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Feature Article - June 2017

State of the INDUSTRY

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

By Emily Tipping


Revenues & Expenditures

As stated previously, the Industry Report survey results over the past 10 years have reflected the effects of the Great Recession, and a gradual recovery, which has taken place across the board, though some types of facilities have recovered more quickly than others.

The percentage of respondents who said their revenues have increased over the previous year has increased from 37 percent who saw such an increase from 2010 to 2011 to 43.9 percent who reported an increase from 2015 to 2016. At the same time, the percentage who reported a decrease to revenues has fallen, from 20.8 percent who saw revenues decrease from 2010 to 2011 to 11.3 percent reporting a decrease from 2015 to 2016.

From 2015 to 2016, a majority of respondents said their revenues either remained the same (44.8 percent) or increased (43.9 percent). For the first time since 2010, the percentage of respondents reporting lower revenues did not decrease, but held fairly steady at 11.3 percent (compared with 11.1 percent reporting a decrease in the previous year). (See Figure 11.)


Looking forward, the vast majority of respondents said that they expect their revenues either to increase or to remain the same year-over-year. From 2016 to 2017, 47.6 percent of respondents said they expect revenues to increase, while 44.9 percent expect them to remain the same. Some 7.6 percent of respondents expect revenues to fall this year. From 2017 to 2018, 48.1 percent expect an increase and 46.8 percent expect revenues to hold steady, while 5.1 percent expect revenues to drop.

Respondents from suburban communities were the most likely to report change in their revenues from 2015 to 2016, being both most likely to report an increase in revenues and most likely to report a decrease in revenues. While 45.9 percent of suburban respondents said their revenues had increased in this time period, 11.9 percent reported a decrease. For urban respondents, 43.7 percent reported an increase to revenues in this time frame, while 10.6 percent saw a decrease. And among rural respondents, 41.7 percent said revenues had increased in 2016, while 11.3 percent reported a decrease.

Looking forward, respondents from suburban communities are the most likely to report that they expect their revenues will increase in 2017 and 2018, while respondents from urban areas are the most likely to expect a decrease. From 2016 to 2017, 53.5 percent of suburban respondents projected an increase to revenues, compared with 43.3 percent of urban respondents and 43 percent of rural respondents. At the same time, 9.1 percent of urban respondents projected a decrease, compared with 8.9 percent of rural respondents and just 5.8 percent of suburban respondents. From 2017 to 2018, 51.6 percent of suburban respondents projected an increase, followed by urban (49.7 percent) and rural (42.5 percent) respondents. In that same time period, 7 percent of urban respondents said they expect revenues to fall, compared with 6.9 percent of rural respondents, and just 2.8 percent of suburban respondents.

Respondents from camps, health clubs and community centers were the most likely to report that their revenues had increased from 2015 to 2016, while those from schools and colleges were the least likely to report an increase. At the same time, Ys were most likely to report a decrease in revenues. From 2015 to 2016, some 56.7 percent of camp respondents said their revenues had increased. They were followed by health clubs (55.4 percent of whom reported an increase), community centers (49.2 percent), Ys (47.9 percent) and parks (47.8 percent). In that same time period, only 21 percent of schools and 23 percent of colleges reported an increase. Some 20.7 percent of Y respondents said their revenues had fallen from 2015 to 2016. They were followed by schools (16.8 percent of whom reported a decrease), community centers (14.5 percent) and colleges (12.4 percent).

Looking forward, respondents from Ys, health clubs, camps and community centers were the most optimistic regarding revenue increases, while schools and colleges were the most likely to expect revenues to fall. From 2016 to 2017, 60.8 percent of Y respondents said they expect their revenues to increase, and from 2017 to 2018, 64.3 percent of Y respondents said they expect an increase. They were followed by health club respondents, 59.7 percent of whom expect an increase in 2017 and 63.8 percent of whom expect an increase in 2018. From 2016 to 2017, some 59.7 percent of community centers and 58.2 percent of camps expect an increase. And from 2017 to 2017, 56 percent of community centers and 61.5 percent of camps expect an increase. On the other side of the coin, from 2016 to 2017, 16.5 percent of school respondents and 13.6 percent of college respondents expect revenues to decrease. And from 2017 to 2018, 14.4 percent of school respondents and 9.2 percent of college respondents expect a drop in revenues.

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