Feature Article - June 2007
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YMCAS AND HEALTH CLUBS

Fit Facilities


Facility Planning

YMCAs and health clubs were more likely than the general population of survey respondents to be planning changes to their facilities, but were less likely to have plans for completely new facilities. While a quarter of all respondents said they currently have no plans, nearly four out of five YMCAs and health clubs said they have plans to build. On the other hand, nearly 35 percent of all facilities had plans to build new, while just 27.6 percent of health clubs and YMCAs were planning to build new. YMCAs and health clubs were more likely to be planning additions or renovations for their existing facilities.

For those who do have building plans in the next several years, YMCAs plan to spend 23.1 percent more, on average, than other respondents, with an average amount planned of nearly $4.7 million. Health clubs plan to spend around 45 percent less on average than other respondents, with an average amount planned of nearly $1.6 million.

The most common amenities currently included in YMCAs and health clubs were fitness centers, included in nearly 90 percent of YMCAs, and in nearly 87 percent of health and sports clubs. Also common in these facilities were locker rooms, which could be found in more than 85 percent of YMCAs and health clubs. After this, the similarities fade. While more than three-quarters of YMCAs include indoor sports courts and indoor aquatic facilities, less than half of sports clubs and health clubs feature these amenities. YMCAs were also more than 20 percent more likely than health clubs to include playgrounds, bleachers and seating, running tracks, natural turf sports fields, park structures like shelters and restroom structures, and trails and open spaces like gardens and natural areas. On the other hand, health clubs were more likely than YMCAs to include concession areas, outdoor sports courts and amusements like arcades.

The top amenities YMCAs are planning to add in the next three years include:

  • Waterpark or splash play areas
  • Climbing walls
  • Playgrounds
  • Indoor aquatic facilities
  • Indoor sports courts

The top amenities planned for sports clubs and health clubs include:

  • Indoor sports courts
  • Climbing walls
  • Running tracks
  • Waterpark or splash play areas
  • Indoor aquatic facilities