Feature Article - June 2016
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2016 State of the Industry

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

By Emily Tipping


Programming

There was little change from 2015 to 2016 in the top types of programming most commonly found among respondents' facilities. These include: holiday events and other special events (provided by 63.4 percent of respondents); fitness programs (57.1 percent); educational programs (56.5 percent); day camps and summer camps (55 percent); youth sports teams (54.4 percent); mind-body/balance programs such as yoga and tai chi (47.3 percent); sports tournaments and races (46.6 percent); swimming programs (45.8 percent); adult sports teams (45.2 percent); and programs for active older adults (42.9 percent). (See Figure 29.)

YMCAs, health clubs and community recreation centers were the most likely to offer any kind of programming. A full 100 percent of YMCA respondents said they offer programming of some kind, followed by health clubs (98.4 percent) and community recreation centers (98.2 percent).


YMCA respondents were more likely than other facility types to include: holidays and other special events; fitness programs; educational programs; day camps and summer camps; youth sports teams; mind-body balance programs such as yoga; sports tournaments and races; swimming programs; arts and crafts; programs for active older adults; aquatic exercise; teen programming; trips; performing arts; personal training; day care or childcare; special needs programs; nutrition and diet counseling; and therapeutic programs.

Camp respondents were more likely than those from other facility types to offer: environmental education programs; camping; water sports such as kayaking; and climbing programs.

Respondents from park facilities were most likely to offer adult sports teams; sport training programs; and festivals or concerts.

College respondents were more likely than others to offer individual sports activities.

Some 31 percent of respondents said they had plans to add additional programs over the next several years, down slightly from 2015, when 32.2 percent had such plans. The 10 most commonly planned program additions in 2016 include:

  1. Educational programs (planned by 27.1 percent of those who will be adding programs)
  2. Fitness programs (26.1 percent)
  3. Mind-body/balance programs (25 percent)
  4. Teen programming (24.2 percent)
  5. Programs for active older adults (19.8 percent)
  6. Environmental education (19.7 percent)
  7. Arts & crafts (18.8 percent)
  8. Day camps and summer camps (18.3 percent)
  9. Sports tournaments and races (18.1 percent)
  10. Holiday events and other special events (17.7 percent)

More respondents in 2016 than in 2015 said they would be adding: fitness programs (26.1 percent vs. 24.9 percent); educational programs (27.1 percent vs. 24.3 percent); teen programming (24.2 percent vs. 20.4 percent); and active older adult programs (19.8 percent vs. 19.4 percent).

Respondents from community recreation centers, parks and YMCAs were the most likely to report that they had plans to add programs at their facilities over the next several years.

Some 38.6 percent of community recreation center respondents said they had plans to add programs. The most commonly planned programs among these respondents were teen programs (34.4 percent of those planning to add programs will add teen programs); fitness (31.3 percent); and mind-body balance programs (31.3 percent).

Among parks respondents, 38.2 percent said they had plans to add programming, with the most popular additions being teen programs (30.2 percent of those with plans to add programs); educational programs (28.4 percent); and environmental education (28.4 percent).

Nearly a third (32.8 percent) of YMCA respondents said they planned to add programs at their facilities, with the most commonly planned additions including performing arts (39.5 percent of those with plans to add programs); teen programs (34.2 percent); and environmental education (23.7 percent).