Kampgrounds Of America Buys Three Montana KOA Campgrounds
Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) has purchased three KOA campground properties in Montana from the Marv and Carol Linde family, who had owned and operated them for 46 years. The campgrounds are Billings KOA Holiday in Billings, Montana, and Yellowstone Park/West Gate KOA Holiday and Yellowstone Park/Mountainside KOA Holiday located near West Yellowstone, Montana.
Billings KOA Holiday, which opened in June of 1962, holds the designation as the first KOA campground among more than 500 KOA locations. Marv and Carol Linde purchased the Billings KOA Holiday in 1977. Over the next four decades, the family grew and updated the campground, making it one of the premier KOAs in the United States.
Opened in 1977 and 2013, respectively, the Yellowstone Park/West Gate KOA Holiday and Yellowstone Park/Mountainside KOA Holiday are the closest KOA properties to Yellowstone National Park, located near the west entrance.
All three campgrounds provide quality amenities and service, resulting in some of the highest guest satisfaction ratings among KOAs. “For over four decades, the Linde family has been valued partners and friends,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “Marv, Carol — and sons Steve, Dave, and Brian — have been actively involved in our campground system, shaping many of our programs and overall approach to outdoor hospitality. We are honored they have entrusted us to carry their legacy forward. They will always remain a special part of our KOA family and history.”
Kampgrounds of America has over 500 campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada. While the majority are franchised, over 40 locations are owned directly by the company. The purchase of the three properties in Montana also coincides with the opening of a new KOA company headquarters this summer on the west end of Billings.
For more information, visit KOA.com.
Fantasy RV Tours Raises $100,000 For Make-A-Wish
Fantasy RV Tours, FMCA’s tour partner, recently announced that it raised over $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at its 2023 Annual Homecoming Rally. Fantasy RV Tours guests gathered March 27 to April 1, 2023, in Sevierville, Tennessee, to reconnect with each other, welcome new travelers, meet the company’s wagon masters and office staff, and enjoy a week of fun and camaraderie.
One of the highlights of the week was a live charity auction featuring wrapped mystery boxes with a gag gift “clue” on top. Although they did not know what was in each box, Fantasy RV guests had fun bidding and imagining what their prize might be, all while raising funds for Make-A-Wish East Tennessee.
During the two-hour charity auction, Fantasy customers raised $51,470, and several of the bids were matched by Fantasy RV Tours and its founder and CEO, Nel Filliger, bringing the grand total to $102,940. The funds will go directly to Make-A-Wish East Tennessee, an organization that grants the wishes of children with critical illnesses.
Make-A-Wish is Fantasy RV Tours’ designated charity, and Filliger has a strong personal connection to the organization. Her 16-year-old grandson, Dylan Prunty, passed away on July 31, 2022, after suffering from a rare genetic disorder. He spent most of his life in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he underwent many surgeries and dealt with immense, chronic pain. Over the years, he became an expert at building intricate Lego sets that helped him deal with the severe pain. His wish was to visit Legoland and to ride a train, which was arranged and granted by the Lego Group and Make-A-Wish back in 2014. Dylan not only got to enjoy a dream weekend at Legoland, but he also got to work with Lego Master Model Builders to design a replica of the Children’s Hospital, and he returned home via a train ride with his family.
Fantasy RV Tours held its first Mystery Auction in 2015 and has since raised over $350,000 for local Make-A-Wish chapters. This year’s Fantasy RV rally donation will make 10 children’s wishes come true, according to Garrett Wagley, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish East Tennessee.