b'were still a little ways off from that.stop. I think our owners are going to There are close to 13,000 private camp- embrace it. Its just something we have groundsandtherearestillalotofto do to meet the demand and the mom-and-pop operators, family oper- changing landscape that were finding ationsandmulti-generationopera- ourselves in. Its an exciting time and tions,whichmakeupalotoftheits fun to now be doing something demographic at KOA. I think there arenew in the industry and just getting some big buyers that are starting to buyour campground owners on board. parks, but theres definitely a place atOur campground of the future proj-KOA for the family operator.ect is trying to keep an eye on some of WCM: How does KOA, and the indus- the larger changes that are coming. tryingeneral,maintainthetradi- Solar is definitely a big one. Our Kamp tional camping experience in light ofGreen program that weve had in place all of this consolidation?for many years, weve reframed it this ORourke: I think something weve al- year and were looking at certain fo-ways talked about at KOA is that camp- cuses per year to really get people to ing is just such a timeless activity anddial in. theres obviously going to be changesORourke told WCM that park owners need to find ways to creatively approach the processThis year is on energy conservation. in camping, but the fundamental rea- of hiring employees, including the attraction of working outdoors and the causes the industryTheres a whole range of things you can sonaboutwhypeoplecampwontstands for.do within energy conservation that I change. They want to connect withthink is exciting for campgrounds to each other, they want to connect withstart thinking about, either next year the outdoors. Weve got lots of thingsthe RVIA board meeting last week anddar.or the year after. One Im super excited in place to help and instill that experi- thats definitely something the manu- WCM:Everyonehasbeentalkingit about is water reuse and water recla-ence at the campground level.facturersaretalkingabout.Theyreabout electric vehicles (EVs). What ismation. I think thats a big area that We have a lot of corporate buyers,pumping out close to 600,000 RVs thisKOA encouraging their owners to docampgrounds can make a big differ-but I still feel even those parks, whenyear and looking to do the same nextright now on that front?ence in.youshowupatthatcampground,year, and they are wondering whereORourke: Were definitely encourag- Not only is the younger camper ex-youre there for the camping experi- they are all going to camp. Whats ex- ing them to take it seriously and makepectingyoutobeenvironmentally ence. Theres a lot of new things com- citing at KOA is that we have 3,900 newa plan, and weve got a partnership inconscious and think about that, but ing, yet it doesnt really change the coresites in design right now to be addedplacewithJamestownAdvancedyounger employees are also expecting reason of why youre there, which is toto this system. We have 20 new camp- ProductstogetEVchargersinourthat. As we think about workforce de-connect to the outdoors. I think KOAgrounds being built, which is the high- campgrounds. Were actively talking tovelopmentandattractingnew understands that and continues to fos- est number weve ever had being built.some others in the space, and so wecampers, we need to be thinking about ter that.Plus, over 325 existing KOAs have in- would love to see EV charging capabil- who we are, what our message is and WCM:Whatcanyoudoforthevested in their parks and are addingity at every KOA.how it is important from an attraction camper who wants to get in and ismore sites. Were continuing to expandAlready,everyKOAhas50-ampandretentionstandpoint. Wereex-having trouble? How do you take careour campground system. We have alsopower,sotheycanaccommodatecitedaboutsomeoftheideasthat of all these people who are coming ingot some great new functionality thatcharging. I think thats something weweregoingtobesharingwithour andhavingahardtimegettingaallows people to see available dates forcan easily say, you can charge at anyowners on how they can get more in-reservation?multiple parks at once. If a sites notKOA. We would love to see more su- volved and do more in that space. ORourke: I think capacity is a realopen on the date they want to come,perchargers added to sites or added toWCM: What about Wi-Fi and con-concern across the industry. I was atthey can take a good look at the calen- parks so that we can always be thatnectivity?16 January 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine'