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


Respondents from YMCAs, health clubs and camps were the most likely to report revenues had increased in 2010, and they also were the most likely to expect further increases in 2011 and 2012. For 2010, 52.7 percent of YMCA respondents, 50 percent of health club respondents and 46.1 percent of camp respondents said their revenues had increased. In 2011, those numbers rise to 63.7 percent for YMCAs, 58.7 percent for camps and 54 percent for health clubs. This is followed by yet another rise in 2012, with 67.2 percent of health clubs, 65.1 percent of YMCAs and 63.4 percent of camp respondents projecting revenues to increase.

In 2010, schools were simultaneously the least likely to report an increase in revenues (just 9.6 percent) and the most likely to report a drop (33.6 percent). Respondents from schools and school districts were also the most likely to project falling revenues in 2011 (41.5 percent) and 2012 (41.2 percent).

Respondents from parks were also more likely than other respondents to report dropping revenues, with more than a quarter (25.8 percent) indicating revenues had fallen from 2009 to 2010. In 2011, 17.6 percent expect revenues to drop (though 39.1 percent projected an increase). And, in 2012, 10.6 percent project a drop (with 39.9 percent projecting an increase).

At the same time that many respondents are reporting higher revenues, operating budgets have decreased. Last year's respondents projected an operating budget for fiscal 2010 of $1,856,000. This year, respondents reported that their actual operating budgets for that same time period were $1,427,000, more than percent less than projected. That said, they are expecting a slight increase for fiscal 2011, of 1.5 percent to $1,449,000, and a further increase of 3 percent in fiscal 2012 to $1,493,000. (See Figure 11.)

Across the board, respondents from all industry segments except for camps reported lower-than-expected operating budgets for fiscal 2010 when compared with last year's respondents. The largest discrepancies were found among schools, whose reported operating budgets for fiscal 2010 were 42.5 percent less than projected last year, as well as colleges, at 28.8 percent less than projected. Camp respondents, on the other hand, reported operating budgets for fiscal 2010 that were 12.9 percent higher than projected by last year's respondents.