KOA: Getting Outdoors is Prescription for Americans’ Ailments
Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) park owners will benefit from America’s renewed interest in the outdoors, according to KOA CEO Jim Rogers.
During his annual “fireside chat” to more than 500 KOA franchisees at the company’s 2011 convention Nov. 7-9 in Las Vegas, Nev., Rogers said the best is yet to come for businesses in the outdoors sector.
“When times are tough, people want to avoid pain and stress, and we can help with that,” Rogers stated in a KOA news release. “Getting people outdoors is the prescription for what ails North Americans. It’s in our favor that the outdoors is becoming a more important feature in most peoples’ lives.”
Rogers said KOA’s efforts over the years to collect extensive data on camper behavior, as well as very specific camper satisfaction data on individual campgrounds, is paying dividends.
“Our data allows us to get to know the wants and needs of individual campers, and that is very powerful,” he said. “It allows us to make our campers ‘markets of one.’ That special recognition we can give campers drives them to us. A stay at KOA is like a hand written thank you card. It is unique and valued.”
Rogers urged KOA franchisees to use all of the specialized tools at their disposal to both simplify their workdays, and create more time to interact with campers.
“Being part of the KOA system gives you a rebate of time,” he said. “Other campground owners may have the same dreams as you, but they don’t have the KOA tools to make it all happen.”
“Share KOA with others, and your dreams will follow.”
During his opening remarks at the convention, President Pat Hittmeier told franchisees that KOA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, will continue to invest heavily in the KOA system, including launching a major new version of KOA’s KampSight proprietary campground operating system. KOA is working with BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia (see below) to evolve KampSight into the most robust campground operating software on the market.
“Technology will become KOA’s competitive advantage,” Hittmeier told the group. “Our mobile device technology, as well as the www.KOA.com website and our marketing database will all be about providing the right message to the right guest at the right time.”
Hittmeier also said KOA will continue to add lodging units, now called KOA Deluxe Cabins, which feature full bathrooms and often kitchens.
“We are adding new floorplans to our units this year that better fit the needs of this new camper market and our KOA operators,” Hittmeier said. “Our owners are becoming much more professional in their management of this roofed accommodation segment.”
He said the key to KOA’s continued success is to use all of the varied tools available to allow campground owners to serve guests “one at a time.”
“The personal touch, based on all we’ve been able to learn about each camper, will continue to set us apart,” Hittmeier said.