great base camps to explore the area and include family activities and additional amenities to make these facilities great getaways for short vacations. They will also all feature KOA Deluxe Cabins, which include full bathrooms and kitchens.

• KOA Resorts will offer campers a true resort-style vacation with luxurious pools, patio RV sites, Deluxe Cabin linen service and a specially trained activities and recreation staff.

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‘Undercover Boss’ With KOA’s Rogers to Re-air

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Rogers as Tim Bickford

The CBS episode for “Undercover Boss” featuring Kampgrounds of America (KOA) CEO Jim Rogers will re-air on June 7 at 7 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones, and 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

According to a press release, the initial showing of the KOA “Undercover Boss” episode on Jan. 11 easily “won the night,” ranking first in households watching; first in actual viewers; and first among both adults in the 25-54 age group and the 18-49 age group.

Ratings for the episode were up 20% over the “Undercover Boss” episode that aired the previous week. The KOA episode was the third-most-watched episode of the 12 shows in the award-winning reality show’s recently concluded fourth season.

“Undercover Boss was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to both receive totally unfiltered feedback from employees and our franchisee partners, as well as promote KOAs new Deluxe Cabins, destination attractions, KOA Care Camps, and outstanding guest service to over 9 million viewers,” Rogers said. “We showed North America the great diversity of KOA’s outdoor hospitality.”

The show also provided a bump for KOA.

Reservations across the 485-campground KOA system were up 17% for the weekend of Jan. 11-13, compared to the same weekend last year, and reserved nights at the four KOA properties featured in the episode were up 169% over last year.

KOA’s website also benefited, with a 128% increase in visits versus the same weekend last year. The initial showing of the “Undercover Boss” episode also set records on KOA’s mobile website, which saw an increase in site visits of 391% over the same weekend in 2012, and an increase in total visitors of 1,218.

“The effects of our participation in the show will be felt by KOA and our industry for a long, long time,” said Rogers. “You just can’t buy that kind of exposure for your brand.”

 

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KOA Reports Fast Start for Summer’s Bookings

May 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

 

KOA reports a good increase in campground reservations for this season.

Summer camping at the 485 Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) locations around North America is off to a fast start, according to numbers released this week by KOA, the world’s largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds.

KOA’s advanced registrations for the Memorial Day Weekend are up more than 4% over the same period in 2012. Advanced reservations for the entire summer peak season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) are even stronger, showing an increase of 8% for that period compared to 2012.

“The 12-day period surrounding the Fourth of July holiday is actually up more than 14% over that same period in 2012,” said KOA President Pat Hittmeier. “All indicators show a strong summer camping season on the way.”

According to a recent survey by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), an estimated 14 million Americans will enjoy the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend in an RV. The survey also said 71% of RV owners intend to use their recreational vehicles more this summer than they did last year, and an additional 21% intend to use their RVs at least as much as they did in 2012. Only 5% reported that they intend to decrease their camping.

Kampgrounds of America officially launched its summer camping season with its 10th Annual KOA Care Camps Big Weekend May 10-11. More than 12,000 KOA camping families stayed more than 25,000 camping nights during the event. Campers who stayed as paying guests on Friday, May 10 received a free night of camping on Saturday, May 11. The event also serves as a major fundraiser for KOA Care Camps for children with cancer, a network of 55 specialized summer camps for children with cancer located throughout North America.

 

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KOA’s Rogers Resumes Northern Indiana Tour

May 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

KOA’s Jim Rogers during keynote presentation at “RV Power Breakfast’

Jim Rogers, CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), continues his visit to Northern Indiana today (May 10) and through the weekend with appearances at the KOA campground in Middlebury.

Woodall’s Campground Management reported that Rogers, who was the keynote speaker Thursday at the inaugural “RV Power Breakfast” held at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, will be speaking tonight at the Middlebury KOA, owned by Hope Perkins.

Perkins was in the audience of 400 people who attended the Power Breakfast, sponsored by RVBusiness magazine, sister publication to Woodall’s Campground Management.

At the breakfast, Rogers touted KOA’s Care Camps Big Weekend which starts today and runs through Sunday, Mother’s Day. The program raises funds to pay for camping experiences for children with cancer.

The Middlebury KOA has a full agenda this weekend:

Friday, May 10

• All mothers will receive a free carnation when they arrive, to honor them for Mother’s Day Weekend.

• Friday evening, there will be an ice cream social hosted by Rogers. Campers will hear about the work at KOA Care Camps, and then have a chance to view the KOA episode of “Undercover Boss” and get “the scoop” about the show from Rogers.

Saturday, May 11

• From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a vendor and craft fair, with everything from baked goods to temporary tattoos, local craft and “buzz cuts.” All vendor booth fees and auction items will be donated to KOA Care Camps.

• At 10 a.m., there will be crafts for the kids, including tie-dying T-shirts.

• From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a live radio broadcast.

• At 11 a.m., there will be a fishing tournament.

• At 4 p.m., campers can sign up for their bid paddles for the silent auction.

• At 4:30 p.m., there will be a Haystack Supper.

• At 6 p.m., there will be a Silent Auction and Live Auction, complete with ice cream and popcorn.

Sunday, May 12

• Church services at 8:30 a.m.

• Pancake breakfast from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

 

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