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Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is a franchise chain of nearly 450 campgrounds throughout North America and Japan based in Billings, Montana, USA. The current CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. is James D. Rogers. The president of KOA is Shane Ott.
KOA was founded in 1962. Billings, Montana businessman Dave Drum got the idea to start the campgrounds while walking his property along the Yellowstone River and seeing travellers heading to the Seattle World's Fair. Drum got the idea to start a lodging business and constructed a campground on his land that offered hot showers, restrooms, a small store and a patch of grass.
The campground was quickly successful. Drum visited the campground nearly every night, talking to campers about their desires. From their conversations, Drum got the idea to expand his concept nationwide.
By the summer of 1963, Drum had two partners and the goal of creating a system of campgrounds throughout North America. The yellow logo was created and Drum and his partners started selling franchises.
By the end of the 1969 camping season, KOA had 262 campgrounds in operation across the U.S. By 1972—10 years after KOA's creation—KOA had 600 franchise campgrounds.
The Arab oil embargoes of 1973 and 1978 caused the collapse of many travel-oriented businesses. KOA, however, survived the troubles, which they credit to the strength of its system. By 1982, the KOA franchises had increased to nearly 900 campgrounds across North America.
In Bob Wood's 1988 ...