Feature Article - June 2019
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2019 State of the Managed Recreation Industry

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

By Emily Tipping


The newest facilities are found among health clubs, colleges and rec centers. Respondents from health clubs said their main facility is 22 years old, on average. They were followed by colleges, with an average of 25 years, and rec centers, at 28.3 years. (See Figure 26.)

The oldest facilities are found among camps, Ys and schools. Camp respondents said their main facility is, on average, 53 years old, while Y respondents' main facilities average 36.2 years, and school respondents' facilities are 35.6 years old, on average.

The percentage of respondents who are planning construction within the next several years has been climbing gradually, from a low of 62.7 percent in 2013 to 70.6 percent in 2019.

The number of respondents planning all kinds of construction grew this year. Those planning to build new facilities increased from 28.1 percent in 2018 to 32.2 percent in 2019. The percentage planning additions at their existing facilities increased from 29.3 percent in 2018 to 33.2 percent in 2019. And the number planning renovations to their existing facilities grew from 51 percent in 2018 to 52.8 percent in 2019. (See Figure 27.)

Camps generally have the oldest facilities, and also are the most likely to report that they have plans for construction of any kind. They were followed by parks and Ys. Some 83.6 percent of camp respondents said they have plans for construction (down from 85.9 percent in 2018), while 76.1 percent of parks and 74 percent of Ys are planning construction. Respondents from health clubs were the least likely to have construction plans, though more than half (56.3 percent) said they do plan construction within the next three years.

New construction, additions and renovations were all most commonly planned by camps. Some 69.9 percent of camp respondents were planning renovations, while 46.6 percent were planning new construction and 42.5 percent were planning additions. They were followed by parks respondents, 59.4 percent of whom are planning renovations, 35.6 percent additions and 38.8 percent new construction. Finally, 53.4 percent of respondents from Ys were planning renovations, while 39.7 planned additions and 24.7 percent planned new construction. (More information on construction plans for different industry segments can be found in the following sections.)