Feature Article - June 2017
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State of the INDUSTRY

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

By Emily Tipping


Programming

Once again, there was little change from last year's survey in the top types of programs commonly offered by survey respondents' facilities. These include: holiday events and other special events (provided by 64.7 percent of respondents); fitness programs (59.3 percent); educational programs (58.6 percent); day camps and summer camps (57.7 percent); youth sports teams (53.9 percent); mind-body balance programs such as yoga or martial arts (49.6 percent); arts and crafts (46.9 percent); sports tournaments and races (45.9 percent); swimming programs (45.8 percent); and adult sports teams (45.1 percent). (See Figure 29.)


Ys, health clubs and parks were the most likely to offer any type of programming. A full 100 percent of Y respondents said they offer programming, followed by health clubs (97.4 percent) and parks (97.3 percent). That being said, 96.5 percent of camps, 96.1 percent of community centers, 95.9 percent of schools, and 94.4 percent of colleges provide programming of some kind.

Just as they were the most likely to offer programs, respondents from Ys were the most likely to offer the most different types of programs. They were more likely than those from other types of facilities to provide: holidays and other special events; fitness programs; educational programs; day camps and summer camps; youth sports teams; mind-body balance programs like yoga and martial arts; swimming programs, programs for active older adults; aquatic exercise programs; teen programs, individual sports activities like running clubs and swim clubs; trips; performing arts; daycare and preschool; and special needs programs.

Camp respondents were more likely than those from other types of facilities to offer: arts and crafts; environmental education; water sports like canoeing and kayaking; camping; and climbing programs.

Respondents from park facilities were more likely than others to offer: sports tournaments and races; adult sports teams; sport training programs; and festivals or concerts.

Respondents from health clubs were more likely than other facility types to provide: personal training; nutrition and diet counseling; and therapeutic programs.

Nearly a third (32.2 percent) of respondents said they had plans to add more program offerings to their facilities over the next several years, up from 2016, when 31 percent said they had such plans. The 10 most commonly planned program additions in 2017 include:

    Fitness programs (planned by 27.4 percent of those who will be adding programs)

    Mind-body balance programs (27 percent)

    Educational programs (24.2 percent)

    Teen programs (24 percent)

    Programs for active older adults (21.9 percent)

    Environmental education (20.6 percent)

    Day camps and summer camps (20.1 percent)

    Holidays and other special events (19.9 percent)

    Individual sports activities (18.1 percent)

    Sports tournaments and races (17.6 percent)

More respondents in 2017 than in 2016 said they would be adding: fitness programs (27.4 percent vs. 26.1 percent); mind-body balance programs (27 percent vs. 25 percent); programs for active older adults (21.9 percent vs. 19.8 percent); environmental education (20.6 percent vs. 19.7 percent); day camps and summer camps (20.1 percent vs. 18.3 percent); holidays and other special events (19.9 percent vs. 17.7 percent); and adult sports teams (17.4 percent vs. 16.6 percent).

Respondents from community centers, parks and health clubs were the most likely to report that they had plans to add programs at their facilities over the next few years. Some 41.4 percent of community center respondents said they had plans to add programs, while 38.4 percent of park respondents and 32.9 percent of health club respondents said they had such plans. Schools and college respondents were the least likely to report that they would be adding programs. Some 18.6 percent of school respondents and 25.9 percent of college respondents said they would be adding programs at their facilities.