Feature Article - June 2007
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REGIONAL TRENDS

From Cost to Coast, and Everywhere in Between


Programming options were largely similar across regions. In addition to being the number-one program offering across the country, holidays and other special events were also the top offering in the Northeast, South Atlantic and Western states, being most prevalent in the Northeast, where two-thirds of respondents said they provided such programming. Educational programming was the number-one option offered in the Midwest, and in the South Central region, fitness programs were the top choice.

The Northeast differs from the general survey results in several areas. Day camps and summer camps were more prevalent here, as well as swimming programs and youth sports teams. Also appearing in these respondents' top 10 program offerings, but not among the general survey population, were arts and crafts and teen programming. Fitness programs, mind/body balance programs and adult sports teams were slightly less emphasized by respondents in this region.

All of the programs listed in the top 10 across all regions also appear as the top 10 programs offered in the Midwest, but more Midwestern respondents offer these programs than other regions. For example, while just over 59 percent of all respondents provide programs for holidays and other special events, 61.3 percent of Midwestern respondents do so. The greatest discrepancies were to be found in sports tournaments and races, provided by 5.6 percent more Midwestern respondents than the average across the board, and adult sports teams, offered by 4.9 percent more Midwestern facilities.

The South Atlantic states were the most likely to offer educational programs. Swimming programs and sport training were less popular in this region, while facilities in these states were far more likely to plan trips for their patrons than others.

Respondents from the South Central states were the only regional respondents to list aquatic exercise among their top 10 program offerings. Fitness was the number-one offering in this region, though respondents in the West were the most likely to offer fitness programs.

In the Western states, swimming programs were more prevalent than in other states. Active older adults also appear on the top 10 list of programs offered in this region, though this option is not listed in the top 10 for any other region. Mind/body balance programs also receive greater emphasis in the West than in the general survey population.

Among the general survey population, environmental education was the top choice for programs to be added over the next several years. Facilities in the Midwest were slightly more likely than the average respondent to list this program as a planned addition for the next few years. Environmental education was also the number-one program addition selected by those in the Northeast. It was slightly less prevalent in Western states.

Fitness programs, which were the second most common choice for program additions planned for the next few years among the general survey population, were more likely to be chosen by those in the West and in the South Atlantic states. In both of these regions, fitness programs were selected as the number-one option facilities are planning to add in the next three years.

Mind/body balance programs, the third choice of the general population, were most likely to be selected as a top program addition by respondents in the South Central states. Other regions likely to be adding this programming option include the Northeast, the West and the Midwest.

Nutrition and diet counseling was the top choice for program additions among respondents in the South Central states.

Other departures from the general survey population included the Northeast, which selected teen programming as one of the top five program additions; the South Atlantic states, which also selected teen programming as well as day camps and summer camps; the South Central states, which selected holidays and other special events as one of their top five additions; and the West, which was the most likely to be planning to add teen programming and active older adult programs.

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