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Feature Article - September 2006

Special Report:
Recreation Managementís First Annual State of the Industry Report

Our First Annual Recreation Forecast



Would you believe there are more than 1,000 waterparks just in North America? How about the fact that more than 41 million Americans belong to a health club? Did you know that tennis is making a comeback in popularity?

No doubt, the recreation industry is vast and wide, from an archery range in Alabama to a waterpark in Wyoming, including every community center, stadium, arena, ice rink, gym, park, pool, health club, sports field, golf course, resort, camp and playground in between.

Whatever the endeavor or the geography, recreation can mean big business. This we know. But in what direction is this big business headed? Could be anyone's guess.

Well, not just anyone's guess. We put the pressing question of the state of the recreation industry to an array of experts, casting our net across many disciplines, hoping to catch plenty of trends and analysis along the way.

The fishing was good. Based on their own experiences, observations and/or research, our experts from national associations, top planning firms and other leading industry organizations shared their projections, thoughts and wisdom with us. In turn, we are offering an educated and unprecedented glimpse of the leading trends in the managed sports, fitness and recreation market for 2007 and beyond.

Some of the information may seem straightforward, while some may surprise you. One way or another, we aim to help define the industry and its various trajectories. By uniquely organizing the industry's current pile of collective knowledge, we hope to provide a forum for painting a clearer picture of the years ahead.

So without further ado, here's the latest word on the street.