Feature Article - June 2008
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A Look at What's Happening in Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facilities

Hard Work

The fourth most common concern among respondents—and the third most troubling issue over the coming three years—was staffing issues. With the baby boomer generation about to start reaching retirement age, with training and legislative issues, with the seasonal nature of employment at many facilities, plus the fact that most workers in the recreation, fitness and sports field have direct involvement with the public, it is no surprise that this is a challenging area for facility managers. Add recent economic challenges to the list along with budgetary issues that put a strain on already-stretched facilities and their employees, and you can see why staffing a facility can become a real headache.

On average, respondents employ 181.8 workers, a number expected to increase to 240.5 by 2011, a jump of 32.3 percent. This increase is largely driven by a rise in the number of seasonal workers rather than full-time employees. While the average number of full-time employees is projected to rise by 10.9 percent over the next couple of years, the average number of seasonal employees is expected to increase by 62.9 percent to 71.2. (See Figure 18.)

The greatest increases in number of employees are expected at schools and school districts. Respondents in this category projected an increase of 86.1 percent between their current employment level and the level projected for 2011. The only decreases expected were among respondents working for campgrounds, RV parks and private camps, who projected a 6.6 percent decrease in the number of employees.