b"INDUSTRY NEWSFour Years Later, KOA Reopens Florida KeysNEWS IN BRIEFNewBook Appoints New CEO Park Destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017Shaun Cornelius has been appointed CEO of NewBook, a reservation and park manage-After almost four years of reconstruction work, the SugarloafYou have to remember that a lot of those folks lost homesmentsoftwarecompany,accordingtoa Key/Key West Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Holiday, hastoo, he explained. press release. reopened as one of the island jewels of the KOA system. A majority of the parks planned 150 RV sites are open, accord- Cornelius is an experienced digital growth Destroyed by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the parking to Gothberg, while construction workers are completingCEO, with experience as a former senior ex-took longer than anticipated to rebuild, but Erik Gothberg,large hotel-like buildings that will house 44 vacation suites. ecutive at eBay, and most recently, as man-COOofKOAscorporateownedproperties,toldWoodallsThe RV sites are large KOA Patio Sites, which is an upgradeaging director at Autotrader/Carsguide. The Campground Magazine (WCM) that it was a labor of love. from a park that previously featured very short sites and 90-de- move comes off the back of a period of strong This is a premiere destination and a major destinationgree angles. growth for NewBook, according to the release. point for tourists on the East Coast, said Gothberg. We in- Before, our campers had to decide if they were going to putCornelius succeeds founder and presi-vested the money in this property because we realized we wereout their slide or they're awning, explained Gothberg. No- dent, Brad Illich and interim CEO and oper-going to generate a return there and I think quite frankly this isbody nowadays would have built that campground.ating partner at Potentia, Cheyne Tan at the probably the best campground KOA owns on the corporateOn top of the new RV sites, the park now has brand new util- helm. Both Illich and Tan remain with the side.ity hookups, a full-service marina with watersport rentals, aNewBook family, with Illich continuing his role By being forced to start from ground zero due to the hurri- pool and a poolside pub. In the future, an on-site caf will alsoas founder and president and Tan continuing cane it was kind of a blessing, he added. It really allowed usbe available to guests. as a board member and director alongside to see what we could do. Gothberg said that the small details are what really make theMichael McNamara and chairman of New-Whattooksolong?Gothbergsaidthatthepermittingpark unique. Book Tim Reed. WCMprocess, including engineering and site planning took awhilePart of the pub is constructed out of an Airstream trailer that because the local building department was swamped with re- had rolled across the park during Hurricane Irma. OHara to Lead Sales at RoverPassquests after the hurricane. Florida continued on page28 RoverPass, a company that enables trav-elers to book RV parks and campgrounds, and a provider of reservation management Turnstone Eyes Growth, Teams with Blue Vista software, has named Kristen OHara as its new director of sales, according to a press Real estate investor Turnstone GroupOur interest grew from there and we started studying therelease.based in Atlanta, Ga. was started inspace and decided its something that we wanted to becomeOHara is a visionary and tenacious busi-2001 by its CEO Chip Johnson with themore involved with, Willis added. We took baby steps at firstness leader with over 25 years of professional idea that it would pursue investments inand bought another park in Texas in 2016. We learned moreexperience in partnership growth, strategic several different asset classes, from resi- from owning that property and saw an opportunity to bring aplanning, B2B and consumer marketing, and dentialland,apartments,condos,self- professional mindset to the space. There are plenty of reallyteam leadership to help catapult growth to storage, hotels and, of course, RV parks,good operators out there, but there are opportunities to runbusinesses in the travel & tech sectors, according to Brice Willis, managing direc- these parks differently, as well.states the release. tor at Turnstone.Not ones to rest on their laurels, Turnstone Group teamPreviously serving in strategic roles for We got into the RV park business inmembers announced in early August they had partnered withcompaniessuchasNewBookandRMS, 2015 kind of by accident, he told WoodallsBrice Willis Blue Vista Capital on a joint venture that seeks to pursue up toOHara has a proven record in identifying, iso-Campground Magazine (WCM). During the great recession, we$200 million in new acquisitions and development opportuni- lating and solving the biggest challenges faced were a pretty active buyer of distressed properties, and weties in the RV park and outdoor hospitality arena.by businesses in the industry today. WCM bought an RV park in Panama City Beach, Fla., from a bank that,We are like-minded with Blue Vista on our investment apparently, had foreclosed on it. We loved the real estate and thephilosophy, explained Willis. They are really going to pro- Four Points Acquires 3 Jellystones land, and thought, Well, this is a land play. Maybe, eventually,vide us with the capital that will allow us to make a strongLake Charles, La.-based Four Points RV well sell it to someone, but in the meantime, well operate it aspush forward in the sector. We dont want to do anythingResortsLLCrecentlyacquiredtwoYogi an RV park. We started operating it as an RV park and madehalfway. We are looking to make a splash and to be aggressiveBears Jellystone Park Camp-Resort loca-some tweaks to management and realized that we could reallyas we ramp up our portfolio, and they are like-minded in thattions and converted a third campground into improve the performance there and saw the cash flow.regard.WCM the Yogi Bear-themed franchise network in time to catch the summer camping season, according to a press release. We have been very busy. We couldnt be more excited, and we are just getting started said Matt Van Der Molen, a Four Points part-ner, noting that the company acquired the Jellystone Park locations in Pittsfield, Ill. in October 2020 and Monticello, Iowa, in May 2021. The company also acquired the former Bucktail Camping Resort in Mansfield, Pa., in May 2021 and converted it into a Jelly-stone Park location. Four Points is seeing dramatic increases in business at all three of its Jellystone Park locations after making significant improve-ments in park attractions and accommoda-tions, notes the release. WCM Northgate Plans 2nd Camp Fimfo Northgate Resorts has broken ground on its second location for its new brand, Camp Fimfo, to open in Waco, Texas, by Spring 2022. The property will be the second in the Camp Fimfo brand, building on the momen-tum of its inaugural site in New Braunfels, Texas, which opened in 2021, according to a press release. Tessa McCrackin, CMO of Northgate Re-sorts, is excited to be adding a second location. The brand responds to what people need when traveling now, she noted. They want to be outdoors without sacrificing comfort entirely. We provide them the best of both worlds with a boutique camping experience unlike any other.WCM6 October 2021Woodalls Campground Magazine"