‘Undercover Boss’: KOA Ventura to be featured in segment of hit reality program
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: January 11, 2013
Be sure to tune in Friday when Jim Rogers, chairman/CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc., faces the unknown as “Undercover Boss” - and one of his stops is at Santa Paula’s own KOA Ventura.
Rogers, who with 486 locations leads the world’s largest system of family friendly franchised and company-owned campgrounds throughout the U.S., made the trek to Ventura KOA to film portions of the episode to air January 11 at 8 p.m. on CBS Channel 2.
Originally a British television series, the show became an international franchise, and the U.S. version of “Undercover Boss” debuted in February 2010. In September 2012 the show was an Emmy winner in the Outstanding Reality Program category.
“It’s a really good reality show in my opinion,” said Scott Cory, co-owner with Steve Bitter of the Ventura KOA. Cory is delighted that Rogers and the “Undercover Boss” team visited KOA Ventura, which has some unusual offerings including “glamping” - AKA glamorous camping - accommodations. Cory noted the trailer for Friday’s program shows Rogers zipping along on the Ventura KOA zip line.
Rogers, based at company headquarters in Billings, Montana, is just the latest boss to go undercover for the program. Each episode features a high-ranking executive or corporation owner going undercover as an entry-level employee in his or her own company.
The appearance of the executive is altered - in Rogers’ case his graying hair and well-trimmed beard were banished for a brown mustache and darkened hair - and they assume an alias and fictional background. The camera crew is explained to the boss’ unsuspecting co-workers as creating a documentary about entry-level workers or filming for a worker competition.
The executive spends about a week undercover working in various areas of company operations while rotating to different locations/branches. The “Undercover Boss” learns much not only about the inner workings of their company, but also the professional and personal challenges of those employees converted during filming to close co-workers.
At the end of the undercover week, those who worked with the “Undercover Boss” are invited to company headquarters where the true identify of their former coworker is revealed. Some hard-working employees find they’re being promoted or given bonuses, while others are given more training or told of workplace improvements.
Cory said he’s looking forward to seeing the episode of “Undercover Boss” that includes Rogers’ experiences at KOA Ventura, especially as he knows very little about the filming: “I’m as anxious as anyone to see it myself,” although he quite enjoyed the trailer footage of Rogers on the zip line.