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 “Walt 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.
“It’s so important that we listen to our guests,” Cory said in explaining Ventura Ranch KOA’s success. “They 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.
“This award is so well deserved by Scott and Steve,” said KOA President Pat Hittmeier. “They 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.