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


Bring Them In

When it comes to the people using facilities, a majority (60.5 percent) of respondents to the survey require them to pay a fee. (See Figure 14.)

The most likely to charge a fee included respondents from YMCAs (96.7 percent of whom charge a fee for using their facilities), health clubs (93.2 percent) and community centers (68.9 percent). Schools were least likely to charge a fee. More than two-thirds (69.9 percent) of respondents from schools said they do not charge a fee. They were followed by respondents from camps (46.4 percent of whom do not charge a fee) and colleges (45.1 percent).

Despite challenges to their bottom line, a majority of respondents (69 percent) indicated that they did not increase fees from 2009 to 2010. Two-thirds (66.7 percent) kept their fees steady, and 2.3 percent actually decreased fees. Slightly higher numbers of respondents plan to raise fees in 2011 (35.3 percent) and in 2012 (39.9 percent). (See Figure 15.)

YMCAs were the most likely to report that their fees had increased from 2009 to 2010. Some 40.3 percent of respondents in this category said they had increased fees. Even more of these respondents are expecting to increase fees in 2011 (54.6 percent) and in 2012 (52.1 percent). They were followed by respondents from camps, nearly a third of whom (32.9 percent) said they had increased fees in 2010, with 46.3 percent planning to increase fees in 2011 and 41.5 percent planning to increase fees in 2012.


Sports and health clubs were at the other end of the spectrum. Although a quarter (25 percent) said they were anticipating fee increases in 2011, a full 11.8 percent were actually projecting a decrease in fees for that year.