June '18

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76 • RV PRO • June 2018 rv-pro.com to buy land and add and modernize sites. It's exciting to see. There are new construction projects all across the country." O'Rourke says KOA plans to take the findings from this year's North American Camping Report and continue its cur- rent strategy. She says KOA is working to extend the outdoor experience beyond the RV and cabin with its patio sites. "We understand that once you step off that metal step it's not just into dirt and a picnic table. We've trademarked a KOA patio and that's specific termi- nology around our definition of a patio site, which includes specific square footage, a built-in fire ring and secondary seating other than dining," she says. KOA will continue moving forward with its brand positioning program and O'Rourke says the campground system is set to have all of its campgrounds branded by 2020. "It helps set expectations for campers based off what we know people are looking for in a campground. It plays into those requirements," she says. "We're modernizing our parks and con- tinuing our focus on accommodations. A quarter of new campers last year were in accommodations. We continue to get more cabins on parks and expansion of unique accommodations such as canvas tents, tipis and yurts." KOA also is making an investment in its koa.com website, improving the experience for booking reservations, and also the KOA mobile App. "We're continuing to invest for good Wi-Fi in our parks and after the expe- rience we have a really thriving social media presence that we think just con- tinues to foster the relationships with people," O'Rourke says. Trend Spotting Ultimately, O'Rourke says the impact and power of the North American Camping Report comes with its consis- tency and ability to identify trends, which is aided by the fact this is the fourth year KOA has sponsored the report. "With any report, the power comes when you do it year over year in a consis- tent way, so you can see trends," she says. "We have to do it every year in the same way to see growth or decline trends," she says. "It's fun to be four years in and see how it's taken off. "If we had only done it once, we might say, 'oh, that can't be true; it's an anomaly in the research,'" she adds. "When we see it four years in a row, we feel more confident saying, 'this is a trend.'" B U S I N E S S Figure 3 KOA is adding locations in response to the fast-growing number of campers in North America.

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