Adding the right outdoor elements, including shelters, gazebos and building structures
From minimalist kiosks to magnificent pavilions, there is a wide array of structural elements to choose from in today's market. New materials and innovative designs with greater flexibility and durability make for show-stopping results to enhance your facility's outdoor spaces. Some structures are just made for the shade—find out what's new and what's right for you.
How to illuminate the world inside and outside your facility
Lighting the big areas in your facility—fields, natatorium, gyms—never seems like an easy task.
And when it's done poorly, it tends to be really poor, and everyone suffers. So how do you create even lighting, without glares or hotspots in big areas without overdoing it? We take a look at ways your facility can become a beacon in a poorly lit world.
These days, people want more and more from their rec centers and sports clubs. But how do multipurpose facilities expand without spreading themselves too thin?
Pro sports teams may demand football- or baseball-specific arenas, but if you're running a recreational facility, you can't afford to cater to only a certain sport or set of activities. For better or worse, people these days want it all. We examine some multipurpose facilities that have branched out without burning out.
Make your facility as safe as possible by establishing solid incident-response procedures
Whatever your facility, obviously visitors do not wish to go home unhappy or injured. Certainly, the goal is zero claims, but in this litigious society, many industries would welcome a lower loss ratio. Unfortunately, people still file trivial lawsuits. Whether you have one claim or hundreds, there are common procedures that can reduce claims and improve safety. Clearly, you need to make your facility as safe as possible by planning, training, conducting frequent inspections and following solid incident-response procedures.
International Council on Active Aging
You need look no further than your own business to observe the effects an aging population is having on the demographic makeup of your facility. This silver tsunami is changing the face of the industry.
With this particular market, you are either in or out—there is no middle ground. If you intend to be counted among those who are in, you will need to attend to seven key elements.
It's never too early to think about next year's outdoor (or indoor) pool maintenance. If it's concrete, plaster, fiberglass or already painted—a fresh coat of paint can make that pool, slide or concrete pool deck look like new.
Over the past few years the idea of creating playgrounds for kids of all abilities has become mainstream with many playground planners going far beyond basic accessibility guidelines to create playgrounds that are truly inclusive. But there is another trend afoot—the integration of nature into the play environment—and it, too, may have a dramatic impact on the way kids play and how active they are in their day-to-day lives.
Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center
It's true Wisconsin is known for its dairy cows rather than its balmy beaches.
But with its impressive expanse of Lake Michigan real estate on its eastern shores, the Badger State's claim to some prime beach property is not really so far-fetched. One new development is the Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sheboygan, which just opened for business this summer. This $54 million, 16.75-acre family destination resort with Grand Victorian character and jam-packed with nautical theming offers 183 guest suites (some as huge as 2,000-plus square feet); four restaurants; a spa; a 29,605-square-foot conference center and more than 1,400 feet of that all-important Lake Michigan beachfront property.
Ashland Family YMCA
This Y's initially moderate membership skyrocketed after the 1998 addition of an indoor pool facility. Providing the first year-round pool in the Ashland community, this addition also permitted Ashland YMCA to shift equipment and make room for expansions in all of the facility's functions. However, there was so much growth that a final expansion was needed almost immediately. Adding a combined 36,000 square feet, at a cost of $3.2 million, the two expansions faced some interesting obstacles.
Even though Chicago's spectacular Millennium Park wasn't completed in time to host the city's millennium festivities, its recent opening this past summer is cause for belated celebration. Located on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets in downtown Chicago, the people-friendly, 24.5-acre park features such amenities as an outdoor music pavilion, a music and dance theatre, a perennial garden, a public fountain, an ice rink, eight acres of green space, an underground parking garage, and a $3.1 million bicycle station.
Spray N' Play
Buffalo Grove, Ill.
The diagnosis was simple: The village of Buffalo Grove, Ill., had an acute case of aquatic envy, with all the classic symptoms. Neighboring suburbs were building state-of-the-art aquatic centers left and right, leaving the Buffalo Grove Park District in the proverbial hot summer dust. What's worse, the village had no budget to build a likewise dazzling aquatic center of its own.
But instead of going off the deep end, Buffalo Grove decided to tread in a slightly different direction when it came to creating a new facility—an aquatic playground.