Feature Article - June 2013
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2013 State of the Managed Recreation Industry

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

By Emily Tipping

Revenues & Expenditures

In our 2012 Industry Report, some 41.5 percent of respondents projected that their revenues would increase from 2011 to 2012, and 15.7 percent expected revenues to decrease. And, in fact, those numbers were not far off from this year's response. Some 41.1 percent of respondents this year said their revenues had increased from 2011 to 2012, and 16.3 percent reported a decrease. Further improvement in the revenue situation is expected over the next two years, with 43.8 percent predicting an increase from 2012 to 2013 (vs. 11.2 percent who expect a decrease) and 44.9 percent expecting an increase from 2013 to 2014 (vs. 7.8 percent who expect a decrease). (See Figure 9.)

Respondents from private for-profit organizations were the most likely to report that their revenues had increased from 2011 to 2012, and also were most likely to expect further increases in 2013 and 2014. More than half (51.7 percent) said their revenues had increased in 2012, and 66 percent expect an increase in 2013, while 67 percent expect an increase in 2014. This compared with just 46.1 percent of nonprofit respondents who saw an increase in 2012, and just 38.2 percent of public organizations.

At the same time, private for-profit organizations were also the most likely to report that their revenues had fallen from 2011 to 2012, with 18 percent indicating such a change. Looking ahead, public organizations were most likely to expect revenue decreases in 2013 and 2014, with 13.2 percent and 9.2 percent projecting decreases, respectively. In that same timeframe, private for-profit organizations are least likely to expect a decrease, with just 5 percent projecting that revenues will fall in 2013, and just 4.2 percent expecting a drop in 2014.

Respondents from YMCAs, camps and health clubs were the most likely facilities to report that their revenues had increased from 2011 to 2012. These facility types also had the most positive outlook for 2013 and 2014. Some 59 percent of YMCAs, 57 percent of camps and 49.2 percent of health clubs said their revenues had increased from 2011 to 2012. From 2012 to 2013, 77.4 percent of health clubs, 64.5 percent of camps and 60.2 percent of YMCAs expect an increase. And from 2013 to 2014, 70.8 percent of camps, 69.5 percent of YMCAs and 68.3 percent of health clubs expect an increase.

Schools and school districts continue to struggle with revenues, with just 14.7 percent reporting their revenues had gone up in 2012, and 23.7 percent reporting revenues had fallen. Their outlook continues to be relatively bleak compared with other respondents, with more expecting a decrease than an increase in 2013 (27 percent vs. 23.5 percent) and again in 2014 (24.5 percent vs. 20.8 percent).

After reporting an 8.8 increase in operating expenditures from 2010 to 2011 last year, this year saw a slight drop again, of 6.2 percent from an average operating expenditure of $1,552,000 in fiscal 2011 to $1,456,000 in fiscal 2012. Respondents expect operating expenditures to rise slightly over the next couple of years, eventually climbing by 4.1 percent from fiscal 2012 to $1,515,000 in fiscal 2014. (See Figure 10.)