b'La. Parks Continue to Cleanup After Hurricane Zeta in OctoberPrivate park operators in Louisiana,MississippiandAlabamawerebusycleaning up fallen and missing fences,broken tree limbs and making other re-pairs after Hurricane Zeta hit the GulfCoast in late October, just a mile perhour short of a Category 3 hurricane.But while many parks were initiallywithout power, every park operator in-terviewedbyWoodallsCampgroundManagement said their essential infra-structure remained intact.We lost about 500 feet of fence, saidNateGaarder,generalmanagerofPontchartrain Landing, a waterfront RVresort in New Orleans, adding that some More Than 70 Attendpieces of fencing were found about aquarter mile away from the resort. KOAs Virtual BuyerZetas ferocious winds also strippedoff the siding of three, three-story rental Workshop in Octoberunits at the resort and blew off fourawningsonprivatelyownedmo- More than 70 potential new camp-torhomes and fifth-wheels, he said. ground owners attended the first-everWe were at the eye of the storm, virtual Kampgrounds of America (KOA)saidGaarder,whohasmanaged Buyers Workshop held in late October. Pontchartrain Landing for 13 years. He KOA has hosted highly successful in-said Zeta was the worst hurricane to hit person Buyers Workshops for decadestheparksinceHurricaneGustavin at various KOA locations, but the COVID-2008, which made landfall in the New 19 pandemic made it necessary to utilizeOrleans area as a Category 2 hurricane, new technology and take the Workshopaccording to published reports. Hurricane Zeta uprooted a number of trees at Autumn Lake RV Park experience online, noted KOA officials. Gaarder said about 30 guests rode in Calvert, Ala., as it cut a path through parts of the Southern U.S.The Virtual KOA Buyers WorkshopoutHurricaneZetainsidetheparks went extremely well, said KOA Directorpavilion.We do have some pretty big limbs that edge of the eye. of Franchise Development Larry Brown-Forecasters initially anticipated that are down, he said. The park has 43 RV sites and 14 park field. We were able to present all of theZeta would be a much weaker Category Thomas said his snowbirds rode out model RVs, five of which have metal necessary information to a large group1 storm, but the hurricane quickly in- the storm inside the parks office and ac- roofs. The park models with metal roofs of highly qualified potential new owners,tensified before hitting the Louisiana tivityroom,includingafewvisitors withstoodthehurricane,butsome and we were able to interact with thecoast and moving northeast across Mis- from Michigan who had never experi- shingles blew off the other park models. group pretty easily.sissippi and Alabama. enced a hurricane before. They said, The storm also ripped off a carport BrownfieldsaidtheonlinevirtualMarques Thomas, of Majestic Oaks never again, he noted, adding that and blew down about half a dozen trees, Workshop actually allowed KOA to ex-RV Resortin Biloxi, Miss., said the storm they assured him they didnt want to ex- although the McLeods fencing stayed pand the event to a larger audience.left a mess but his parks essential infra- perience a hurricane again regardless of intact. The storm also twisted a travel We usually cap the attendance atstructure remained intact. its anticipated intensity. trailer that the McLeods use as a rental ourin-personBuyersWorkshopsatIt knocked down a lot of perimeter It got pretty rough here, said Keith unit. about 50 people, he said. The virtualfence. We have a couple of roofs that will McLeod, who owns and operates Au- Itcouldhavebeenalotworse, experience allowed us to include every-have to be replaced, and a lot of our tumn Lake RV Parkin Calvert, Ala. with McLeod said in retrospect.Jeff Crider one who was interested. And there isbeautiful oak trees have some damage. his wife, Robin. We were on the outside WCM certainly a lot of interest right now inpurchasing a campground and becom-ing part of the Kampgrounds of Americasystem.KOA Virtual Buyers Workshop atten-dees spend a total of eight hours overthetwodayslearningthedetailsofcampgroundownership,campgroundmanagement,insuranceandfinancefrom KOA experts as well as leadersfrom Independence Bank and Leavitt In-surance.The KOA Buyers Workshops are thefirst introduction into potential camp-ground ownership for many attendees.We ensure that our Workshop atten-dees get all of the information they needto make informed decisions about theirfutures, Brownfield said. For most, theWorkshop is just the beginning of a longprocess of evaluation to ensure they findthe right campground at the right pricein the right location. We are there to helpthem every step of the way.BrownfieldsaidKampgroundsofAmerica is planning to return to an in-person format for the Workshop in thespring of 2021 but will likely continue toalso offer educational workshops onlinefor potential new campground owners.For more information on this event orfuture KOA Buyers Workshop sessions,go to www.OwnaKOA.com or call (800)548-7239. WCM4 -December 2020Woodalls Campground Management'