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> KOA, Good or Bad?
Texasrvers
post Aug 12 2012, 10:46 AM
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I look at KOAs just like any other park. We have stayed at good KOAs; some not so good. Some are over priced; some have numerous amenities that are worth the cost. Some have good wi-fi and TV cable; some don't. Etc., Etc. Just because a park is affiliated with a particular "chain" does not automatically make it good or bad. It all depends on the individual owner/manager/staff. Some try really hard; some don't. Take a look at some of the Thousand Trails parks listed on this site. They run from really bad to quite good. A Good Sam affiliation is suppose to indicate a certain quality of facilities. But that is not always the case either. You have to consider each park individually, and it is no different with KOAs. And no, I do not and never have worked for them. Just stating my opinion on painting all KOAs with the same brush.
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Denali
post Aug 12 2012, 11:18 AM
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QUOTE(OldSoldier @ Aug 12 2012, 09:20 AM) *

KOA, now a days, is JUST OK. Nothing special. They are reliable, but dated. Most KOA facilities were built 20 or more years ago before slide-outs and super rigs. I have a 30 foot rig now. It's not excessively big, but it does have 3 slides; 2 and 1. I find KOA facilities now too narrow for most of my needs.

Unfortunate. KOA needs to get updated and in touch with the current market.

sad.gif
Keep in mind that (with one exception) KOA does not own any parks. Park owners pay KOA a healthy franchise fee to use the name, and they must meet a long list of requirements to keep the franchise. They obviously don't need to make their existing sites any larger, though. <g>


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kcmoedoe
post Aug 12 2012, 01:56 PM
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QUOTE(JEFF J. @ Aug 12 2012, 12:35 AM) *

Imagine that?

In business you never turn a client or customer away from a sale unless you are so upscale and can afford to pick and choose who you want to do business with. It's my understanding failing campgrounds go the way of KOA backing because they could not make it on there own, thus the reason for higher nightly rates at KOA's over others on average since KOA has to take their cut. The rudeness of this guy who either was the owner or employee was way out of line making me feel like I'm the odd one asking for the use of general services.

I retired early (51 years old) from the furniture business I owned because I catered to my customers needs no matter what. Not because I was rude or "didn't care" like the guy at POCATELLO KOA said to me. There was no call for that at all and KOA HQ is going to be informed. I'm pretty certain they will not follow up on it because they know there is not much they can do about it except yank the plug which they are unlikely to do.
POCATELLO KOA is a failing business in my view.

When I called Snake River RV Park and asked them before I took my time out to show up and be denied service, if they allowed people passing through to be able to use the facilities his response was "Sure you can use it" with a tone in his voice like what a strange question I was asking.

I realize times are tough but to be rude to customers and then in essence force them away I can assure you is not the answer to business success.

Moreover, if I was that guy at POCATELLO KOA and he was me I would have said "Of course you can use the facilities. Here are the rates for a dump etc and since you are passing through, here's a 10 percent off coupon for you when you travel through next time and want to stay here."

It's all in the attitude....and treating someone respectfully is always going to be remembered and rewarded with repeat business.

If you believe that the only reason a park would be a KOA affiliate is because it is a failing business, why would you be a member? They are there to provide a place to stay overnight. They are not there to provide public access to trash cans, water, sewer dumps etc. If they wish to make that available, fine, but it surely isn't an expectation of mine.
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Glenn Norton
post Aug 12 2012, 02:07 PM
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QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Aug 12 2012, 12:56 PM) *

If you believe that the only reason a park would be a KOA affiliate is because it is a failing business, why would you be a member? They are there to provide a place to stay overnight. They are not there to provide public access to trash cans, water, sewer dumps etc. If they wish to make that available, fine, but it surely isn't an expectation of mine.


These days it doesn't make sense for any campground to turn away business. It is not just campgrounds that offer dump stations, water, and other services. There are cities, gas stations, and even service clubs where you can get some of these services. So why do they do this? To get your attention and hope you stick around long enough to get more of your business for themselves or others in the community. Economics 101. That is how it's done. Some campers may not expect a campground to offer these services, but there are a lot that do and someone is going to get their business. smile.gif
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JEFF J.
post Aug 12 2012, 04:09 PM
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QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Aug 12 2012, 01:56 PM) *

If you believe that the only reason a park would be a KOA affiliate is because it is a failing business, why would you be a member? They are there to provide a place to stay overnight. They are not there to provide public access to trash cans, water, sewer dumps etc. If they wish to make that available, fine, but it surely isn't an expectation of mine.


I stayed at the KOA in Wendover NV recently for 4 days. The girl at the counter told me if I purchased the membership it would be in essence "free" since the discount would apply to the cost of my membership. If you read my review about that park you will find I said it was excellent.


As far as your comment about KOA's not providing public access to trash, sewer etc does not make any sense. It's an RV park...I own an RV. Therefore, I'm not the average public. What you're saying can be likened to going into a shoe store wanting to buy shoe laces but the owner refused to sell them to you because you didn't buy shoes from him. That doesn't make any sense. Operating a business under that pretext does not make for a very good business practice. I'm sure KOA policy would agree.


When it comes to franchises in the the United States the general public likes consistency. KOA needs to establish consistency throughout all of its brand. Is it such a big deal that I was denied water? NO...but I did go out of my way to buy the service at the facilitiy. Probably used 2 gallons of diesel fuel and at $4.00 a gallon you can see why I'm ticked. Doesn't make sense Rv'ers need to call and ask an RV park if they plan to sell a service to me or not. Maybe it might be wise just in case service might be closed for maintenance but to deny a service in hopes of getting an RV'er to change his plans and stay with them is too presumptuous on their part.

Might there have been a water shortage? He never mentioned a water shortage to me. Should KOA cater to it's members? Absolutely, they should be priority number one. What good is it to be a member if you're not going to be treated like one? Please recall I stated in an earlier post, this owner/operator/employee at the POCATELLA KOA said to me "I don't care" that I was a member. Jeff J.
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joez
post Aug 12 2012, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE
As far as your comment about KOA's not providing public access to trash, sewer etc does not make any sense. It's an RV park...I own an RV. Therefore, I'm not the average public. What you're saying can be likened to going into a shoe store wanting to buy shoe laces but the owner refused to sell them to you because you didn't buy shoes from him.


I guess if you feel an rv park's services should include dumping for those who do not stay there and trash and water, I understand your point, but, to me these services are not essential to an rv park. They are really not in business to service those passing through without staying, IMO. We were at a commercial park last week that had a prominent sign at the entrance stating "no access to dump station unless registered overnight guest". Some of the owner's I have talked with relate that the only reason they provide access is because their license requires it.

Rather than a shoe store selling laces, to me it is more akin to a store or restaurant reserving rest room use for their customers - happens a lot. Providing these services at a campground costs time and money. That is the reason many highway rest areas no longer provide them (plus people dump stuff into them they should not).

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this. Happy travels.
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rbrumfield
post Aug 12 2012, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE(joez @ Aug 12 2012, 05:17 PM) *

<Snip>
Rather than a shoe store selling laces, to me it is more akin to a store or restaurant reserving rest room use for their customers - happens a lot. Providing these services at a campground costs time and money. That is the reason many highway rest areas no longer provide them (plus people dump stuff into them they should not).

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this. Happy travels.


Boy did that bring back a memory from years ago. When we were children and Dad took us anywhere and we stopped at a gas station to use the restroom he always made it a point to buy some gas or something even if he didn't need it. He always said that they couldn't provide the restroom for us to use for free... biggrin.gif
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TheArnolds
post Aug 13 2012, 07:27 AM
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I just joined this site today to ask a question about a specific campground in Ohio that is not listed and the first thread I ran across was this on talking about KOA's.

I find this an interesting topic because I have been reading a couple of threads on another site I belong to that reads very much like this thread. I was wondering why all of the sudden interest in KOA?


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joez
post Aug 13 2012, 07:42 AM
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QUOTE
I was wondering why all of the sudden interest in KOA?


Welcome to this forum. Actually, the interest is not sudden. This thread, for instance, started in 2004. There are a lot of KOAs and, if you are traveling, you cannot help but run into them. I think we all kind of subconsciously wish they were more consistent with better pricing. Besides, it is always fun to pick on the big guys.
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Texasrvers
post Aug 13 2012, 10:32 AM
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QUOTE(TheArnolds @ Aug 13 2012, 08:27 AM) *

I just joined this site today to ask a question about a specific campground in Ohio that is not listed and the first thread I ran across was this on talking about KOA's.



Actually I think we do have a listing for the Ohio park you are looking for. Please check again.

EDIT: My apololgies. I got two cities confused. Apparently we do not have a listing for the park you are looking for.
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nanaannemarie
post Sep 16 2012, 06:32 PM
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I've camped for 40 years, tents to big 5th wheels and everything in between. Three years ago, after 15 years of tenting, bought another TT. Stay primarily in state parks, but this past month, attended a reunion/convention in San Antonio, TX, and the closest park was the Alamo KOA. It was wonderful, very knowledgable people, clean, quiet, safe, and most importantly to us, very convenient to where the festivities took place. They have a breakfast most mornings, and pizza and wing deliveries. We didn't avail ourselves to these as we were so busy, nor to the pool, but we did walk the rail-trail just behind our site. I was most impressed that when we returned late each night, the gate was always closed and if the guard was not there, when he saw us driving through, he made sure he came right over to check who we were and that everything was alright. I now travel with my husband, but the last 20 years I was solo and this would have been very comforting. We will be staying at KOA again!
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pkd31780
post Sep 18 2012, 09:45 AM
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Years ago while tent camping with kids a KOA was our first choice. Lots of activities for them. Now that we are older and not camping with kids we prefer a quieter more relaxed environment. This past weekend we camped at a KOA with daughter, SIL and three grand daughters in a KOA. We were a little disappointed the heated pool and hot tub were already closed but, again, lots of other activities for grand kids. What we were surprised at was the price. We paid $60 a night for those "extras" but then had to pay additional money to use those extras....putt putt $4.50 each, etc. The restrooms and store were very nice and clean; sites large. So I would say it depends on your priorities.
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Muttley
post Oct 1 2012, 08:29 PM
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We stayed at KOAs many times over the years, but not lately. Our membership expired about 5 years ago. They have priced us out of going there. They are simply not competitive with others in the same markets.
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vincee
post Oct 2 2012, 10:00 AM
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I avoid using KOA's because of their efforts in supporting local town codes trying to prohibit over night parking at Wal-Marts on so forth. When planning a RV outing and looking for CG's in the areas we will be visiting I skip right past the KOA listing, even though some of their parks do have very good reviews. Second is the price of their parks generally being higher the comparable parks in the area. No kids etc. so don't need to pay for pools and playgrounds no less the noise
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Dutch_12078
post Oct 2 2012, 12:08 PM
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QUOTE(vincee @ Oct 2 2012, 12:00 PM) *

I avoid using KOA's because of their efforts in supporting local town codes trying to prohibit over night parking at Wal-Marts on so forth.


You might be surprised to learn that a KOA corporate VP (Mike Gast) served on the committee that overturned the no overnight RV parking ordinance in Billings, MT. I'm sure there have been instances of independently owned KOA campground owners pressing for no overnighting regulations in their area, but I have never seen any credible evidence of KOA corporate actively pressing for such measures.


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