Feature Article - June 2011
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State of the Industry 2011

A Look at What's Happening in Recreation, Sports and Fitness Facilities

By Emily Tipping


Much of the programming currently offered by respondents falls along similar lines to last year's respondents. The vast majority (96.8 percent) of respondents indicated that they offer programming of some kind at their facilities.

The most popular programs, offered by more than half of the survey respondents, include holiday events and other special events (64.3 percent), fitness programs (61.1 percent), educational programs (60.4 percent), day camps and summer camps (56.3 percent); mind-body/balance programs such as yoga, tai chi, Pilates and martial arts (51.4 percent); and youth sports teams (50.7 percent). (See Figure 26.)

Programming choices that showed significant growth from last year include the top three, each of which grew by more than 3 percent. Other programming that took off this year includes mind-body/balance programs, which moved up four spaces in terms of commonality, and also gained 4.2 points, percentagewise. Swimming programming also jumped ahead, moving up two spots in terms of popularity, and gaining 2.1 percentage points. Relatively substantial growth—by at least 2.5 percentage points—was also seen for arts and crafts (up 3 percentage points this year); aquatic exercise (up 3.9 points); environmental education (up 3.3 points); and camping (up 4.5 points). There were no programming categories that saw a decrease in popularity of this degree.

Slightly less than a third (31.9 percent) of respondents indicated that they are planning to add additional programs at their facilities over the next three years. The most common types of programming they are planning to add include:

  1. Fitness programs (planned by 26.8 percent of respondents planning to add programs)
  2. Educational programs (25 percent)
  3. Teen programming (24 percent)
  4. Mind-body/balance programs (22.5 percent)
  5. Active older adults (20.9 percent)
  6. Day camps and summer camps (20.8 percent)
  7. Environmental education (20.3 percent)
  8. Individual sports activities (18.9 percent)
  9. Holiday events and other special events (18.6 percent)
  10. Sports tournaments or races (18 percent)