Solid Ground

More than a decade after the Great Recession, the economy is strong, having grown for almost 10 years (one of the longest economic expansions in U.S. history), with unemployment rates at their lowest level in nearly 50 years.

When it comes to recreation, sports and fitness facilities and the organizations that own and operate them, this expansion has been reflected in different ways—through increased hiring, expanding membership and usage of facilities, new construction, higher revenues, greater programming opportunities and more.

Each year, we ask readers to answer a wide-ranging survey covering industry trends—everything from operations and careers to new construction and program ideas. We then take a look at the data to get an overall picture of where things have been, where they are now, and where they're going over the next few years.

To those of you who took the time to fill out the survey, we are grateful. We could not put together this deep dive into industry trends without you. To those who missed the survey, keep an eye out! We'll be asking aquatic facilities to answer more specific questions about their operations and plans in the fall, and in early 2020, we'll be sending the full Industry Report Survey.

Now in its 13th year, the State of the Industry Report reveals a picture that mirrors the strengthening economy, with increasing numbers of respondents planning construction, and more reporting higher revenues.

We invite you to take a look at the data and think about how your facility is doing. Maybe you'll be inspired to try something new. Or maybe you'll simply see evidence of the strength of trends that have long held sway. Either way, we wish you a strong 2019 and 2020!


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]