Kampgrounds of America is pleased to welcome Michael Higley, new owner of the Redmond/Central Oregon KOA to the KOA Family of Campgrounds.
For the last 12 years, Higley had been buying mobile homes to remodel and resell them.
“I actively stopped doing it in 2015. I lived in the suburbs of Portland around that time when I noticed that rents were skyrocketing in Portland and because of that, valuations of old mobile homes were going up also,” says Higley. “It was time to get my house on the market and leverage what I was doing into a park.”
Higley says he didn’t know that necessarily meant owning a campground, but decided the numbers started to add up toward campground ownership instead of owning a mobile home park.
“Unless I wanted to do an extreme location I wasn’t going to find anything that the purchase price was supported by the income of the mobile home park. I expanded my horizons and started to include RV parks,” he says.
It wasn’t long after he started looking that Higley came upon the opportunity to purchase the Redmond/Central Oregon KOA, only a few hours from where he currently lived.
“Before going into this I’d heard the name KOA, but had never been in one and didn’t know what they were, other than an A-frame building, which seemed to be the traditional style.”
Higley spent his first season sitting back and learning how things work.
“It was new to me. In my head, I envisioned people come for a week, stay with us and go home. I didn’t realize we had such a large turnover of campers overnight,” Higley says.
“The tide had gone out and the tide rolled back in and we were full again. That’s what I equate it to. Tidal waves of the ocean. Customers roll in and roll out.”
As for his future plans, Higley says he has a ton of things he wants to do, but he was at the mercy of others to complete them, including waiting until the busy season was over to start tackling projects.
First and foremost, he wants to upgrade the electrical in the park. That includes upgrading Wi-Fi.
“We’re way underpowered. We were fortunate we had a very cool summer last year so not a huge demand on our electric. We’re increasing everything to 50-amp sites.”
Other plans include putting in a couple Tipi Sites, remodeling bathrooms and bringing in other features to make the campers’ stay a better experience. That includes new fire pits that have grill grates.
“I’m hoping to offer some sort of water feature at our pool to make it a more exciting experience for kids. I want to bring in some games we don’t currently have in the park,” says Higley. “I’m also hoping to expand our customer appreciation breakfast and ice cream social throughout the week instead of just the weekend in the summer. The other thing is to offer pizza on -site.”
The Redmond/Central Oregon KOA is one of more than 515 open-to-the-public KOA campgrounds in the Kampgrounds of America system in the U.S. and Canada.
Located at 2435 SW Jericho Lane in Culver, the Redmond/Central Oregon KOA received the 2020 President’s award for meeting exceptional quality standards and are recognized by their guests for outstanding service. It is open all year.
For more information, please visit http://www.koa.com or call 541-546-3046. Reservations are available by going online, using the KOA app, or by calling 541-546-3046.