KOA Celebrates 60th Anniversary
The world’s largest system of privately owned campgrounds, Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2022. Advancing the business of outdoor hospitality since the first KOA opened on the banks of Montana’s Yellowstone River in 1962, the company has grown to include 525 franchised and owned locations across the United States and Canada.
“What began as just an idea and one campground has grown exponentially over six decades,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. The first KOA was built near Billings, Montana, as a stopover for tourists traveling to Seattle’s Century 21 Exposition (World’s Fair). Dave Drum, a local businessman and entrepreneur, set up a modest campground and charged guests $1.75 a night to pitch tents or park travel trailers.
In 1981, Oscar Tang, a New York City entrepreneur, financier, and stockholder of what had become a publicly traded company, purchased KOA in its entirety. He returned the organization to private ownership.
To celebrate 60 years, KOA is breaking ground on a new corporate headquarters in Billings, just a few miles from the home of the original KOA campground. In addition, a commemorative hot-air balloon featuring KOA and its signature brand will tour the country, making stops at balloon festivals and events. This summer, the company will kick off “60 Days of Giveaways” to give back to camping enthusiasts.
“The real story of our 60th anniversary is that we are just getting started,” said O’Rourke. “With initiatives like the Campground of the Future, focusing on integrating emerging technologies like solar and electric charging, and empowering our franchise owners to innovate, we are eagerly taking on the next 60 years.”
Winnebago Produces 500,000th Motorhome
Winnebago, the flagship brand of outdoor lifestyle product manufacturer Winnebago Industries Inc., announced in March that it has produced its 500,000th motorhome, becoming the first RV industry brand to reach the milestone. The company marked the occasion with events across all its facilities, including a special celebration at its Lake Mills, Iowa, campus, where the vehicle ceremoniously rolled off the production line.
The 500,000th motorhome is a Revel, a model designed to meet demand for a rugged RV to take customers off-road and off-grid for extended outdoor escapes. It features four-wheel drive, elevated ground clearance, and a long-lasting lithium battery to power RV systems.
For more information, visit www.winnebago.com.