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Former KOA CFO Joins KCN Campgrounds: Growth, Innovation, and a Bright Future Ahead

The campground industry is on the cusp of a transformative era, and industry players like John Burke are at the forefront of this change. 

Photo courtesy of KCN Campgrounds

In a recent exclusive e-mail interview, Burke, former CFO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) and the newest member of KCN Campgrounds, shared his strategic vision, acquisition strategy, and future goals for the burgeoning company.

During my time at KOA, we were very focused on growing both the franchise system as well as the company’s portfolio of company-owned properties,” Burke told Modern Campground

Burke expressed that KCN has a similar emphasis on expanding its property portfolio while enhancing customer service and the financial health of their existing assets. 

He mentioned the company’s strategies include marketing, facility expansion, service enhancement, and efficient budgeting and expense management. Burke also conveyed his enthusiasm about bringing his experience from KOA to contribute to KCN’s team.

KCN Campgrounds, with Burke’s guidance, is laser-focused on quality growth. They’re on the hunt for well-operated properties ripe for improvement through capital investment, expansion opportunities, and meticulous revenue and expense management. 

“We are also focusing on certain regions where  KCN already has properties reasonably close to take advantage of economies of scale and synergies across our operations,” Burke added.

According to Burke, financial management remains a challenge for many in the campground industry, especially small business owner-operators. 

“The biggest challenge for many small business owner-operators is finding the time in their extremely busy schedules to focus on current financial performance and long-term planning for the future,” Burke observed. 

In his experience with KOA, they always encouraged franchisees to balance their daily operations with long-term financial planning. Burke plans to bring this ethos to KCN, backed by a team with strong financial backgrounds and efficient software tools.

Reinforcing operational efficiency is another area Burke is keen to address at KCN. Drawing inspiration from KOA’s operational structure, he shared, “KCN looks to structure their operations similar to KOA in terms of campground managers reporting to regional supervisors.” This approach, he believes, will ensure a balance between workload, property management, and payroll costs.

The camping and outdoor hospitality sector has witnessed rapid evolution in recent years. From the challenges of COVID-19 to the surge in RV sales and a shift in camper demographics, the industry landscape is changing.

Addressing these changes, KCN is introducing technology innovations and exciting new accommodation types across its portfolio. 

From launching the first AI Chatbot within KOA to help campers at its Sheridan WY campground to adding Conestoga Wagons in Sheridan and Australian glamping tents in the Wisconsin Dells, KCN continues to adapt to the evolving demands of campers. 

He emphasized the importance of continuous evaluation to anticipate future trends and ensure camper satisfaction.

Looking ahead, Burke has ambitious goals for KCN Campgrounds. “While we haven’t stated a specific number of target acquisitions, I’d like to see KCN acquire 4 or 5 properties each year for the next 3 years,” he revealed. This acquisition rate is in line with the company’s internal targets, aiming to lay a strong foundation for the next stage of dramatic growth.

Burke’s insights and strategic vision for KCN Campgrounds signal a promising future for the company and the broader campground industry. 

With a clear focus on growth, innovation, and catering to the evolving needs of campers, KCN Campgrounds is set to make significant strides in the coming years, benefiting their guests and investors alike.

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Stephanie Cox
Stephanie Cox
March 16, 2024 8:12 am

Did you know that John Burke is bringing his financial and strategic skills to KCN Campgrounds? With his expertise in marketing and planning, he’s set to steer KCN towards long-term success. Under his guidance, KCN is diving into tech and sustainability to cater to modern campers’ needs. It’s an exciting journey ahead with Burke at the helm!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Former KOA CFO Joins KCN Campgrounds: Growth, Innovation, and a Bright Future Ahead! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/former-koa-cfo-joins-kcn-campgrounds-growth-innovation-and-a-bright-future-ahead/