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Trends in Rec Centers

A Look at Trends in Rec Centers

By Enter Author Here


Some 7.8 percent of respondents to the Industry Report survey were from community or private recreation and sports centers. Some 63.3 percent of these rec center respondents were with public organizations. Another 21.1 percent were with private nonprofits, and 13.8 percent were with private for-profit organizations.

Unlike most other respondents, rec center respondents were most likely to be located in the West. Some 31.8 percent of rec center respondents were from that region. They were followed by the Midwest (23.6 percent); and the South Atlantic (19.1 percent). The Northeast and the South Central region were each home to 12.7 percent of rec center respondents.

Nearly half (47.3 percent) of rec center respondents said they were located in suburban communities. Another 30.9 percent were in urban areas, and 21.8 percent said they were located in rural communities.

On average, rec center respondents said they reach a population of 79.620 people. Some 40 percent reported that they reach a population of 20,000 or fewer, while 20.8 percent serve a population of 100,000 or more.

Some 45 percent of rec center respondents said the primary audience served by their facilities is all ages. Another 25.8 percent said they mainly reach children, while 12.8 percent primarily reach adults. Smaller numbers said their primary audience is made up of teens (9.2 percent) and seniors (6.4 percent). The remainder reach college students.

The majority (88.2 percent) of rec center respondents said that they have partnered with other organizations. Their most common partners were local schools (70.9 percent), local government (63.6 percent), nonprofit organizations (59.1 percent), colleges (36.4 percent) and corporations or local businesses (32.7 percent).

Revenues & Expenditures

Some 51.9 percent of community center respondents said their revenues increased from 2017 to 2018, while 6.5 percent reported a decrease. From 2018 to 2019, 56.5 percent said they expect revenues to increase, while 4.6 percent projected a decrease. And from 2019 to 2020, 59.8 percent of community center respondents are expecting their revenues to increase, while 2.9 percent expect a decrease.

Rec center respondents reported a 6.9 percent decrease to operating expenditures from 2017 to 2018, from $1,310,000 to $1,220,000. Looking forward, they project a 9 percent increase to operating expenses by 2020, to an average of $1,330,000.

On average, community center respondents said they recover 56.2 percent of their operating costs via revenue, down slightly from 57.4 percent in 2018.

Some 85.2 percent of rec center respondents said they have taken action to reduce their operating costs over the past year. The most common actions taken include: increasing fees (50.9 percent); improving energy efficiency (47.2 percent); and reducing staff (32.4 percent).

Rec Center Facilities

Some 65.5 percent of rec center respondents said they have plans for construction over the next three years, down from 68.2 percent in 2018. Some 22.7 percent said they are planning to build new facilities, while 30.9 percent will be making additions to existing facilities and 45.5 percent are planning renovations. They are planning to spend an average of $4,850,000, up 59.5 percent from 2018, when rec center respondents planned to spend an average of $3,040,000 on their construction plans.

Some 40.9 percent of community center respondents said they have plans to add features at their facilities over the next three years, down from 42.1 percent in 2018.

The 10 most commonly planned features include: splash play areas; fitness centers; synthetic turf fields; dog parks; concession areas; fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment; park restroom structures; exercise studios; community gardens; and outdoor aquatic facilities.