Cold no damper for new KOA owners

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Winter business going well as proprietors plan first-year upgrades for infrastructure

  • Troy and Penny Crosson officially closed on the Ouray KOA in January and are the new owners of the popular campground.
    Troy and Penny Crosson officially closed on the Ouray KOA in January and are the new owners of the popular campground.
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The Ouray KOA’s first winter to remain open is going well, and new owners Troy and Penny Crosson are eager to remodel and expand the campground.

“This weekend we are pretty booked,” Troy said in the days leading up to the Ouray Ice Festival. He said word of mouth of the campground’s year-round open status has helped keep ice climbers and skiers “trickling in” so far this season.

The Crossons have one-, three- and five-year plans for updating the facilities they officially acquired this month from previous owners David and Deborah Brunovsky.

With work already under way, the focus in the first year is on remodeling the infrastructure, including the kitchen and the open-air restaurant for winter use, and enclosing the bar. Eventually, Troy envisions offering games like pool and darts in the restaurant.

A new chef and pastry chef start on May 1, with the opening of the newly updated kitchen and restaurant. Penny said baked goods from the restaurant will also be sold at La Zona Colona and Duckett’s Market.

The three-year plan for the KOA includes a remodeling of the main building to accommodate the big summer crowds the campground already sees, adding a bistro and relocating the laundry facility, which happens to be the only one in the county. The small retail store in the building will be expanded to 4,000 square feet.

The Crossons will work to make sure guests do not feel like they are “in a construction zone” during the renovations, Troy said.

The ambitious five-year plan is to elevate Ouray KOA from a “holiday” classification to a “resort” classification, the highest standard for KOA. Part of those plans include installing radiant heat on RV and tent pads and along all driveways and sidewalks. A swimming pool would also be built.

“We will still cater to those people who just want a tent, sleep in their car, all the way to these multimillion-dollar rigs,” Troy said.

Only 15 acres of the 38-acre property are currently developed. The Crossons plan to add more tent sites as part of their future plans for the campground.

The Crossons worked at the campground all last summer, training to become the new owners. They took on full management in October, and now have full ownership.

Originally from Texas, the couple first visited the campground as guests in 2018. They felt immediately at home and decided to modify their plans of building an RV park in Texas to owning the KOA in Ouray.

The couple has made great efforts to become part of the community in a short amount of time. They are involved with Grace Community Church and are members of the Elks Club and the Ouray Tourism Office. The couple anticipates hosting Bible study groups, family comedy, karaoke and murder mystery dinners and collaborating with the Wright Opera House and local theater groups for events at the KOA.