SPOKANE, Wash. — In 1976, the U.S. was celebrating its Bicentennial, but for 10-year-old Bill Chapman, Jr., it was the year his family—including his grandparents—packed up and moved from California to beautiful Spokane, Washington.
“Dad had a plastering business in California,” Bill explains. “Packing around bags of sand all the time was hard on his body. My folks and my grandparents all sold their homes to make the down payment on this property.”
Purchasing a campground during the mid-70s came with challenges. The economy was down, and the “gas crunch” was on. Then in 1980, Mt. Saint Helens erupted, coating the campground with inches of ash. Despite the difficulties his parents faced, however, Bill, Jr. enjoyed growing up on the campground with his parents, grandparents and siblings. It was quite an adventure, albeit one with a little hard work thrown in.
“Summertime I worked all the time, just like I do now,” he recalls. “We all started working right away. Minimum wage back then was just $2!”
Today the Spokane KOA Journey offers big-rig friendly pull-through and back-in RV sites with either full or partial hookups and up to 50-amp service. Deluxe cabins, which feature private bathrooms and kitchenettes, one-room camping cabins and comfortable tent sites are also popular options with camping guests. Visitors also love the campground’s amenities, including a pool, playground, arcade, bike rentals, sports court and the Kamp K9 dog park.
The Spokane KOA Journey remains very much a family affair, with four generations living or working on the campground, including Bill’s 96-year-old grandmother and his parents, Cathy and Bill, Sr. His son and daughter-in-law also joined them a year ago.
“In this business you have to work pretty much seven days a week,” Bill says. “You can’t leave unless you have someone you trust to run the place because there’s always something going on. But it’s a great family business—and it sure beats working for somebody else!”
Open year-round, the Spokane KOA Journey is located at 3025 North Barker Road. It is one of 490 open-to-the-public KOA campgrounds in the Kampgrounds of America system in the U.S. and Canada.
For more information, call 509.924.4722 or visit www.koa.com. Reservations may be made online or by calling 800.562.3309.
SOURCE: KOA press release