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Old 09-02-2005, 05:55 AM   #1
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The following letter is taken from the Billings Gazette. It is a letter to the editor. You can find them listed in the KOA directory as follows: Your hosts: 1998 "KOA Franchisee of the Year" honorees, Marvin & Carol Linde".

Quote:
Out-of-town freeloaders don't deserve free camping
I'm against allowing RVers to do what is known as boondocking (freeloading) in a parking lot such as Wal-mart. People who boondock go from town to town freeloading on the community in which they spend the night. While they park for free in a big-box store lot, they enjoy the benefit of police and fire protection. They dispose of their trash in someone's Dumpster and find a place to empty their sewage holding tanks while filling up with fresh water. All for free, thanks to the generous taxpayers of Billings.

I know that the City Council, mayor and The Billings Gazette have received e-mails from people who will tell you that if the city continues to enforce the ordinance, RVers will bypass Billings. Why do we owe them a free place to camp overnight? Most of the people who write these e-mails are from out of state. They have nothing better to do than sit in Internet chat rooms and complain to one another about free boondocking sites. They most likely have no plans to come to Billings in the first place, yet they somehow feel we are infringing on some right of theirs to camp free. Instead, all I ask is that they camp in a licensed campground.

Please, let's not let a bunch of out-of-state freeloaders tell us what to do. Instead, let's show some support for our local small businesses by continuing to be the leader in Montana and discourage boondocking.

Carol Linde
Billings
The Lindes, also own the Bozeman MT KOA and the West Yellowstone KOA.
You can send them your thoughts at:blgskoakamp@aol.com

You can let the folks in Billings know what think as well. To write the Billings Gazette, letters to the editor, speakup@billingsgazette.com

You can also visit the Gazette's public forum just visit Gazette Forum to let everyone there know what you think.
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Old 09-02-2005, 05:55 AM   #2
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The following letter is taken from the Billings Gazette. It is a letter to the editor. You can find them listed in the KOA directory as follows: Your hosts: 1998 "KOA Franchisee of the Year" honorees, Marvin & Carol Linde".

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Out-of-town freeloaders don't deserve free camping
I'm against allowing RVers to do what is known as boondocking (freeloading) in a parking lot such as Wal-mart. People who boondock go from town to town freeloading on the community in which they spend the night. While they park for free in a big-box store lot, they enjoy the benefit of police and fire protection. They dispose of their trash in someone's Dumpster and find a place to empty their sewage holding tanks while filling up with fresh water. All for free, thanks to the generous taxpayers of Billings.

I know that the City Council, mayor and The Billings Gazette have received e-mails from people who will tell you that if the city continues to enforce the ordinance, RVers will bypass Billings. Why do we owe them a free place to camp overnight? Most of the people who write these e-mails are from out of state. They have nothing better to do than sit in Internet chat rooms and complain to one another about free boondocking sites. They most likely have no plans to come to Billings in the first place, yet they somehow feel we are infringing on some right of theirs to camp free. Instead, all I ask is that they camp in a licensed campground.

Please, let's not let a bunch of out-of-state freeloaders tell us what to do. Instead, let's show some support for our local small businesses by continuing to be the leader in Montana and discourage boondocking.

Carol Linde
Billings </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The Lindes, also own the Bozeman MT KOA and the West Yellowstone KOA.
You can send them your thoughts at:blgskoakamp@aol.com

You can let the folks in Billings know what think as well. To write the Billings Gazette, letters to the editor, speakup@billingsgazette.com

You can also visit the Gazette's public forum just visit Gazette Forum to let everyone there know what you think.
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Old 09-02-2005, 06:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quote on Freeloaders. LMAO. Just finished sending her a little email. Hope it makes her day. Come on down to Texas, we will let you park. and if won't have to be a "LICENSED CAMPGROUND".
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:23 AM   #4
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Sounds like this ole gal is not as much concerned with us 'out-of-town freeloaders' taking advantage of the the good citizens of Billings as she is with these RVer/freeloaders spending money in her 'licensed campground'. I suspect that if she would get the price of overnight parking in line with other non-KOA campgrounds her business might increase.

This verbal slapping the face of the RVers who do park in the big box lots certainly will not cause them to want to camp there with her.
I suspect that her business is suffering and from the tone of this letter I also suspect that she is not a very pleasant person to deal with at the front desk check-in either.

Generally speaking we do not overnite in parking lots, but we also are not inclined to pay the overpriced fees charged at KOAs either.
We have never stayed at the KOA owned by Carol Linde, but have stayed in the Missoula KOA west of there. Never again, too crowded.

I can also tell you we will never stay in the Billings and Bozeman KOAs either.

'out-of-towner'
doc
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Old 09-02-2005, 01:15 PM   #5
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Interesting that the "local small business" she wants supported by those traveling through is only ONE of their THREE campgrounds. Wish I could afford to own one campground, let alone three.
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Old 09-02-2005, 05:42 PM   #6
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Kirk,
You're going to get me in trouble again.
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:25 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">You can let the folks in Billings know what think as well. To write the Billings Gazette, letters to the editor, speakup@billingsgazette.com </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I did send a reply to the Gazette about my feelings about the coments of the owners and their feelings about so called 'freeloaders' They were wrong on so many accounts and I just let them know. Thanks for the link.

Bob
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Old 09-02-2005, 10:00 PM   #8
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.......now I know where to dump my tanks...in their KOA Lot at nite......whining isn't going to bring them any more money-just the rath of campers.....If they would give a fair/better deal to overniters no one would even bother with the Big Box Lots and make reservations/stand in line to get into their lots......I think it is competition that is making Carol Linde afraid-she sees the end of the rope and is trying to save her sinking ship....good luck Carol but you time is up with the fuel prices in effect.....take a vacation and relax maybe the depression associated with loosing you business will subside.....or maybe not-who cares what you think anyway....geofkaye
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Old 09-03-2005, 03:52 AM   #9
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Just another example of the thinking and attitude of some of the KOA owners. There is one right near us that just packs them in to get every dollar they can. They sell fireworks and then we get our mats and cars damaged from fireworks being thrown around. In one weekend I sustained over 300 dollars damage to my new Explorer from handlebars on a bicycle being ridden through my site, a burned mat from fireworks being thrown. No more KOA camping for me if I can help it.If you don't look like you are going to spend money on all the extras (water slide, pedal boats, etc) you are not a desired customer. Just your money.
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:51 AM   #10
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I have met the Linde family while visiting thier Billings Camp Ground. While I disagree with the term "Freeloader" I agree with her argument, based upon thier reputation and the work they have put into thier parks. The Billings site is remarkable with many fine attributes that they, the Lindes have added over the years. I think most folks don't understand that most KOA's are privately owned, and should not be lumped all together. I wonder if the fellow who complained about about the firewoks spoke to management, and I wonder if he was reimbursed? Did management take care of the bad mannered kids? These folks are running a business and deserve to be heard too. I think insulting them is in poor taste and it does not belong here. And, what a childish, immature comment about dumping tanks late at night!
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Old 09-03-2005, 03:45 PM   #11
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rhandley: This woman is a whiner. If you go to the forum sponsored by the Billings newspaper you will see that almost all the posters support boondocking. She has the nerve to post on that forum without revealing that she owns 3 KOA's. She does not need pity. Why doesnt she set aside an area for boondocking at say $10 a nite? The way to face any competition is not to complain but to change the way you do business. Look at how Target remains in business even though Walmart is everywhere. They learned long ago that they had to reinvent themselves. Went after a different customer. More upscale. And guess what they are succesfull! The people who stay at Wal Mart are not her customers. Never were. If every Wal Mart in the country stopped allowing boondocking her business would not increase. KOA's are expensive destination CG's not meant for overniting.
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Old 09-03-2005, 09:06 PM   #12
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.....not to worry rhandley....I have an incinolet electric toilet[I dump an ash tray].....but my comment might spark another to take action and take a "dump" as it were....anyway there is NO way I'd even go to Billings Montana freeloading or otherwise....some states are just aren't worth the expense of effort to visit....geofkaye
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Old 09-04-2005, 05:54 AM   #13
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I appreciated Moishe's response - businesses change, and a change in the KOA business model would not be a bad thing.
But, I really hesitate to write off Montana as a state to visit. I've been to all the states except Montana and Alaska now, and and I'm really looking forward to visiting both. Glacier has always been high on my list and now that we have a metal box to sleep in, I'm looking forward to visiting it. I don't expect to stay in the Billings KOA on my way through, though.
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Old 09-05-2005, 03:43 AM   #14
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I am the one who had the mat burned by fireworks and when I told them about it, they said OH Well. This campground is 9 miles from Toledo Ohio and they really pack them in with "week end party groups" I even had to point out to the owner how dangerous it was to allow cars with a matteress on top with kids riding on top. No they did not offer to pay. Quote " that can happen" By the way for years I have known the family that runs the CG.
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