Supplement Feature - February 2020
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A Deep Dive Into Aquatic Facility Trends

By Emily Tipping

We also asked respondents to indicate the type of community they serve. Nearly half (46%) said they represented suburban communities. Smaller numbers were from rural areas (29.7%) and urban communities (24.3%). (See Figure 2.)

When it comes to the type of organization respondents work for, parks and recreation departments and districts were most prevalent, with nearly half (49.9%) of respondents indicating they work for this type of organization. They were followed by: YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs (12.2%); colleges and universities (10.2%); community or private recreation and sports centers (4.8%); schools and school districts (4.8%); campgrounds, RV parks and private or youth camps (4.4%); sports, health and fitness clubs, and medical fitness facilities (3.4%); resorts and resort hotels (2%); golf or country clubs (1.7%); and homeowners' associations (1.7%). Another 5% were from other types of organizations, including churches and military installations, among others. (See Figure 3.)

From indoor and outdoor pools to splash play and full-blown waterparks, different types of aquatic facilities were well represented, with the predominant type being outdoor swimming pools and indoor swimming pools. More than six in 10 (60.7%) respondents said they currently have at least one outdoor pool, and more than half (53.7%) have at least one indoor swimming pool. Splash play areas were also popular, with 37.6% of respondents indicating they had at least one. Some 25.8% had at least one hot tub, spa or whirlpool. Slightly less than a quarter (23.3%) said they had at least one aquatic park (with a focus primarily on swimming pools and other aquatic activities). And 10.5% said they had at least one waterpark (with a focus primarily on rides and waterslides). (See Figure 4.)