KOA Buys Billings Location, West Yellowstone Properties
BILLINGS, Mont. – Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) has purchased three KOA properties – Billings KOA Holiday in Billings, Mont., and Yellowstone Park/West Gate KOA Holiday and Yellowstone Park/Mountainside KOA Holiday located near West Yellowstone, Mont., according to a press release from KOA.
Billings KOA Holiday, opened in June of 1962, holds the designation as the first KOA campground among more than 500 KOA locations. All three properties were owned by the Marv and Carol Linde Family of Billings, Montana for 46 years.
Marv and Carol Linde purchased the Billings KOA Holiday in 1977. Over the next four decades, the family grew and updated the campground, making it one of the premiere KOAs in the United States. The campground currently features RV sites, including pull-thrus with KOA Patio, Camping and Deluxe Cabins and tent sites. A pool, custom playground, Kamp K9 dog park and mini-golf are available for guests.
Opened in 1977 and 2013, the Yellowstone Park/West Gate KOA Holiday and Yellowstone Park/Mountainside KOA Holiday are the closest KOA properties to Yellowstone Park, located near the west entrance. All three campgrounds provide quality amenities and service, resulting in some of the highest guest satisfaction among KOAs.
“For over four decades, the Linde family has been valued partners and friends,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America, Inc. “Marv, Carol – and sons Steve, Dave, and Brian – have been actively involved in our campground system, shaping many of our programs and overall approach to outdoor hospitality. We are honored they have entrusted us to carry their legacy forward. They will always remain a special part of our KOA family and history.”
Kampgrounds of America, Inc. has over 500 campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada. While the majority are franchised, over 40 locations are owned directly by the company. Owning campgrounds is a core component of Kampgrounds of America, Inc.’s business strategy and allows them to grow key operational knowledge that improves offerings across the system.
Transferring ownership in early May, Kampgrounds of America, Inc. views the sale as a chance to continue the long legacy of outdoor hospitality fostered by the Linde family. It also created the opportunity for KOA, Inc. to own and operate the campground that laid the groundwork for the world’s largest system of privately-owned campgrounds in the hometown of company headquarters.
The purchase of the three properties also coincides with the opening of a new company headquarters this summer. Currently being completed on the West End of Billings, the new office and the transfer of ownership of Billings KOA Holiday further strengthen Kampgrounds of America, Inc.’s 60-year connection to the city.
“What we built as a family took decades to accomplish, and I’m very proud of what we created,” said Steve Linde on behalf of the Linde family. “We’ve seen so many changes during 46 years with KOA. I hope we’ve had a positive influence on the KOA system, helping others achieve success. KOA and our campgrounds will always be a big part of my life. I’d love to see KOA, Inc. complete the vision of my dad and our family.”
Dave Linde added, “I couldn’t have asked for a better entity to purchase these properties. Our family has had control for over 40 years, and knowing that someone like Kampgrounds of America, Inc. will come in and have that same long-term goal of building and developing the properties, not somebody here to make a quick buck, is very important. This company can chart long-term growth, which is one of those amazing things.”
Several initial updates are planned to enhance the three KOA campgrounds. An ongoing sewer project that will result in a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility at Yellowstone Park/Mountainside KOA Holiday and Yellowstone Park/West Gate KOA Holiday will be completed in 2023. Additionally, new Wi-Fi will be brought to both West Yellowstone locations to better serve the 40% of campers who say the ability to connect to Wi-Fi greatly impacts their ability to camp more. Yellowstone Park/West Gate KOA Holiday will also welcome an improved recreation area with a jumping pad and permanent lawn games. Across all three properties, various enhancements will be made to existing sites and cabins. Design and planning for future additions of more sites and amenities are underway.