Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) is gearing up for its second annual “Come Camp With Us Day,” which will be held May 13.
Last year, 333 KOA campgrounds participated in the inaugural event, in which the Billings, Mont.-based company provides one free night of camping, including free cabin rentals in many locations.
This year, the promotion has grown to include more than 28,000 campsites and cabins, an increase of more than 6,000 camping accommodations from 2004.
“Last year, more than 80% of the campers who stayed for free on Friday stayed over as paying guests on Saturday,” said Jim Rogers, KOA president and CEO. “That’s a lot of added business, and that’s powerful.”
“People loved the free night last year,” said Maureen Quintal, owner of the Yosemite/Mariposa, Calif. KOA. “Most stayed over and gave us a lot of added business. It increased our camper nights over last year by almost double.”
Jill Brennan, owner of the Wisconsin Dells KOA, offered a similar perspective. “For us, ‘Come Camp With Us Day’ brought a good crowd for a historically very empty weekend at our campground and most stayed a second night.”
“Come Camp With Us Day” was one of the top 10 camper registration weekends for the KOA system last year.
The promotion also has become one of the major fundraising events for KOA Care Camps for children with cancer, the primary charity of the KOA owners association. Last year, more than $38,000 was raised in a single weekend to benefit the charity.