Feature Article - June 2014
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A Look at Regional Trends

Regional Information


Construction Plans

In every region but the Midwest, respondents in 2014 were more likely to indicate that they had construction plans over the next three years than respondents in 2013. Those from the South Central region were once again the most likely to report that they had plans for construction. More than two-thirds (67.2 percent, up from 66 percent in 2013) of these respondents said they had plans for construction over the next three years. They were followed by respondents from the South Atlantic region (66.6 percent, up from 65.4 percent), the Northeast (66.1 percent, up from 64 percent) and the West (63.6 percent, up from 58.7 percent). Respondents in the Midwest were the least likely to report that they had construction plans, though 60 percent did indicate that they would be building, a slight decrease from 2013, when 60.9 percent of Midwestern respondents had such plans. (See Figure 32.)

Respondents in the South Central region also were the most likely to report that they had plans to build new facilities or make additions. Some 34 percent of South Central respondents said they would be building new facilities, and 34.3 percent said they would be making additions. They were followed by the South Atlantic, where 29.9 percent reported plans for new construction, and 29.9 percent reported plans for additions. Respondents from the Northeast and South Atlantic were most likely to report that they had plans to make renovations to their existing facilities. More than half (52.1 percent) of Northeastern respondents and 48.5 percent of South Atlantic respondents indicated that they were planning renovations.

Respondents from the West reported the highest average budget for their construction plans, at $5,361,000, 19.3 percent more than the average for all regions ($4,495,000). Likewise, respondents from the West reported the greatest increase in construction budgets from 2012 to 2014—a 14.9 percent increase. (See Figure 33.)

Respondents in the South Central region reported the second highest spending plans for construction in 2014, 9.9 percent higher than the average for all regions. However, this region reported a decrease in construction spending of 1.5 percent from 2012 to 2014.

Respondents in the South Atlantic region had the lowest construction budget in 2014, 14.8 percent lower than the average for all regions. This region also was the only one other than the South Central region to see construction budgets fall from 2012 to 2014.

The Northeast and Midwest had construction budgets that were slightly lower—by 6.7 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively—than the average for all regions. However, these two regions reported growth in construction budgets from 2012 to 2014. For the Midwest, that growth was very moderate—just a 0.7 percent increase. In the Northeast, though, construction budgets increased by 14.1 percent from 2012 to 2014.

The types of features that are likely to be found in some regions sometimes showcase how different the recreation, sports and fitness market can be depending on where you are. In some cases, it's a simple matter of climate. For example, indoor aquatic facilities might be expected to be more prevalent where it's cold. Likewise with ice rinks and winter recreation facilities. Other features showcase a regional popularity, such as disc golf, dog parks and skateparks.

Respondents from the Northeast were more likely than those in other regions to report that their facilities included: bleachers and seating (59.2 percent); outdoor sports courts (57.7 percent); playgrounds (54.5 percent); natural turf sports fields (56 percent); open spaces such as gardens and natural areas (52.4 percent); trails (46.1 percent); exercise studios (44.9 percent); synthetic turf sports fields (24.1 percent); nature centers (14.5 percent); challenge courses or ropes courses (11.9 percent); and ice rinks (17.6 percent).

Respondents in the Midwest were more likely than those in other regions to report that their facilities included: locker rooms (59 percent); concession areas (57.8 percent); indoor aquatic facilities (29.1 percent); indoor running tracks (22.8 percent); disc golf courses (20.9 percent); campgrounds (16.6 percent); waterparks (10.6 percent); and skiing or winter recreation areas (9.6 percent).

In the South Atlantic region, respondents were more likely than those in other regions to report that their facilities included a waterfront or marina (22.1 percent) or amusements such as rides and arcades (4 percent).

South Central region respondents were more likely than those in other regions to report that their facilities included indoor sports courts (49.5 percent); fitness centers (49.8 percent); and outdoor running tracks (25.2 percent).

Finally, in the West respondents were more likely than those in other regions to include the following features in their facilities: classrooms and meeting rooms (59.5 percent); park structures such as shelters and restrooms (49.3 percent); community or multipurpose centers (39.8 percent); outdoor aquatic facilities (38 percent); climbing walls (20.2 percent); childcare centers (21.6 percent); skateparks (23.9 percent); splash play areas (17.5 percent); golf courses (17.5 percent); dog parks (18.4 percent); and bike or BMX parks (8.6 percent.)