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Mike Gast

Kampgrounds of America Inc.
Vice President of Communications

 Mike Gast has been the Vice President of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. since April 2001.

 

Kampgrounds of America Inc., now celebrating its 54th year after been founded on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana in 1962, now has 485 locations throughout North America.

 

Mike Gast came to KOA after nearly 25 years in the newspaper business. He began his career in newspapers while in high school in North Dakota, working for his hometown weekly paper, the Kenmare News.

 

After stints during college with the Williston Herald in Williston, North Dakota and the Grand Forks Tribune in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Gast graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota School of Journalism in 1979.

 

He worked for Knight-Ridder’s Aberdeen American News in Aberdeen, South Dakota for the next nine years as a reporter, covering just about every beat the paper offered.

 

In 1987, he moved to Billings, Montana to become the night city editor for the Billings Gazette. He led the daily planning during the Gazette’s coverage of the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. The Billings Gazette was a finalist in the 1988 Pulitzer Prize competition for its coverage of the fires.

 

In 1990, Gast became the day city editor at the Gazette, and in 1993 was named managing editor of the newspaper.

 

In 1996, Gast left the Gazette to become executive editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times in Corvallis, Oregon.

 

He returned to the Billings Gazette in 1998 to become the circulation director, and in 1999, created the first Marketing Department at the Billings Gazette as the new director of Marketing.

 

Gast left the newspaper industry in February 2001 to enter the public relations field with Kampgrounds of America Inc. at the company’s home office in Billings.

 

High water marks for Gast at KOA included having then CEO Jim Rogers featured on an episode of the CBS Emmy Award-winning “Undercover Boss” in 2013.

 

As Vice President of Communications at KOA, Gast is responsible for all communication to camping guests, all public relations as well as communications to the company’s 485 franchisees.