KOA Issues Awards During Convention

A picture of the pool/splash pad at the 2022 KOA Campground of the year, the Indianapolis KOA Holiday.
The pool/splash pad at the 2022 KOA Campground of the year, the Indianapolis KOA Holiday.

Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) announced the winners of the annual campground awards during its annual convention in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Campground of the Year

The 2022 KOA Campground of the year is the Indianapolis KOA Holiday, owned and operated by David and Lori Vaughan.

The campground is 20 miles from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and has been owned by the Vaughan family the past 17 years. During that time, the Vaughans have continuously improved the park.

KOA President and CEO Toby O’Rourke said the Vaughans are perfect examples of a great camping location paired with a driven team.

“The Vaughans are representative of the drive and determination among all KOA owners to give campers the very best outdoor experiences possible,” O’Rourke said.

The campground now has 150 full hookup RV sites, as well as deluxe cabins and premium tent sites designed to take advantage of the park’s oak, maple and sycamore trees. There is also a horse stable on the premises.

“Our mantra in Indianapolis has always been to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade,” said owner David Vaughan. The couple’s efforts have grown camper nights by 6% and increased registration revenues by more than 57%.

Founder’s and President’s Awards

Each year KOA surveys over a quarter million guests after their campground stays. That feedback, paired with results of an annual inspection process, qualifies KOA campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada for the Founder’s Award and the President’s Award. This year, the criteria shifted slightly to accommodate a virtual inspection process.

The awards are also issued to various companies based on geographical area.

The KOA President’s Award is awarded to KOA campgrounds that excel in providing great camping facilities and consistently high levels of guest service. Chosen by KOA’s camping guests through satisfaction surveys and KOA’s own stringent quality inspection, recipients of the President’s Award provide dedicated KOA camping services.

The KOA Founders award is named for Dave Drum, KOA’s founder. Award recipients share Drum’s dream of providing the highest quality camping facilities while exceeding KOA guests’ expectations.

A full list of Founders and President’s Awards recipients is available here.

Rising Star Park

The Willcox/Cochise KOA Holiday, owned and operated by Dennis and Penny Crull, was named KOA’s 2022 Rising Star Campground.

The park is located in the southeast corner of Arizona, 80 miles east of Tucson. During the four years of the Crulls’ ownership, Willcox/Cochise KOA Holiday underwent a metamorphosis.

The Willcox KOA was constructed in 1972 and taken out of the KOA system in 1996 to be operated independently until the Crulls purchased it in 2017.

Alongside business partners Joe Ben and Violet Stone, the Crulls invested more than $300,000 in electrical upgrades, a heated swimming pool and spa, an advanced WiFi system and a full-service restaurant that operates seven days a week.

Camper nights increased by 25% in the past four years, and revenues rose by 73%. Dennis Crull said the secret to success has been careful attention to customer feedback, and a relentless drive to be the best at campground hospitality. The park has received a perfect score on KOA Quality Assurance Reviews for several years running.

“The Willcox/Cochise KOA Holiday shows what can be done when campground owners focus on their guest and are driven to be the best campground in their market,” O’Rourke said. “There are so many new owners in the KOA system deserving on recognition for their efforts. I think the Crulls and the Willcox/Cochise KOA Holiday are great representatives of the quality we see every day in the KOA system.”

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