Feature Article - June 2009
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A Look at Regional Trends

Another amenity driven by climate is aquatic facilities—and more specifically, whether those facilities are indoors or out. Indeed, indoor aquatic facilities are most prevalent among Midwestern respondents, where 29.5 percent indicated they include indoor aquatics, but it is the South Central respondents who are most likely to be planning to add indoor aquatics. Outdoor aquatics are most prevalent among respondents from the West (41.4 percent) and South Atlantic states (40.8 percent), while just 27.5 percent of those in the Northeast indicated they feature outdoor aquatics. Likewise, outdoor aquatics are most likely to be planned by those in the West, where 4.4 percent plan such facilities, and least likely in the Northeast, with 1.3 percent of respondents having such plans.

An up-and-coming amenity that has seen a lot of growth in recent years, splash play areas are most likely to be found in the facilities of those in the South Central region, where 17.8 percent indicate they include them. They're closely followed by those in the West, 16.7 percent of whom indicated they have splash play areas. The Northeast is least likely to feature splash play, with 9.9 percent. The West and South Central regions also lead the way in terms of adding splash play areas.

Waterparks predominate in the Midwest, where 12.8 percent currently include them, and in the South Central region, where 10.7 percent include them. The West seems to intend to catch up, as 13.5 percent of respondents in that region indicate they plan to add waterparks in the next three years, followed by the South Central region.

Other features also tended to predominate in specific regions.

Fitness centers seem to be most popular among South Central respondents, where 54.1 percent indicated they currently include such features in their facilities. In addition, more than 8 percent of respondents in this region plan to add fitness centers in the next three years. They are surpassed in those plans by respondents from the South Atlantic states, 10.1 percent of whom plan to add fitness centers. Respondents from the Northeast were least likely to currently include fitness centers—38.8 percent currently do so.

While skateparks are currently included in a quarter of Western region respondents' facilities, it is respondents from the Northeast who were most likely to be planning to add skateparks. Climbing walls also can be found more in the West and Northeast, where more than 17 percent of respondents indicated their facilities include them.

Disc golf is most predominant in the South Central states, where 17 percent of respondents include it, compared to the Northeast, where only 5.6 percent include disc golf. Future plans continue this pattern, with those in the South Central region planning more disc golf courses.

Dog parks are most common in the West, where 15.2 percent feature them, and the South Atlantic, where 13.4 percent include them. The West is also the region most likely to be planning more dog parks in the next three years.