Change in Butte KOA Kampground policy evicts permanent residents


Change in Butte KOA Kampground policy evicts permanent residents

BUTTE, Mont. - Permanent residents at Butte's KOA have to find a new place to live. Campground managers changed policy, shocking some residents who've lived at the campground nearly 40 years.

"I just don't know what I'm going to do," said KOA resident Arlene Salcido. "I've been looking but there's just no options right now."

Salcido can't believe what she heard.

"They had handed us a letter one day -- last Tuesday, in fact -- and it was a real shock to me. It blindsided me," she said.

Ten residents of the Butte KOA Kampgrounds learned a policy change is forcing them to pack up and move their mobile homes.

Salcido has lived at the KOA Kampgrounds for 6 years on a fixed income. She says the cost to move her home will be more than $3,000.

"It costs so much money to move something like this," Salcido said.

We spoke with part-owner, Tom Cervenak. He said he's sorry, but it's a business decision.

"We worked with KOA folks," Cervenak explained. "They were out here on the property looking it over, walked around every site and came up with the long-term strategy goal."

Cervenak said the campground is transitioning into solely overnight camping. He said telling the permanent residents wasn't easy.

"Unfortunately I had to deliver the letters," said Cervenak. "Which was one of the more difficult things I've done in my life."

Cervenak said the change will bring in more tourists to Butte.

"We're trying to be good citizens, to improve what we have and make a better product and something Butte can be proud of," he said.

But for the residents like Salcido, the clock is ticking. They have 90 days to figure out what they are going to do. That means they have to be out of the KOA Kampground by the beginning of September.

Cervenak said they have offered the residents help with moving and will give each resident a $175 refund check.

More Stories