When I was 49 years old, I don’t remember ever getting excited about looking forward to my fiftieth birthday, but for KOA, our 50th Anniversary year in 2012 is just around the corner and we can’t wait to get started.
KOA’s history is grounded in an honest and straightforward approach to providing fun outdoor services and recreation for our camping guests. Staying true to this focus, having fun and always looking for ways to improve our service to you, will continue to be our goal for the next 50 years.
We just wrapped up our three-day National Convention in Las Vegas with KOA campground owners across North America. The enthusiasm generated when this group gets together is a joy to experience. After all, providing outdoor hospitality for one million camping households is just flat out fun. In addition to recognizing those campgrounds who went above and beyond in service to their camping guests and enjoying a great vendor expo featuring the latest in recreation and camping products, we introduced a bit of how we’re going to celebrate KOA’s 50th Anniversary with you. (Make sure to look for your first taste in the 2012 KOA directory coming out this spring.)
The final night of our convention culminated in the KOA’s annual Care Camps auction. This year, KOA owners managed to raise a record amount to send kids battling cancer to summer camps where they can take a break and enjoy a bit of time around other kids and the great outdoors. Together with donations made by campers and vendor partners throughout the year, we raised $300,000 in 2011. My hat is off to all those who have supported this cause, giving exceptional experiences for kids who need it most.
This convention was for me an excellent way to conclude 2011, a year in which I have had the privilege of meeting many KOA campers. Listening to your feedback, answering your questions and getting to know you really is the best part of my job. I appreciate your honesty and your humor, and for making KOA a part of your camping adventures.
Now, as we rush to celebrate our 50th, we also want to pause and give you our best for the holiday season. I hope your 2012 brings health, family, prosperity and more time around the campfire together.