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


There also was very little change in the type of community our respondents hailed from. The largest number of respondents indicated that they work in suburban areas, with 40.8 percent. Just under a third (32.8 percent) said they work in rural areas, and a little more than a quarter (26.4 percent) work in urban areas. (See Figure 2.)

Fewer respondents to this year's survey were from public organizations (such as municipal park districts). While nearly 70 percent of last year's respondents were from public organizations, this year, just 64.5 percent said they worked for a public organization. This was offset by increases in the number of respondents working both for private nonprofit (17.7 percent) organizations (such as YMCAs and some colleges) and private for-profit (13.1 percent) organizations, such as health clubs. (See Figure 3.)

Much of this decrease may be explained by the corresponding drop in respondents representing segments of the market such as parks and recreation districts and departments, as well as schools and school districts. While park agencies still represented the largest percentage of respondents this year, at 37 percent, it was a drop from last year, when 39.5 percent of respondents were from park agencies. (For more information on responses from parks and recreation organizations, turn to page 56.) Likewise, last year 10.6 percent of respondents were from schools and school districts, while this year that number has fallen to 7.4 percent. (Additional information on responses from schools and school districts can be found on page 68.) At the same time, there has been an increase in the percentage of respondents representing colleges and universities (from 15.3 percent to 16.5 percent), as well as YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys and Girls Clubs (from 4.1 percent to 6.1 percent). (Further detail on responses from colleges and universities can be found on page 64, and more information on responses from YMCAs can be found on page 76.)

Rounding out the responses were those from community or private recreation and sports centers (7.4 percent); campgrounds, RV parks and private and youth camps (7.7 percent, with additional detail on page 79); sports, health and fitness clubs (3.6 percent, with further information found on page 72); resorts and resort hotels (2.5 percent); golf or country clubs (2.2 percent); military installations (1.5 percent); waterparks, theme parks and amusement parks (1.9 percent); ice rinks (0.5 percent); racquet and tennis clubs (0.4 percent); corporate recreation or sports centers (0.4 percent); and stadiums, arenas and tracks (0.3 percent). (See Figure 4.)