Feature Article - June 2016
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Regional Information

A Look at Regional Trends



While respondents from every region were most likely to be representing parks and recreation organizations, the concentration of facility types does vary from one region to another, with those in the West most heavily represented by parks and recreation, and those in the South Central states least heavily represented by parks and recreation. (See Figure 31.)

In the Northeast, 39.9 percent of respondents said they were with parks and recreation. The next largest group were from colleges and universities (14.7 percent). They were followed by schools and school districts (11.1 percent); camps (7.7 percent); YMCAs (6.8 percent); community sports and recreation centers (5.2 percent); and health clubs (4.1 percent). Another 10.5 percent represented other types of facilities, with those from the Northeast being more likely than any other region to represent ice rinks (1.1 percent of Northeastern respondents).

In the Midwest, 38.9 percent of respondents were with parks and recreation organizations. The next largest group were from schools and school districts (16.2 percent). They were followed by colleges and universities (10.7 percent); camps (8.4 percent); community sports and recreation centers (7.2 percent); YMCAs (6.3 percent); and health clubs (1.8 percent). Another 10.5 percent were from other types of facilities.

Some 44.4 percent of South Atlantic respondents were from parks and recreation facilities. The next largest group were from colleges and universities (12.8 percent). They were followed by community sports and recreation centers (7.1 percent); YMCAs (6 percent); camps (4.8 percent); schools and school districts (4.3 percent); and health clubs (2.3 percent). South Atlantic respondents were more likely than those from any other region to represent "other" facilities, with 18.3 percent coming from some other type of facility. Among these, the South Atlantic was more likely than other regions to be home to golf and country clubs (4.6 percent of South Atlantic respondents worked for golf facilities); resorts and resort hotels (3.1 percent); military (2.8 percent); and racquet or tennis clubs (1.1 percent).

In the South Central region, 37.8 percent of respondents were from parks and recreation facilities. The next largest group was from colleges and universities (13.8 percent). They were followed by schools and school districts (11 percent); community recreation and sports centers (6.7 percent); YMCAs and camps (5.5 percent each); and health clubs (2.4 percent). Some 17.3 percent of South Central respondents represented other types of facilities. Those that were most likely to be located in the South Central states include waterparks (2.8 percent of South Central respondents were from waterparks); medical fitness or wellness facilities (1.6 percent); amusement or theme parks (1.2 percent); and corporate recreation or sports centers (1.2 percent).

In the West, half of respondents (50 percent) said they were with parks and recreation organizations. The next largest group of respondents were from community sports and recreation centers (12.1 percent). They were followed by schools and school districts (6.5 percent); colleges and universities (5.4 percent); health clubs, and camps (4.9 percent each); and YMCAs (3.4 percent). Some 12.8 percent of Western respondents were from other types of facilities.

A majority of respondents in all regions indicated that they form partnerships with outside organizations. Those in the Midwest and South Atlantic regions were the most likely to do so, while those in the Northeast were the least likely to form such partnerships.

Some 89.8 percent of Midwestern respondents said they had partnered with outside organizations, and 88.9 percent of South Atlantic respondents had done so. They were followed by those in the West (87.5 percent) and the South Central region (86.2 percent). Among those in the Northeast, 82.2 percent had formed partnerships with outside organizations.

Respondents from the South Atlantic region were more likely than others to partner with: local government (55 percent of South Atlantic respondents had partnered with local government); nonprofit organizations (51.6 percent); colleges and universities (37.9 percent); corporate or local businesses (35.6 percent); YMCAs (24.8 percent); health care or medical facilities (24.2 percent); federal government (19.7 percent); and the military (15.1 percent).

Respondents in the West were more likely than those in other regions to partner with local schools (61.7 percent).

South Central respondents were more likely than those in other regions to partner with state government (32.7 percent).

Finally, Northeastern respondents were more likely than those in other regions to partner with private health clubs (6.8 percent).

The most likely primary audience for respondents in all regions was all ages. Those in the West were the most likely to report that they served an all-ages audience, while those in the Northeast were the least likely to do so. Nearly half (48.1 percent) of Western respondents said their primary audience was all ages. They were followed by the Midwest (42.7 percent); the South Central states (39.4 percent); and the South Atlantic (37.5 percent). More than one-third (35.4 percent) of Northeastern respondents also serve an all-ages audience.

Respondents in the Northeast were more likely than those in other regions to report that their primary audience was made up of children ages 4 to 12. Nearly one-quarter (23.7 percent) of Northeastern respondents named this as their primary audience. Midwestern respondents were more likely than those in other regions to have teens as their primary audience, with 11.7 percent of Midwestern respondents serving teens. Infants and toddlers were most likely to be the primary audience among the South Atlantic states, where 0.6 percent serve infants and toddlers. College students were the primary audience for South Central respondents more than any other region. Some 13.4 percent of South Central respondents said college students were their primary audience. Adults and seniors were most likely to be the primary audience for respondents in the West. Some 21.9 percent of Western respondents said they primarily served adults, and 4.3 percent said seniors were their primary audience.