Feature Article - June 2009
Find a printable version here


General Survey Results

Despite the high levels of concern, some respondents indicated the down economy was having a positive impact. One respondent from a Northeastern parks and recreation department reported, "We actually do better in a slow economy as people choose to stay closer to home. We need to show that the quality we offer is high even if our prices are lower than the private sector."

The heightened concern about the impact of the recession on facilities is reflected in reported changes to revenues over the next couple of years. Nearly half (45.1 percent) of respondents indicated that their 2008 revenues were higher than in 2007, but in 2009, just 38.1 percent are anticipating higher revenue over 2008. The good news is that respondents seem to anticipate a rebound in 2010, as 41 percent expect revenues in 2010 to rise again. (See Figure 10.)

The big change in revenue projections between our 2008 survey and this year's survey is found in the number of respondents who are expecting their revenues to decrease. While just 3.9 percent of last year's respondents said they expected revenues to drop from 2007 to 2008, this year 14.1 percent indicated their revenues had in fact dropped in that time period. Even more are expecting revenues to decrease in 2009 and 2010 as they adjust to changing conditions. Just over one-fifth (20.5 percent) of respondents said they expect revenues to fall in 2009, and 17.8 percent expect lower revenues in 2010. On the bright side, the vast majority of respondents still expect their revenues to either hold steady or increase in 2009 (79.5 percent) and 2010 (82.2 percent).