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Just some of the Virtual KOA Workshop attendees listen online to information they need to make informed campground purchase decisions.

More than 70 potential new campground owners attended the first-ever virtual Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Buyer’s Workshop, held online Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24.

KOA has hosted highly successful in-person Buyer’s Workshops for decades at various KOA locations, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary to utilize new technology and take the Workshop experience online.

“The Virtual KOA Buyer’s Workshop went extremely well,” said KOA’s Director of Franchise Development Larry Brownfield. “We were able to present all of the necessary information to a large group of highly qualified potential new owners, and we were able to interact with the group pretty easily.”

Brownfield said the online virtual Workshop actually allowed KOA to expand the event to a larger audience.

“We usually cap the attendance at our in-person Buyer’s Workshops at about 50 people,” he said. “The virtual experience allowed us to include everyone who was interested. And there is certainly a lot of interest right now in purchasing a campground and becoming part of the Kampgrounds of America system.”

KOA President & CEO Toby O’Rourke addresses Virtual Workshop attendees.

KOA Virtual Buyer’s Workshop attendees spend a total of eight hours over the two days learning the details of campground ownership, campground management, insurance and finance from KOA experts as well as leaders from Independence Bank and Leavitt Insurance.

“There has never been a better time to invest in the camping industry,” Brownfield said. “We’ve seen an explosion of interest in camping and the outdoors. We have record numbers of new campers in North America adopting the lifestyle, and the the recreational vehicle manufacturing industry is setting new unit records every month. RV dealers can’t keep units on their lots.”

Despite the pandemic, Kampgrounds of America is nearly on par with its overall performance in 2019, a year that set new records for camper nights and revenues at the 58-year-old company.

“That is just a phenomenal comeback when you consider nearly all of our campgrounds were either closed for most of March, April and May, or were severely restricted by local and state mandates,” Brownfield said. “The demand for camping for the remainder of the summer and into the fall has been just extraordinary, and we see no reason that the interest in camping won’t continue to be strong going forward.”

The KOA Buyer’s Workshops are the first introduction into potential campground ownership for many attendees.

Independence Bank experts explain campground financing.

“We ensure that our Workshop attendees get all of the information they need to make informed decisions about their futures,” Brownfield said. “For most, the Workshop is just the beginning of a long process of evaluation to ensure they find the right campground, at the right price in the right location. We are there to help them every step of the way.”

Brownfield said Kampgrounds of America is planning to return to an in-person format for the Workshop in the spring of 2021, but will likely continue to also offer educational workshops online for potential new campground owners.

“We received a lot of positive feedback from our Buyer’s Workshop attendees regarding the virtual experience,” he said. “We were able to provide them with the information they needed in a highly efficient and affordable way. The goal is to get interested buyers started on the right path in their campground ownership journey, and we accomplished that.”

For more information on this event or future KOA Buyer’s Workshop sessions, go to www.OwnaKOA.com or call (800) 548-7239.