Feature Article - June 2011
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State of the Industry 2011

A Look at What's Happening in Recreation, Sports and Fitness Facilities

By Emily Tipping


The top planned programs varied according to the segment of the industry in which respondents work. For example, for parks respondents, the top three planned programs were teen programming, environmental education and fitness programs. In addition, some of the top planned programs at park facilities do not appear on the top 10 list of planned programs for all facility types. These include performing arts programs, special needs programming and adult sports teams.

Among respondents from colleges and universities, day camps and summer camps, fitness programs and mind-body/balance programs, such as yoga, were the top three planned programs. Other programs college respondents are planning to add that do not appear on the top 10 list for all facility types include personal training, climbing programming, sport training and nutrition/diet counseling.

Respondents from schools and school districts listed fitness programs, educational programs and sports tournaments or races as their top three planned programs. Other programs planned for schools that are not common across all respondent types include youth sports teams, sport training, personal training, swimming and daycare or preschool programs.

For health club respondents, programming for active older adults, fitness programming and programs for teens were the top three planned program additions. Other programs planned by health club respondents that are not as common among the entire survey population include nutrition/diet counseling, aquatic exercise, special needs programming, adult sports teams and youth sports teams.

YMCA respondents indicated that programming for teens, nutrition and diet counseling, and performing arts programs were their top three planned program additions for the next three years. In addition, YMCAs differ from the general survey population in that they are more likely to be planning to add adult sports teams, arts and crafts programs, therapeutic programming, sport training and youth sports teams.

For camp respondents, environmental education, educational programs and day camps and summer camps were the top three planned programs. They depart from the general survey population in that these respondents were more likely to be planning to add water sports programs, such as canoeing or kayaking, arts and crafts, climbing, camping and trips.

Respondents from community centers chose fitness programs, programs for active older adults and educational programming as their top three planned additions. Also among their top planned programs were sports tournaments and races, arts and crafts, nutrition/diet counseling, adult sports teams, daycare or preschool programs, and festivals and concerts.