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Feature Article - June 2018

2018 State of the Managed Recreation Industry

A Look At What's Happening in Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facilities

By Emily Tipping


Challenges & Issues of Concern

Budgetary and funding challenges are almost always the No. 1 concern for most respondents to the survey, but there are other issues that can create unique challenges for facility managers. Equipment and facility maintenance has been the top concern among respondents for a number of years, and continues to hold that place in 2018. Some 57.9 percent said equipment and facility maintenance is a top concern now, up from 55.1 percent in 2017. (See Figure 30.)


Staffing is the second most common concern, with 51.3 percent naming this as one of their chief issues (up from 48.3 percent in 2017). It is followed by marketing and increasing participation (40.5 percent), safety and risk management (35.3 percent), and creating new and innovative programming (32.3 percent).

There was an increase in the number of respondents who listed the following as top concerns: staffing (up 3 points from 48.3 percent); equipment and facility maintenance (up 2.8 points from 55.1 percent); and safety and risk management (up 2.8 points from 32.5 percent).

For the most part, the top current concerns drop off over the next three years, with fewer participants naming them as their top issue moving forward. Exceptions to this rule in 2018 include: creating new and innovative programming, which increases from 32.3 percent to 34.8 percent; older adult fitness and wellness (from 14.4 percent to 16.2 percent); legislative issues (from 13.1 percent to 16.7 percent); environmental and conservation issues (from 12.1 percent to 13.2 percent); and social equity and access (from 7.7 percent to 10.2 percent).

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