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The first franchise KOA, located in Cody, celebrates 60 years of camping

A bus that takes people to the rodeo from a campground in Cody
Gwyn Wathen / Recreational Adventures Company
A shuttle bus provides transportation from the KOA in Cody to the rodeo.

The Cody KOA is celebrating its 60th anniversary on June 7. It’s the first franchise location in the nation.

For the anniversary, the campground added fenced-in areas for pets and a pet playground. Located about 50 miles east of Yellowstone National Park, many people use it as a basecamp.

Gwyn Wathen is with Recreational Adventures Company, the group that owns the Cody KOA.

“You can do Yellowstone for a day, come back, fix dinner at your campsite, enjoy the campfire, do some smores, enjoy your family, enjoy good conversation and then turn in for the night,” he said.

The KOA also has a shuttle service to take people to the rodeo in Cody.

The first KOA campground is in Billings where the company is headquartered.

Olivia Weitz is based at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. She covers Yellowstone National Park, wildlife, and arts and culture throughout the region. Olivia’s work has aired on NPR and member stations across the Mountain West. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom story workshop. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, cooking, and going to festivals that celebrate folk art and music.

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