Emily TippingThe big story of this year’s Industry Report probably comes as no surprise: After a few years of dramatic pandemic-related impacts on everything from budgets and visitorship to staffing and more, things are getting back to business as usual.

But hidden within pages and pages of data revealing this return to normal, I found something more. Yes, the numbers are solid in terms of people returning to facilities, with a consequent rise in revenues, and dedication to expand programming and keep things in good repair, etc. But for this year’s survey, we also asked respondents to tell us about their top goals for their facilities, and reading through that list, I found my smile growing wider as I took in the sheer optimism it encompassed. Here’s just a sampling:

  • “Create positive change in the lives of all that walk through the door.”
  • “To encourage and enhance the well-being of all who visit our parks, and to give the best experience possible. Also, to instill a sense of pride in our community for the gifts we have been given and to maintain those gifts for our children and their children.”
  • “Continue to exceed expectations.”
  • “Expand access to underserved areas of our community.”

And my personal favorite,

  • “Improve!”

Some folks got specific, naming planned construction and facility improvements, expanded programming opportunities, and enhancements of existing facilities with the addition of everything from pickleball and disc golf to sports lighting, outdoor fitness, playgrounds and more. More outreach. More members. More partnerships. More funding sources. More recreation, sports and fitness opportunities for more people in more ways!

You have big goals! And you still took the time to answer our extensive survey so that we could bring you
this report. For that, you have my gratitude.

Good luck reaching those goals!


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]



Please e-mail all comments, story ideas,
questions, good jokes and ponderances to:
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OR send mail to:
Recreation Management, 50 N. Brockway St.,
Suite 4-11, Palatine, IL 60067
OR fax to: 847-963-8745