Feature Article - June 2010
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What's Happening in Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facilities

The South Atlantic region, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia, grew enough to hold the third spot this year, replacing the Northeast, which saw a drop. Nearly 1 percent more respondents (18.7 percent versus 17.8 percent) came from the South Atlantic states this year, compared with last year.

The Northeast, on the other hand, saw a drop, from 18.6 percent of last year's responses, to just 16.5 percent this year. This region includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The South Central region also saw a drop in the response rate this year, with 12.9 percent of respondents (compared with 13.4 percent last year) calling that region home. The South Central region includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Finally, the international response continued to shrink, to just 0.4 percent of responses this year. Last year, 1 percent of the responses came from outside the United States, and in 2008, the number was 1.7 percent.

You can find further detail based on regional information here.

Similarly to the regional representation, this year saw little change in the community types represented by survey respondents, with slightly fewer rural communities. (See Figure 2.) The largest percentage of respondents (41.5 percent) hail from suburban communities. Slightly less than a third (31.8 percent) indicated they were from rural communities, a drop of 1.7 percent from last year. Finally, more than a quarter (26.7 percent) indicated they were from urban areas.

When it comes to the way they operate—as private, for-profit businesses or public entities or something else entirely—this year saw slight growth in the number of public facilities represented. The majority of respondents (69.5 percent) indicated that they worked for public organizations. (See Figure 3.) These often include such entities as city- or state-run parks departments, park districts, public schools and so on. Less than one-fifth of respondents (17.7 percent) indicated they work for private, nonprofit organizations, such as YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and so forth. And this year saw 3.2 percent fewer responses from private, for-profit entities like health clubs, golf clubs and privately owned waterparks—just 11.6 percent of respondents.