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KOA’s new Billings-based CEO ready to blaze new trails

Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 16:52:01-04

BILLINGS – Pitching a tent, enjoying the great outdoors, and gathering around a campfire: all things many people associate with Kampgrounds of America (KOA). Now, customers can also associate Toby O’Rourke as chief executive officer of the Billings-based company.

O’Rourke has been the KOA president since March 2018 and first joined the company in 2011 as the director of digital marketing. 

“I think we need to encourage more people to be outside, so I am looking forward to how KOA can play a part in that,” she said.

O’Rourke added she is excited about the future of KOA and what she can bring to the table to answer questions facing the industry, including what camping will look like in the future and how the organizations must pivot in order to stay ahead of pace.

O’Rourke said the next questions to answer are what locations should KOA be adding, what markets they should focus on, and how to capitalize on things like “glamping.”

“We are actually working on a sole ‘glamping’ location. So, a departure from our current business model. We are just trying new things. I think that tends to be what I bring to the table. Just trying to think out of the box,” said O’Rourke. 

orourke, toby
Toby O’Rourke, KOA CEO. MTN News.

O’Rourke grew up in Montana and has a deeply rooted love for camping.

“It was a great place to grow up and get immersed. In a lot of ways, camping is like growing up in a small town. Everyone knows each other, and it’s a whole new experience it’s like you’re in a small town in Montana,” she said.

-Reported by Zoe Zandora/MTN News