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

Budgets & Usage

Several years into what has been called the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the reporting on signs of recovery seems to be increasing, but among our respondents, the level of concern about the effect the downturn is having on their facilities remains virtually unchanged. There is only a slight drop from last year, when 88.1 percent of all respondents indicated they were extremely concerned or somewhat concerned. This year, the majority, 87.5 percent, still indicate that they are either extremely concerned (37.9 percent) or somewhat concerned (49.6 percent). Only 2.6 percent said they are not concerned at all. (See Figure 9.)

Again, the highest levels of concern were recorded among YMCAs, where 93.4 percent indicated they were extremely or somewhat concerned (compared with 96 percent last year), and among camps, where 90.4 indicated they were concerned (compared with 91.7 percent last year). On the other hand, slightly more respondents from colleges and universities said that they were concerned, compared with last year. More than four out of five (80.6 percent) were concerned, compared with 78.2 percent last year. That said, college and university respondents were the least likely among all facility types to indicate that they were concerned about the impact of the economic downturn on their facilities. All other respondents were at least 8 percent more likely to indicate some level of concern than these respondents.

The influence of the economy on revenues seems to have been worse than some were anticipating last year. In 2009's survey, 20.5 percent of respondents anticipated a drop in revenues from 2008 to 2009, but nearly a quarter (24.6 percent) of respondents this year indicated they had actually seen such a drop. (See Figure 10.) The numbers are slightly better for 2010, though more than a fifth, 21.3 percent are expecting to see a drop in revenues (compared to 17.8 percent who were predicting such a drop last year), and only 35.8 percent expect an increase (compared with 41 percent last year).

Once again, the outlook is rosier two years out, when more than 40 percent of respondents are expecting revenues to be higher than in 2010, and 43 percent are expecting no change.