HAMMOND - The Astoria/Warrenton/Seaside KOA in Hammond has been named one of Woodall's camping guide's top 100 campgrounds in America.

"We are the only campground in Oregon to be recognized and one of only eight KOA's nationally," said general manager Dale Brechlin.

"There are over 18,000 campgrounds in the U.S. To be voted in the top 100 by our customers is phenomenal."

The Astoria KOA has 235 spots that include cabins, lodges, RV sites and tent sites. It is putting in a new activity building, remodeling its café and adding new sites.

"Our off-season has already shown promise, with 50-plus percent growth," Brechlin said.

He and his wife, Jane, who is the campground's merchandising manager, transferred to the local KOA in November 2011 from Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

"I was the manager at that KOA for four years," said Brechlin, "and the owner of the Astoria campground is the same as Harpers Ferry. The manager here retired, so I was offered the position here.

"I grew up as a carpenter in the family's business and went on to own several businesses throughout the years," he added.

Brechlin said that at one time he had been a deputy sheriff and a facility manager for the credit card company MBNA. After Bank of America bought out MBNA, the Brechlins sold off their possessions and began life as full-time RVers.

He said that, "As we traveled the country, crossed it four times, we worked in Tampa, Fla.; San Antonio, Texas; Bowling Green, Ky.; Mount Rushmore, S.D.; Las Vegas, N.V.; Harpers Ferry, W. Va. and now here in beautiful Astoria."