Meet Your Hosts
"We are proud to announce that we are not only the Worlds 1st KOA Campground established in 1962, but as of June 7, 2013 we became the Worlds 1st KOA Holiday Campground! Continuing the pioneering tradition that has made us America's #1 Camping Host. Come check us out and be part of the fun!"
The KOA in Billings has been a family operation ever since Marv and Carol Linde purchased it and moved from North Dakota 35 years ago. They decided camping was a lifestyle they enjoyed after completing a long family camping trip that included California, Yellowstone and other KOA Kampgrounds along the way, Carol recalled. Marv's background was in teaching, and she worked as a registered nurse for about 16 years, but he dreamed of owning his own business. The couple's three sons helped during the early years. Their son, David Linde, has managed the campground for more than 25 years. Meanwhile, they've added the West Yellowstone KOA managed by another son, Steve.
Carol Linde said the family tradition continues, as their oldest grandson is already helping out with mowing and the ice cream socials. "We've enjoyed it," she said. "We enjoy working with the camping people. My husband loves to plan new projects, and our sons are the same way."
The campground is filled with trees, several shrub beds and many flowers brighten the grounds. She said their deluxe patio sites are especially attractive and popular, since they are shady and spacious, featuring colored concrete, swings, a table with umbrella, barbecue grills, Cable TV, 50 amp wiring and benches.
They constantly upgrade the campground, she said, and have redone everything a couple of times over the years to keep it well maintained and attractive knowing they were in it for the long term. Guests enjoy a swimming pool, hot tub and mini-golf, and this year they remodeled the store and poured new tinted concrete huge planters and new concrete table with umbrellas. Both the game room and the laundry are in log cabins, she said, which the campers really like. They also have built a family style bathroom building, with a sink, bench, shower and toilet in one space, which is the size of most family bathrooms, she said.
Campers enjoy the opportunity to have breakfast or join the evening barbecue, which is held all summer long, she said. Their customer service goal is to always stay a step ahead of customer expectations. "We always talk about giving customers more than they expect," she added.
Marv and Carol remain involved on the sidelines, with Marv continuing to help with special projects at all three campground. Carol takes care of stocking the store and does the bookkeeping and payroll, but Dave manages the campground. The couple enjoys traveling, and they've been on trips and cruises, and stay actively involved in their church and they also enjoy their grandchildren. Dave and his wife Lisa have three children, and keep busy with school activities and sports.