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summerland
This is from a recent post...
QUOTE
Another KOA living up to the KOA reputation!

What does ONE KOA have to do with another??? They are operated seperately....very often owned seperately. Most join the KOA company for the positive exposure and advertising. If you feel otherwise and for whatever reason have a problem with KOA as a whole, then you should stop going to them. Most are owned by hardworking families and try there very hardest to please everyone. Don't bash them all because you had a bad experience at one.
bigredoes
KOA is in the same category as Wal-Mart - seems a lot of people dislike both. Although I can never seem to find a decent parking spot at Wal-Mart.
joez
QUOTE
Most join the KOA company for the positive exposure and advertising.


It makes sense that, fair or not, KOA owners will also be lumped together as one group. Being part of the franchise means they will get the negative exposure, as well as, the advantages that they felt they would get with the KOA name. Of the dozens of KOA campgrounds we have been to some are wonderful campgrounds with personable and friendly owners. But, imo, most deserve the bad rap they get. They tend to be expensive. Office personnel tend to be universally lacking in customer service skills and their fee structures encourage the "keep on adding" expectations. Many of the dozens of KOA owners we have met seem to be perpetually angry with their customers. As for why we keep going back, sometimes KOA is the only choice or the lesser of bad choices in an area where we need to stay, so we lower our expectations and stay at KOA. In an area where we have never been before, the KOA web site is outstandingly easy to use to make reservations without spending a lot of time searching for a campground. Many years ago I had a job where I traveled a lot. All of us "road warriors" hated Holiday Inn motels, but we all had to stay in them a lot. I kind of feel the same way about KOA.
Jahnavi
QUOTE(bigredoes @ Dec 13 2009, 10:38 AM) *

KOA is in the same category as Wal-Mart - seems a lot of people dislike both. Although I can never seem to find a decent parking spot at Wal-Mart.



suggest me something which has decent parking i'm going out with family .
nicki
"KOA is in the same category as Wal-Mart - seems a lot of people dislike both."


Odd, but when people started wal-mart bashing on this site, the whole conversation is shut down and removed from the website. KOA just keeps taking lumps.
rgatijnet
QUOTE(summerland @ Dec 13 2009, 11:04 AM) *

This is from a recent post...
What does ONE KOA have to do with another??? They are operated seperately....very often owned seperately. Most join the KOA company for the positive exposure and advertising. If you feel otherwise and for whatever reason have a problem with KOA as a whole, then you should stop going to them. Most are owned by hardworking families and try there very hardest to please everyone. Don't bash them all because you had a bad experience at one.



I disagree! If campgrounds join KOA for the POSITIVE exposure, than they also expose themselves to the NEGATIVE exposure. If the owners do not want to be linked to the bad KOA campgrounds than they need to contact the home office and get them to be more aggressive about policing their own franchises to insure a certain quality level. The purpose of a franchise is to show some sort of "standard" for their customers. If you go to a McDonalds, or a Quiznos Sub Shop, you have a pretty good idea of exactly what to expect. That is why we search out and find those businesses that are familiar with us, even when we are thousands of miles away from home. If we pull into a KOA campground, and have certain expectations that are not met, we have just gotten a NEGATIVE impression of the entire franchise. We have found that the KOA corporation does not care enough about quality to require that their franchise owners meet certain standards. Naturally we all could stop going to ANY KOA campground, but I doubt if that would make those hardworking franchise owners, that do provide a pleasant experience for their visitors, very happy. If the NEGATIVE comments DO NOT get KOA corporate to improve things, and if the franchise owners DO NOT pressure KOA corporate to act, than they all will, and should, suffer the consequences. I think it is perfectly fair to bash all KOA campgrounds because when we see the KOA sign, we have the exact same expectations at ALL KOA campgrounds. If an owner cannot or will not provide that KOA standard, than they need to surrender their franchise and stay independent.
campatkoa
QUOTE(rgatijnet @ Dec 14 2009, 10:40 AM) *

I disagree! If campgrounds join KOA for the POSITIVE exposure, than they also expose themselves to the NEGATIVE exposure. If the owners do not want to be linked to the bad KOA campgrounds than they need to contact the home office and get them to be more aggressive about policing their own franchises to insure a certain quality level. The purpose of a franchise is to show some sort of "standard" for their customers. If you go to a McDonalds, or a Quiznos Sub Shop, you have a pretty good idea of exactly what to expect. That is why we search out and find those businesses that are familiar with us, even when we are thousands of miles away from home. If we pull into a KOA campground, and have certain expectations that are not met, we have just gotten a NEGATIVE impression of the entire franchise. We have found that the KOA corporation does not care enough about quality to require that their franchise owners meet certain standards. Naturally we all could stop going to ANY KOA campground, but I doubt if that would make those hardworking franchise owners, that do provide a pleasant experience for their visitors, very happy. If the NEGATIVE comments DO NOT get KOA corporate to improve things, and if the franchise owners DO NOT pressure KOA corporate to act, than they all will, and should, suffer the consequences. I think it is perfectly fair to bash all KOA campgrounds because when we see the KOA sign, we have the exact same expectations at ALL KOA campgrounds. If an owner cannot or will not provide that KOA standard, than they need to surrender their franchise and stay independent.

bigredoes
Well then what is "the KOA standard"? Is there some place to read what that 'standard' is?
campatkoa
Hello all
My husband and I own a small KOA. We have won high honors from KOA and receive wonderful reviews from you all on this site. Again, I want to thank you for this website, I have learned so much. I don't like when we keep getting labeled as all KOA's are "keep on adding" We have one price per site, that includes cable wi fi 50am or 30amp. I don't think the "keep on adding" applies to that many KOA's anymore. Yes, our prices are high, but our guests know we are here 365 days a year, we are here everynight to register and escort our folks in. We greet them with a smile and always make them feel welcome. There are sam's parks out there that I wouldn't let my dog out, much less myself. We work very hard to have a safe, clean, friendly campground. Thank you all again.
Texasrvers
QUOTE(nicki @ Dec 14 2009, 05:31 AM) *


Odd, but when people started wal-mart bashing on this site, the whole conversation is shut down and removed from the website. KOA just keeps taking lumps.



FYI the reason the admins shut down the Wal-Mart thread was because members had started bashing each other. It had nothing to do with the topic itself.
rgatijnet
QUOTE(bigredoes @ Dec 14 2009, 11:22 AM) *

Well then what is "the KOA standard"? Is there some place to read what that 'standard' is?


If you go to KOA.com you can find out what is expected at a KOA campground. I'm sure that someone who has a KOA campground franchise can enlighten us as to the corporate "standards."
As the one owner mentioned here, they have gotten great reviews from their users which I'm sure they have worked hard to earn. We are not that picky and usually stay only a day or so, but on two occasions, we have driven out of our way to go to a KOA only to turn around and drive to another campground. I DO NOT write a review for a park that I have not actually stayed at so the KOA's that I refused to stay at did not get a review.
Denali
QUOTE(rgatijnet @ Dec 14 2009, 12:50 PM) *
I DO NOT write a review for a park that I have not actually stayed at so the KOA's that I refused to stay at did not get a review.
FYI, if you write a review of a park without staying at the park it won't be approved for posting to the database anyway.
dalsgal
I have stayed at quite a few KOA's and have never felt any were worth the price. The owner of one told me that KOA no longer allowed bus conversions in them. I contacted corporate and found that it was the individual owners that made that decision. I don't have a problem with that but I don't like being lied to. This owner didn't seem to care that the camper next to us had been in place so long the tires had literally dry rotted off the rims as long as it wasn't a bus.

I feel that the price charged is way more than the sites are worth. If I felt I got good service and had a good spot at one I wouldn't mind the price but when you go to one where the bath house is not clean, the sites are not clean and the office staff is not friendly I feel I have been ripped off. I would love to stay in one that is run by someone like the person that just posted here.

abbygolden
QUOTE(Denali @ Dec 14 2009, 02:08 PM) *

FYI, if you write a review of a park without staying at the park it won't be approved for posting to the database anyway.


Unless I violated a rule, or the rules have changed, your statement isn't necessarily correct. I did a review two years ago of a place that I didn't stay in, but I was specific in saying that I hadn't. It had not been reviewed in some time and I was in the area, so I did a drive through and interviewed the hosts/managers and told them why I was there.

If I was wrong to do so, I hope one of the staff will tell me so I won't repeat that mistake. FWIW, I gave the place a decent rating.
John Blue
abbygolden,

What Dave said is now true. Sometime back reviews were posting on line but over time more and more reviews were no more than a slam on the campground. People do this for a number of reasons and it is hard for the admins to pick out who was right and who was wrong. So like the golden egg, we killed the hen. If you did not stay in a park no point in writing a review.

The only thing that would be posted is information like campground closed, burn down, sold for houses, condo park only, or some information that we can check and make the changes. We try to keep the information as correct as possible.
abbygolden
QUOTE(John Blue @ Dec 14 2009, 08:16 PM) *

abbygolden,

What Dave said is now true. Sometime back reviews were posting on line but over time more and more reviews were no more than a slam on the campground. People do this for a number of reasons and it is hard for the admins to pick out who was right and who was wrong. So like the golden egg, we killed the hen. If you did not stay in a park no point in writing a review.

The only thing that would be posted is information like campground closed, burn down, sold for houses, condo park only, or some information that we can check and make the changes. We try to keep the information as correct as possible.


Ok, noted and will comply in the future. Thanks for letting me know.
Lee and Fran
I had a KOA membership for a few years because it came with my highway assistance insurance but dont have it now since I have changed insurance companys and assistance services. But I have stayed at KOA's before I got their service and since I changed from it and having used KOA's from one end of the USA to the other, I have yet to find a KOA that was not a good park. I have talk to many rvers that complain of the costs for a KOA camp and yet they will pay two to three times that amount to stay in parks in Florida. I will never understand that.
I have also had memberships in the past with Passport America and did not find a good park in the three years I used it also from coast to coast and yet many swear by them as well and cannot understand why I dont care for them.
I tried CampUSA last year and found they use the same parks as PA. And we found that we could not find a good park still and yet. We only used it in three parks last year and I am not going to renew this year.
So there seems to be good and bad in everything. Much like one mans junk is another mans treasure. I think it goes for rv parks as well. One is great to some and hated by others.
Robert0
My wife and I have enjoyed camping for years. Growing up my family always stayed at KOA and now that my wife and I camp together, we have stayed at our share of KOA's and at other private campgrounds as well. We have found some great KOA's and some duds. Some have fantastic amenities and are well laid out. Others are in need of some attention and have seen better days. Of course, the same can be said for other private campgrounds. I think it's a little disingenuine to paint all of a single franchise with the same brush. Ultimately it is up to the campground owner to make or break the campground, the yellow sign and KOA branding are just marketing tools.

Honestly, if you don't like KOA's, then don't stay there...it's kind of like the fries at McDonalds, if you don't like them, then go down the street to Burger King. That's the beauty of having the freedom to choose.
campatkoa
Hi all, I keep screwing up on replying back, I seem to keep hitting the wrong button and quoting everybody else. Sorry. Anyway let me explain how we KOA's are rated. KOA Inc. sents out surveys to our camping guests who have stayed recently at a certain KOA. The guest fill out the survey good or bad and send it in. Those surveys and the Quality Assurance Reports (KOA Insectors) combined totals to a certain point system. If your KOA meets a certain amount of points from both, you will receive the President Award. If your KOA reaches a higher point that is required for a Presidents Award, you receive a Founders Award. That Founder's Award is very high up in the system. That means you have done a wonderful job, based on what your campers say about you, with the Founder's Award. Now both awards are sent out each year. Our Jobs at our KOA's is to keep those coming each year. Some KOA's out there who received a President 2 years ago can still hang their sign even though they haven't received it since then. KOA Inc. wanted to display these awards in our directory, but too many people bitched about it, so that idea was out. You can see the awards on each KOA on our own websites. That is one way you can check standards. These awards are very important to each of us, they are standards that our guests and KOA inc. have set for each of us.Also this website is a wonderful way to review each of us. Also, we are blessed with Trailer Life, and Woodalls coming each year to rate us. KOA's who don't meet min. standards should be kicked out of the system. Period. Hope all this makes sense.
wprigge
Campatkoa,

It does make sense! As was mentioned, some people like KOAs and some don't. When we travel we do use them a lot, simply because they appear to us to be geared towards travelling campers as opposed to stationary campers. As a traveller one is not always accepted by the seasonal crowd in some campgrounds. We also find that the cleanliness and friendliness in KOAs has a minimum standard to adhere to, unlike other campgrounds that run the whole gamut from sublime to rotten awful.
What we don't like is being nickeled and dimed, be it in KOAs or other campgrounds.
gilda
QUOTE
We also find that the cleanliness and friendliness in KOAs has a minimum standard to adhere to, unlike other campgrounds that run the whole gamut from sublime to rotten awful.
What we don't like is being nickeled and dimed, be it in KOAs or other campgrounds.


wprgge, I assume that you actually did not read the post prior to your's. The owner is trying to explain the procedure for inspections and the rating system. The majority of KOA's are INDIVIDUALLY owned, therefore they CAN be different. Many of them do not charge ANYTHING extra, as you called it "nickel and diming you to death". And to bunch them all together and claim that the "cleanliness and friendliness" is minimum...is a very prejudice statement. I suspect that you have been in very few KOA's, because you apparently are not at all familiar with their policies. I will admit that I'm not at all familiar with KOA's in Canada...maybe you are confused?? unsure.gif

wprigge
Hi Gilda,

Well, you actually have me confused now. I wonder whether you read my post carefully or whether I did not elaborate my text enough. When I write that KOAs have a minimum standard to adhere to that does not mean that cleanliness and friendliness are at a minimum but rather that there is a minimum standard that is expected to be attained. I mention specifically that other campgrounds run the whole gamut from sublime to rotten awful. Maybe I should have added that we never had a rotten experience in a KOA, but I figured this was clear from the rest of my text.

As for the "nickeled and dimed", I do not single out KOAs, I do not mention that KOAs nickel and dime more than other campgrounds, I simply state that we don't like it.

I fail to understand how you can jump to the conclusion that I have been to very few KOAs. I have a KOA Value card since 1987 and have camped in KOAs in 8 Canadian provinces and 16 American States….
gilda
QUOTE
there is a minimum standard that is expected to be attained


You are obviously not aware of the KOA standard's, which is why I assumed that you don't stay at many.

QUOTE
We also find that the cleanliness and friendliness in KOAs has a minimum standard to adhere to,


It's just unfair and sad for you to lump them all together when there are so many hard working families that are trying very hard to keep up "THEIR" KOA. They DO have strict standard's to uphold. When KOA does there inspection, they can not immedietly take their name from the park. The park is given a warning and a time frame to "clean up their act". Therefore, there certainly are a few KOA's out there that are trying to maintain the standards, but can't do it overnight. I'm sure that you are aware of parks that were booted out of the franchise because they were unable to change in a specified period of time. Now, is it fair for you to decide that ALL of them are not keeping up to standards? They by NO MEANS have minimum standards as you suggested.

Texasrvers
QUOTE(gilda @ Dec 22 2009, 01:48 PM) *

You are obviously not aware of the KOA standard's, which is why I assumed that you don't stay at many.....They by NO MEANS have minimum standards as you suggested.


Gilda,

You are not understanding what wprigge is trying to say. He/She said that KOA's have MINIMUM standards not MINIMAL standards. Minimum standards can still be quite high, and wprigge is saying that the park must not fall below a certain (possible high) level if they want to be a KOA. He/She said that when they stay at a KOA they will find service and facilities that always come up to that certain level regardless of where the park is located. He/she is actually complimenting KOA's.

QUOTE

It's just unfair and sad for you to lump them all together.....is it fair for you to decide that ALL of them are not keeping up to standards?


Some other posters may have done this, but I do not see how wprigge did.


You obviously feel a need to defend KOA's, and that's OK because sometimes they need it. However, when you have someone that is already on your side you should not alienate them by making the comments you did.
wprigge
Hi Texasrvers,

When I saw Gilda's answer I came to the same conclusion as you, that she didn't understand the expression "minimum standard., but before I had a chance to answer you already did in a very clear way. I do have a tendency to be very brief, maybe sometimes at the expense of clarity, but you obviously understood my text perfectly, so it must have been clear enough. Thanks! ;-)


Hi Gilda,

I see that you do not understand the expression "minimum standard" and you feel that this is something negative. Actually there is no value judgement in the expression and I'll try to give you an example that I hope will clearly illustrate my point. Suppose I wanted to build a house in our area. By law the walls must have an R-value of at least 16. That means that any new house should at least attain that R-value, but it does not mean that a wall can not have a higher R-value.

Now if I want my house to be eligible to the new "Novoclimate" label the walls must have an R-value of at least 24. Again that does not mean that the actual R-value cannot be higher!

In both cases there is a minimum standard, 16 for a regular house and 24 for a Novoclimate house.

Now let's transpose this to the campground situation. Any campground must meet the minimum standards of the particular jurisdiction it is situated in, if it does not meet them they will not be allowed to operate. If the same campground wants to be part of the KOA label it must meet the KOA minimum standards that are higher than the legal minimum standards. Again in both cases they can be better than the minimum, that's why this is called a "minimum standard".

If you go back to my two answers you will see that we do use KOAs a lot. Where in my text do I say KOAs are bad? Where in my text do I say I'm not happy with the cleanliness and friendliness of KOAs? Why would I use them if I did not like them?

Maybe your misunderstanding of the expression "minimum standard" made you jump to the conclusion that I tried to put KOAs down when in fact I was complimenting them, as Texasrvers understood.

Hope this clears up any misunderstanding, and Merry Christmas to all!
gilda
I misunderstood your post, and I aplologize.

wprigge
Hi Gilda,

Apologies accepted, no hard feelings! Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
RLM
QUOTE
Honestly, if you don't like KOA's, then don't stay there...it's kind of like the fries at McDonalds, if you don't like them, then go down the street to Burger King. That's the beauty of having the freedom to choose.


The issue is not so much about the fries, but the cost of them. If one place charged significantly more for theirs, then I suspect there would be complaints about that, too. One wonders how KOAs stay in business when half of its customer base has the general impression that the entire chain of campgrounds is not worth the high prices. Perhaps it’s the other half who loves them.

But then complaining about no cost Wal-Mart camping is heard also.

I'm just going to take it all with a grain of salt......and then put that on my french fries.
Kirk
So am I to understand that if we don't like the KOA group in general, we then must face the warth of Gilda?

Having only owned RVs since 1972 and been full-time for the last ten years, it may be that I too don't know much about KOA but I do find that added fees are more common to KOA than to most parks in general. And I am well aware that most KOA parks are individually owned. Unless it has changed since I last conversed with the marketing VP at KOA, HQ in Billings, at that time the company only owned nine parks, with all others being subscribers to the KOA service package.

I would agree that KOA parks that are really dirty are rare.
gilda
QUOTE
we then must face the warth of Gilda?


I guess so Kirk, I'm just full of warth.... rolleyes.gif

Merry Christmas and hoping for a Happier New Year for you. wink.gif

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