Up and Up

Life has its little-and big-ups and downs. But if you're a professional who owns, operates or manages recreation, sports and fitness facilities, and you're looking at the larger picture, things have mostly been looking up for the past five years or so.

A little less than a decade ago, these facilities felt the crunch, as the market took a walloping, businesses and organizations of all kinds watched their budgets shrink, and adaptation was a necessity. And, truth be told, many facilities were already in the process of making adaptations that would allow them to work with smaller budgets-adaptations like streamlining operations, improving energy efficiency, partnering to deliver services and facilities, and more. Why? Because even before the big crunch hit, many recreation, sports and fitness facilities-the ones that weren't private, for-profit facilities, that is-were being asked to run themselves more like businesses.

As the economy recovered, so did facilities' budgets, staff levels, construction plans, memberships and more. For some facilities, that recovery happened relatively quickly. Others are still operating with fewer dollars than they had before the recession hit. But all of them have been forced to adapt, in one way or another.

We've watched all of these adaptations, along with the recovery, that have taken place since the recession, via the numbers reported here, in our annual State of the Industry Report. Now in its 11th year, the report is an extensive look at the state of things today-as well as a bit of what's expected for tomorrow-in the recreation, sports and fitness market.

In these pages, we report on the extensive data collected via our survey, sent out earlier this year. We appreciate all of those who participated-and all those who participate every year-to help us bring you this collected information. We hope you will find some useful and informative tidbits in these pages.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]