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PodcastsA Decade of Success and Challenges in Campground Management: Insights from Lelah Campo of Cozy Hills, Connecticut 

A Decade of Success and Challenges in Campground Management: Insights from Lelah Campo of Cozy Hills, Connecticut 

June 6, 2024

Running a successful campground is no easy feat, as evidenced by the journey of Lelah Campo, the dynamic owner of Cozy Hills in Bantam, Connecticut. On a recent episode of the Campground Confidential podcast, Lelah shared her experiences, challenges, and successes in the campground industry, including the recent opening of a second RV park. 


Introduction to Lelah Campo and Cozy Hills

With a background in construction and association management, Lelah purchased Cozy Hills in 2014, despite having never camped a day in her life. Over the years, she has transformed the campground from a modest 115 sites to a thriving 183-site destination, complete with 10 rental units and a host of family-friendly amenities. Under her guidance, Cozy Hills has grown its revenue by an impressive 500%, emphasizing a seamless guest experience and engaging activities.

Key Takeaways from this Episode of Campground Confidential

1. Embracing Technology in Campground Management

One of the standout themes from Lelah's interview is the integration of technology in campground operations. From the beginning, Lelah recognized the importance of technology to streamline processes and enhance guest experiences. Cozy Hills was among the first to adopt Newbook’s software, enabling online bookings and license plate reading for gate access. This technology not only simplifies check-ins but also allows for effortless revenue generation through features like automated late checkout options for guests. Additionally, GPS-tracked golf carts at the campground ensure safety and reduce the need for negative interactions between staff and guests.


2. The Importance of Activities and Amenities

Lelah emphasizes the critical role of activities and amenities in attracting and retaining guests. At Cozy Hills, the focus is on providing a rich array of activities seven days a week during the summer, from outdoor laser tag to archery and a mega slide. This commitment to family-oriented activities has turned Cozy Hills into a destination campground, appealing to families looking for a complete vacation experience. Lelah’s approach demonstrates that investing in diverse activities can significantly boost occupancy rates and guest satisfaction.


3. Balancing Growth with Campground Character

Growth and expansion are essential, but Lelah is keen on maintaining the unique character of Cozy Hills. She shares the challenges of being landlocked, which limits physical expansion but also keeps the campground cozy and intimate. This balance is crucial as she recently expanded her business to include a second property, a 365-acre farm turned campground. The new property, with its 93 sites and extensive outdoor amenities, caters to a slightly different demographic, offering more space for outdoor adventure while retaining the charm that guests love about Cozy Hills.


4. Navigating the Challenges of Campground Ownership

Lelah’s journey is not without its challenges. From dealing with zoning laws and community acceptance for her new campground to managing the high costs of property taxes, Lelah has faced numerous obstacles. She advises potential campground owners to choose locations where their presence is welcomed and to navigate local regulations carefully. Her pragmatic approach to overcoming these hurdles showcases the resilience and strategic thinking necessary for success in this industry.

5. Fostering a Positive Guest Experience

Customer service is at the heart of Cozy Hills’ success. Lelah highlights the importance of pleasant guest interactions and the role of technology in minimizing conflicts. For instance, remote lock systems for cabins eliminate issues with late checkouts, allowing guests to extend their stay easily while ensuring timely turnover for new arrivals. Recording phone calls for quality assurance helps in training staff and resolving disputes, ensuring a consistently high level of service. Lelah’s focus on enhancing guest experience through both personal interactions and technological tools underscores her commitment to hospitality.



Lelah Campo’s story is a testament to the dedication and innovation required to run a successful campground. Her ability to leverage technology, invest in engaging activities, balance growth with maintaining character, navigate operational challenges, and prioritize guest experience offers valuable lessons for current and aspiring campground owners. As Lelah continues to expand her business and face new challenges, her insights provide a roadmap for success in the evolving landscape of outdoor hospitality. For those in the industry, her journey is both inspirational and instructive, illustrating the potential for growth and excellence in campground management.

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