Podcast episode 53 starts with a quick discussion of important news impacting the RV industry, such as the RV Industry Association’s expansion of its Elkhart offices, and Workhorse’s announcement that the firm was re-entering the Class A chassis market.
Host Greg Gerber provides an overview of the 2015 RV Industry Power Breakfast that featured a presentation by KOA CEO Jim Rogers, who outlined the massive potential facing the RV industry with 27 million actively camping households. Of that group, only 21 percent use RVs, another 21 percent use cabins and 54 percent use tents. There are 31 million households run by people 18 to 34 compared to 30 million run by people over 35.
Rogers said 25.1 million of the 18- to 34-year-old camping households soon intend to purchase new equipment or upgrade from existing equipment. Of that group, 23.8 million households are seeking to buy a recreation vehicle. Gerber did not mention in the podcast that another 16 million people age 35 and older plan to purchase or upgrade an RV soon.
This week’s guests are Scott and Diane King, the owners of the Springfield Route 66 KOA campground in Missouri. Diane serves on the board of directors of KOA Care Camps, an organization that has raised $8 million since 1984 — $1 million last year alone — to help send kids with cancer to camp for a week. Care Camps supports 56 separate campgrounds that provide a camping experience to kids at no cost to their families.
The Kings talk about what Care Camps is all about, the cost to provide the service and the impact a camp experience can have on the child and his or her family. They also describe the efforts of KOA owners to raise money throughout the year to support the charity, especially during KOA’s The Big Weekend, which took place May 8 and 9. Diane explains that KOA owners have set a goal of raising $1.5 million this year to support Care Camps.
The couple, which has managed the Springfield Route 66 campground for 12 seasons, also talk about some of the challenges they face as campground owners.
For more information about Care Camps or to make a donation, visit www.koacarecamps.org.