Seward KOA Campground

Q&A With Breanna Dodson of Seward KOA Campground

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

Seward’s first KOA is a fullservice RV park with cabins as well as tent sites. Tourists and Alaskans from around the state come to enjoy nature, glaciers and the last rays of sun each day at the new KOA Journey Campground. Conveniently located between Exit Glacier and downtown Seward, guests have easy access to all the area has to offer.

We recently sat down with Breanna to learn more about the journey she has taken as a small business owner in Seward.

Breanna and Billy Dodson just opened Seward’s first KOA campground. Photo Courtesy of Breanna Dodson

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

I was born and raised in Seward and have lived here for 33 years.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

Seward is a great small town and I treasure the connection I have with people who live here. Also, nearly everyone working in tourism is available to help each other out.
What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?
We built this business from the ground up with a lot of sweat, tears, laughs and “oops”, but it has been a fun process. We starting this venture 2 1/2 years ago and just opened our doors the end of May 2019.
What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?
We are a brand new campground and offer full hookups. we are known for being big-rig friendly with very large RV sites.
The Seward KOA is located halfway between the city and beautiful Exit Glacier. Photo: NPS / S. Wright (2017)

 

Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.

Franchising with KOA was a big risk that has paid off. They are a great franchise to be apart of. They believe in mutual success. I also appreciate their philanthropy. KOA donates millions of dollars every year to send kids with cancer to camps. Any and all medications and/or treatments are brought to the camp locations so they can have as normal an experience as possible. It’s a great company to be a part of in so many ways.

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

Don’t think this is the easy road. Being self-employed means long hours and if you’re lucky you might even get a paycheck the first year.

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

We love to be able to provide large spacious sites for our guest, but what people love most is our beautiful bathhouse. Our bathrooms include walk-in showers with heated floors. People love that kind of luxury after a long day on the water.

The Seward KOA is a Journey Campground. It has capacity for big rigs and pull-through spots. Photo Courtesy of Breanna Dodson

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

“This is the nicest, cleanest RV Park we have stayed at in Alaska.”

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

My parents, Blaine and Jean Bardarson. They have made this building process a reality, whether by babysitting my young children so we can work all hours of the day and night or by giving business advice. They have helped in so many ways. I’m grateful to have them here.

How do you spend your free time?

Camping with friends and family away from our own park.

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

It doesn’t matter where I’m at, as long as I’m on my horse’s back. My other business is Bardy’s Trail Rides which does horseback tours around the Seward area, so I’ve grown up around horses and know the back-country of Seward well. I can always find somewhere quiet to unwind.
If your life was a book, what would the title be?
What’s Next?

Feature Image: The Seward KOA features a general store and a brand new bath house with heated floors. Photo Courtesy of Breanna Dodson
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For more information about Seward KOA click here or call 907.224.4887.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051.