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Fitzjohnfan
We just finished a trip where the last leg went through Utah and Colorado and we stayed in KOA's twice in a row. Both times they charged $4.00/child. I know I should have done my homework before planning on staying there, so I don't blame the park completely, but I still felt "burned" a bit because I selected these parks partly on price. One time, the advertized price was $35.00 to stay there, but with the fees for our two kids and additional fee for pull through site (they didn't have any back-in sites) the price came to $51.00, the next time, same thing, price advertized was $32.00, but after additional fees, it came to $47.00.

I know it's been discussed before, but I really wish they wouldn't charge for additional people unless the count goes over 4 (assuming two adults and two kids).

The KOA parks themselves were very clean, well organized and the staff was friendly, so no other complaints.
JBH
For us KOA is usually good for an overnight or two but that's about it. We have stayed at a few we wish we hadn't and a few we were glad we did. Basically, prices are a bit higher than other close by parksand the amenities are not much different. We stayed at the East Glacier/St. Mary KOA a few years back and the location was great, the park was just a jumping off point for viditing Glacier NP. We will use a KOA if we have to but prefer not to simply because the norm for a KOA is to pack as many sites into the available area as possible and then charge as much as they can for it.
HP_Happy_Campers
For my family, we have stayed at several KOAs. They are definetly priced higher than other non-chain campgrounds for the same amenities. The difference in KOAs can be staggering with some being run-down and some being worth the price paid. I do not like how they charge for kids over 3. What I do like about the KOAs I have stayed at is that the seasonals were all pushed to a corner of the campground and sites nearest the activites were for the transient campers. Overall, I will stay at a KOA if is convenient for my travel plans and the reviews on this website are decent.

smile.gif
jenbooks13
I have stayed in only 3 KOA's. We prefer national forest or certain state parks. That said, we stayed in:

1) Artesia, New Mexico. It was very well kept, they were very friendly, the bathrooms were super clean. The only issue I had was not their fault, it was that there was methane gas from drilling in the area, that made me nauseous.

2) Lake Park, GA. They are really nice, too. It is in pretty decent shape. There is a big recreation area to sit in if you wish, and a restaurant and pool hall/bar. People are nice. The owners are very accomodating.

3) We visited but were rebuffed and extremely badly treated at the Cartersville KOA in Cartersville, GA north of Atlanta. We couldn't stay. The owner has bad reviews all over the web anyway, including two from perfectly reasonable sounding people who were escorted out by police the owner called (one for apparently letting his dog off the leash the day before?). The owner is indeed terrifying rude and angry, and probably has a personality disorder of some kind. If you make a wrong turn in your car, he will chase you down and yell at you. The park isn't too popular, probably because he's so difficult and rigid.
Kalama Traveler
We usually don't stay at KOA's for the main reason expressed: Price. We have also found the great variations in the parks. However, this past spring we found a great KOA: San Diego CA. It actually is in Chula Vista, south of downtown San Diego, but the park is great. A piece of the country in the middle of the city. We stayed there for six weeks, and enjoyed every one of them. The cost came to $31/night, based on the monthly rate.

We drove by the one between Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon and decided that is not where we wanted to stay. So it varies. Check out this website for reviews, and talk with other RVers. I have found that doing some research will help you find the right place to stay, KOA or not.
JEFF J.
Traveling through Idaho for the first time in my Motorhome I needed to find an RV dump, propane, water and garbage facility. I had recently become a member of KOA a couple weeks earlier in Wendover NV. I took advantage of my new membership and now being part of the KOA family stopped by the POCATELLO KOA to take care of some needed business with the facilities. Went into office and walked up to counter. People were in the back and one (a male) came out to great me. I explained I needed to use the facilities (as mentioned above). He said I could but not the water. "Not the water?" I asked. "your not staying here are you?" was his question. "No, just passing through" I replied. "Water is not available". I told him I was a member of KOA and he said and I quote "I DON'T CARE". I said "You don't care?" No was his reply. I said "Okay, have a nice day" and I left. I went up the highway on I-15N to the Snake River RV Park and they took care of all my needs and charged $6.00 for the dump and free water. I never mentioned to them what just happened at KOA. I wound up spending $66.00 at the Snake River RV Park. I have been Rving for 17 years and never was turned down for any service from anywhere. I guess there is a first time for everything. If you are passing through and need a full service dump facility I would pass up POCATELLO KOA.
Texasrvers
Jeff,

I have a question or two.

First, does the KOA membership allow you to use the facilities at any KOA free of charge even if you are not staying there?

Would you have been able to use the KOA facilities and water if you had paid a fee there like you did at Snake River?

There have been a few times when we have gone to an RV park and asked if we could use their facilities to dump our tanks. In every case we were charged a fee to do so.
RFCN2
Jeff - This was your first post. I have not stayed at the KOA you talked about but in my humble opinion you are being too hard on them. Did they have a local water shortage. Was the person you talked to supposed to tell you what he did and he did not make the rules? I also belong to the KOA club. I would not presume that I had the right to stop by and use the facilities at a KOA without staying there.
JEFF J.
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Aug 9 2012, 08:55 PM) *

Jeff,

I have a question or two.

First, does the KOA membership allow you to use the facilities at any KOA free of charge even if you are not staying there?

Would you have been able to use the KOA facilities and water if you had paid a fee there like you did at Snake River?

There have been a few times when we have gone to an RV park and asked if we could use their facilities to dump our tanks. In every case we were charged a fee to do so.


I guess I should have been more clear in my post. Price was never discussed. It was implied that I would pay for it since I have never gotten or expected to get free service anywhere except a rest stop. I'm 100% certain he understood I was to pay for services since I was buying propane as well. My notifying I had a memebership came up at dead last when he made it clear I was not to get water. I just can't imagine him thinking I was asking for free service. I walked in and said hello I'm going to need a RV Dump,, propane, I 've got some garbage to throw out and water to fill. I have asked for these services like this for 17 years and they always simply pointed out where and how much. Never has anyone thought I was asking for free services. Again the membership conversation came at the end when he made it clear I was not getting water "unless" I was staying there. I thought by mentioning the membership he might realize I'm part of the KOA family and not be so strict about not getting water. My honest impression was he did not want to accomodate someone passing through and wanted me to stay there to use the facilities. I saw it no other way. Jeff J.
Texasrvers
Thanks for clarifying. Your story seems a little more reasonable now.
joez
QUOTE
My honest impression was he did not want to accomodate someone passing through and wanted me to stay there to use the facilities.


Imagine that. A business that depends on overnight stays for there livelihood is not very interested in someone wanting to use their septic and trash dumpster for a very small fee.
rbrumfield
QUOTE(joez @ Aug 10 2012, 05:16 AM) *

Imagine that. A business that depends on overnight stays for there livelihood is not very interested in someone wanting to use their septic and trash dumpster for a very small fee.


Most campgrounds here on the "right coast" that I have stayed in have a charge from anywhere of $10 - $20 if you are just wanting to dump your tanks. Never saw a charge for garbage disposal but I guess if you had a trailer full of trash they probably should since most do pay for garbage disposal.
JEFF J.
QUOTE(joez @ Aug 10 2012, 07:16 AM) *

Imagine that. A business that depends on overnight stays for there livelihood is not very interested in someone wanting to use their septic and trash dumpster for a very small fee.


JEFF J.
QUOTE(joez @ Aug 10 2012, 07:16 AM) *

Imagine that. A business that depends on overnight stays for there livelihood is not very interested in someone wanting to use their septic and trash dumpster for a very small fee.


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.
OldSoldier
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
Texasrvers
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.
Denali
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>
kcmoedoe
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.
Glenn Norton
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
JEFF J.
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.
joez
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.
rbrumfield
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
TheArnolds
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?
joez
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.
Texasrvers
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.
nanaannemarie
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!
pkd31780
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.
Muttley
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.
vincee
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
Dutch_12078
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.
vincee
QUOTE(Dutch_12078 @ Oct 2 2012, 12:08 PM) *

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.



Dutch, did not know this, Thanks, good to pass along facts when available
that lady
QUOTE(Cheryl Fuller @ Jun 24 2005, 10:17 PM) *

If someone would come up with a nice chain of parks that you could stay at with full hook-ups for around $20, they would probably make a fortune.


Really? 'Make a fortune' at $20.00 per night? You have no idea the local, state and federal regulations a campground has to meet and how much it costs to run a place and meet those regulations so customers don't DIE while visiting the place! When you dump your 20 gallons of black water, it costs money for that campground to process and dispose of it, the electricity and water you use...that is not free. All the trash you leave behind? Yep. dumpsters cost money. Oh, the employees who check you in, patrol the park to ensure you are safe and clean up after you leave, they get paid and the campground matches their payroll taxes, too.

Don't forget the bank and the insurance company they like to get their share.
You want a $20.00 site? Go to Walmart.
FosterImposters
QUOTE(that lady @ Oct 3 2012, 10:05 AM) *

...You have no idea...


Well said.
Always figured if anyone WAS doing a 'full hook up' park at this price point, it was a loss leader. Cabelas comes to mind.
Casino's are another set-up that can cover the ACTUAL price to run such an establishment.
Welcome to the forum!
cool.gif
that lady
QUOTE(FosterImposters @ Oct 3 2012, 11:12 AM) *

Well said.
Always figured if anyone WAS doing a 'full hook up' park at this price point, it was a loss leader. Cabelas comes to mind.
Casino's are another set-up that can cover the ACTUAL price to run such an establishment.
Welcome to the forum!
cool.gif


Thank you.

I have read this thread from beginning to end. I am a campground owner for 4 years. The economy is tough right now. I understand people are having a hard time going on vacation and paying for things. We business owners are getting squeezed from every side. All I can say is, you get what you pay for. I base my site fees on my cost of doing business. If people want a cheaper site,I can send them down the road to a horrible, unsafe place or to a nearby resort or to Walmart. (I hope they travel armed because when you sleep in a deserted parking lot you are a target for crime.)

As the saying goes:
You can get:
1. The lowest price
2. The best quality
3. The best service

Pick two. You can not get all three.

dalsgal
I agree with that lady. I manage a campground and it is unbelievable what people want for nothing. Those same people that are very demanding and want free, or almost free, camping, are often the same ones that charge you an arm or a leg for their services.

We recently had a man come in and his slide out wouldn't open. My husband went to see if he could try to help. When it was obvious that the problem was a serious one the RV owner got mad at my husband for not fixing it. We are an RV park, not a repair shop. Hubby spent a good hour trying to see what he could do and all he got for his efforts was a slew of curse words thrown at him.

I don't like paying a lot for a campsite but every campground has expenses they must pay so I don't expect give away prices.

I will say that KOA prices are over the top in my mind.
jan-n-john
QUOTE(dalsgal @ Oct 3 2012, 01:30 PM) *



I will say that KOA prices are over the top in my mind.

We recently stopped at a KOA planning to spend the night. Long story short, they wanted over $65, in part because most of the sites they had were "too small for a unit with slides" so that was all they had to accommodate us.

This is 2012 folks, not 1987.

We drove on. And wound up with a fine spot for half that.
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(jan-n-john @ Nov 8 2012, 12:18 PM) *

We recently stopped at a KOA planning to spend the night. Long story short, they wanted over $65, in part because most of the sites they had were "too small for a unit with slides" so that was all they had to accommodate us.

This is 2012 folks, not 1987.

We drove on. And wound up with a fine spot for half that.

Unfortunately, a site stretcher tool has not been invented. To make sites bigger probably requires total reconfiguration of the park, something that can cost multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the park can make money catering mostly to smaller rigs it may not be a good business decision to make that reconfiguration. Making good business decisions is just as relevant in 2012 as it was in 1987.

Rob'nFamily
QUOTE(jan-n-john @ Nov 8 2012, 11:18 AM) *


This is 2012 folks, not 1987.




This is 2012, but the campground doesn't expand through some magical process each year. I doubt that the CG in your post was built this year. I have a friend who owns a private CG, and I know that he spent over 120K a few years ago, just to widen 2 rows of sites. All sites had to be torn out, then completely re-built and the piping redone.

You can't have it both ways. Either he leaves the sites too small and gets slammed for that, or he works to change his park to fit the newer units and gets slammed for being expensive due to the cost of it all.
jan-n-john
QUOTE(Rob'nFamily @ Nov 9 2012, 12:22 AM) *

This is 2012, but the campground doesn't expand through some magical process each year. I doubt that the CG in your post was built this year. I have a friend who owns a private CG, and I know that he spent over 120K a few years ago, just to widen 2 rows of sites. All sites had to be torn out, then completely re-built and the piping redone.

You can't have it both ways. Either he leaves the sites too small and gets slammed for that, or he works to change his park to fit the newer units and gets slammed for being expensive due to the cost of it all.

Unfortunately, if you re-read my post, that particular campground was charging as if it had converted to being larger when it hadn't -- the smaller sites were way expensive as well.

I take issue with the concept that not converting is a "good" decision for the CG owner. Goes back to my "2012/1987" remark. Slides have been with us now for what, 15 years or so? There are fewer and fewer RVs left out there that don't have slides, and I would hazard a guess that the ones that don't are owned by folks that are not able/willing to pay sufficiently to generate good revenue for the park anyway. To be and remain successful, any business has to move with the times, and has to upgrade and modernize its plant from time to time. That's why we have the accounting concept of depreciation.

Any park that is so old it still has sites that won't accommodate slides is very old, and is likely overdue for a refurb in any case. Of course there are owners out there who don't see it that way, and that's fine, and maybe they can continue like that for a while. But in the end they will likely fail. And meanwhile, I and I believe many or most others will go elsewhere. There are plenty of new and refurbished parks that can accommodate today's fleet of RV's at rates that generate a profit while remaining reasonable.
vincee
jan-n-john, I agree with you 100%! If a business doesn't want to because of expense or can't because they have not reserved funds to upgrade and improve over time, then I most definitely will take my resources (aka money!) elsewhere. That of course also will depend on the old what are you paying for what you receive concept.
joez
QUOTE
I take issue with the concept that not converting is a "good" decision for the CG owner.


There is no way anyone could know what was a good decision for the CG owner. Maybe their revenues are sustainable at high enough levels without expansion to satisfy their business plan. Maybe zoning/epa permits cannot be obtained (maybe they are grandfathered). Maybe the cost of money is too expensive to justify the expense of expansion or maybe they just do not want to expand. Maybe the owners just want to milk what is left until the cost of land goes up and they can sell to a developer. All of those could make it a "good" decision for the owner.

Years ago I owned a video game arcade. Everyone kept saying I should upgrade to keep up with the latest games the kids wanted, yet my revenues stayed high enough to satisfy all our expectations. Besides, I could see changes coming (home game consoles) that would change the market considerably. It was a "good" decision for me, personally, to not keep up, no matter how many well meaning armchair quarterbacks told me I should. Noone else knew what my plans or expectations were, however, so they could not possibly know what was a "good" decision.

Fitzjohnfan
Joez, I agree, there could be a multitude of reasons a park owner decides not to convert their sites to accomodate larger rigs. If you tear out a row of 10 sites to make 7 larger ones, you not only incur the cost of re-building, but you then lose the revenue of the lost sites (but possibly gain more business from larger rigs). Also, what about things you cannot measure, like lost privacy from having to remove landscaping. Some customers may come to your park for this added bonus, but if all they see is another RV next to them, they may chose another park.

It's a business decision some may make and some may not. Only the owner and their bank will know if it was the right one or not.
Rob'nFamily
QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ Nov 13 2012, 02:37 PM) *

Joez, I agree, there could be a multitude of reasons a park owner decides not to convert their sites to accomodate larger rigs. If you tear out a row of 10 sites to make 7 larger ones, you not only incur the cost of re-building, but you then lose the revenue of the lost sites (but possibly gain more business from larger rigs). Also, what about things you cannot measure, like lost privacy from having to remove landscaping. Some customers may come to your park for this added bonus, but if all they see is another RV next to them, they may chose another park.

It's a business decision some may make and some may not. Only the owner and their bank will know if it was the right one or not.


And that's the main point. It is all well and good for one of us to say "You're due for a refurb." After all, we don't have to pay for it, fight about zoning and/or planning commission requirements, upgrade the infrastructure, and re-do the entire landscape. My friend would love to refurb the entire CG to make spaces wider, eliminate any tight corners, make the entryway easier to use, and have exactly the right amount of tree cover. However, it would mean losing 25% of the sites (and their revenue forever), removing and replanting trees, and re-routing the electric, water, and sewer lines. Not possible. We all want it perfect, but this is the real world. He works with what he has, to give you what you have.

He must not be too far in the outdated hole. The place is full every weekend throughout the season, and about half full on weekdays. It's a family atmosphere, and people enjoy being out there.
jan-n-john
QUOTE(joez @ Nov 13 2012, 02:31 PM) *

There is no way anyone could know what was a good decision for the CG owner. Maybe their revenues are sustainable at high enough levels without expansion to satisfy their business plan. Maybe zoning/epa permits cannot be obtained (maybe they are grandfathered). Maybe the cost of money is too expensive to justify the expense of expansion or maybe they just do not want to expand. Maybe the owners just want to milk what is left until the cost of land goes up and they can sell to a developer. All of those could make it a "good" decision for the owner.




Lets keep in mind that what I was told by the KOA park in my original post was that the sites they had available were too narrow to accommodate a rig with slides and therefore my only choice was to pay $65 for a site that was wide enough. I am not talking about park expansions nor outdated features like the absence of 50W power nor sites that have a "tight fit" -- I'm talking about sites that can no longer be sold at all to most potential customers.

There are few if any rv's being built any longer that don't have slides. It is an absolute certainty that as time goes on sites that cannot accommodate rigs with slides will not have customers and will not generate any revenue. Given those facts, how it could be that a campground not revamping such sites can be a "good" business decision escapes my power of comprehension, assuming of course that the place intends to remain in business.

The cost of money has never been lower than it is now, so that "reason" won't fly.

As I said before, older parks with outdated facilities (that cannot be used by the types of rigs that are becoming universal) can continue for a while, but they will eventually fail. Busniess decisions, or failure to make decisions, that will inevitably lead to failure don't meet the test of "good business decision" in my book. But to each his own.


vincee
When you really think about it, this entire conversation is moot point. We as consumers will take our resources to what ever business gives us the best value, based on what we are looking for. I do believe this includes campgrounds and what facilities and amenities a particular camper is looking for in relation to there rig, equipment and personal preferences. Having worked in the retail industry at one time I have a habit of taking in the "business enviroment" of various places I may patronize, whether it is a restaurant, retail store or camp ground. Look closely, and at least to me, it becomes readily apparent a business that survives and one that is in bad decline. An example, Borders book stores, before filing for bankruptcy, started to look dirty, un-tidy and declining inventory. I think the same will hold true with campgrounds wishing to stay in business, and if not grow, at least maintain their level of business needed to survive.
GRL
I have found that the best place to overnight is at Cracker Barrel. Just stop into a Cracker Barrel and pick up a map of all the restaurants in the USA. As you travel call ahead to tell them you will be staying the night. Get up the next morning, get breakfast, and back on the road. Free and convenient. wub.gif
jschrubba
QUOTE(easyrider65_01 @ Sep 29 2004, 10:22 PM) *

I am relatively new to owning an RV and I was wondering if KOAs as a whole are nice or if it better to stay non-franchise cg s. I f have stayed a few KOAs and I get the feeling that KOA does not monitor the cgs that are not in the more tourist areas. I plan on doing a lot of traveling and KOA has a great website to locate a cg. I hope that my poor experiences have been the exception rather than the norm. So, as a whole are KOAs to be avoided mad.gif or enjoyed biggrin.gif ?


We have stayed at many a KOA and I agree that there are good ones and bad ones. I rely a lot on the reviews on this site and I find that private owned campgrounds are nice also. If you have a specific one you are looking at I would ask the reviewers this goes for privately owned also. Good Sam reviews are a reliable source also. Happy Camping! Can't wait for summer! biggrin.gif
Lindsay Richards
Allstays Smart phone app has a look up for Cracker Barrel. It can coordinate with your phone's GPS and give you turn by turn directions right to the door. We have stayed at quite a few of them over the years. We usually find we have to decouple the toad to fit properly.

Just read this weekend that KOA is starting to mark their parks Overnight, Holiday, and Resort as to inform about their different style parks.
Fitzjohnfan
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Nov 27 2012, 12:00 PM) *

Just read this weekend that KOA is starting to mark their parks Overnight, Holiday, and Resort as to inform about their different style parks.


Here is the info on the KOA re-branding...
http://rvdailyreport.com/News/ctl/ArticleV...initiative.aspx

Why don't they re-brand them with titles we campers can understand like:
"Dump", "Ok for overnight", and "Resort" or
"Reasonably priced", "Overpriced", and "Way Overpriced".
jan-n-john
QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ Nov 28 2012, 03:42 PM) *


Why don't they re-brand them with titles we campers can understand like:
"Dump", "Ok for overnight", and "Resort" or
"Reasonably priced", "Overpriced", and "Way Overpriced".

+1
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