Feature Article - June 2020
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2020 Report on the State of the Managed Recreation Industry

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

By Emily Tipping


Finally, we asked respondents to summarize the impact COVID-19 is having on their facilities. Here's what some of them had to say:


"State system has informed the university that no new fee increases will be in place for FY20-21 which we had an increase scheduled for. Expected decline in enrollment due to this situation also impacts our bottom line along with lost revenue from programs and services offered, memberships and guest pass sales. The CV-19 situation has also taught us how to use technology for virtual programming compared to everything being in person, which is a big change for us." (College/University)


"Our department is losing revenue daily. We are not a nonprofit so this can be a crucial, pivotal point for parks and rec in our area. Tax collection is unknown as well, as many do not have answers. I am not sure how this will play out in the next few years." (Parks & Recreation)


"As a high school athletic director, we have had to cancel winter postseason events and all of spring sports season. Extremely disappointing and stressful for high school seniors. So many unknown variables still ahead and whether we can have summer activities and even fall sports." (School/School District)


"All our Campus Recreation facilities have been closed since mid-March. We are at a standstill to know about any summer programming or when we will open again and what that will look like. Even if we get the OK to open again, I am not sure how we will manage disinfecting and social distancing our areas." (College/University)


"Facility is only open to Emergency Child Care, Food Distribution and virtual fitness instructors. All other staff not furloughed are working from home. Call centers and virtual classes from home. Membership holds/cancellations are hovering around 60% of total base. Plans to reopen in the works for separate phases." (YMCA/YWCA/JCC/Boys & Girls Clubs)


"We have closed all of our recreation centers and park amenities such as basketball, tennis, pickleball, etc. The parks, trails and open spaces are still open for exercise and walking. We are encouraging park users to follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and encouraging residents to bring a trash bag so they will not leave a trace." (Parks & Recreation)


"Multiple employees are working from home, programs have been cancelled, at-home crafts and outdoor walking paths have been created for families to participate on their own, events have been rescheduled or cancelled, reopening plans for beaches have been discussed, sports programming has been reimagined." (Parks & Recreation)


"Since I'm a department of one for the town, I've been working from home and putting kits together for parents and senior citizens in town to help keep them busy! I've coordinated with local organizations to help those who can't leave their homes get groceries and food. I'm still doing the hiring process…sort of…for camp, but all plans for camp have been put on hold for the moment. Our town hall is not open to the public and our park and rec facility is closed until further notice. We are working with the Red Cross to facilitate a blood drive at our rec center if it is big enough." (Parks & Recreation)


"Maintenance backlog work is being accomplished. Maintenance crews are assigned to specifically disinfect facilities in use. Many personnel are able to work via computer at home. A shift in educational programs from physical on-site tours to web-based experiences that will accomplish our mission." (Parks & Recreation)


"We have closed our YMCA. We are still working as we are providing childcare for Essential workers in our area. Only full-time employees are working for our YMCA at the moment. We have been reaching members through Facebook Live videos, App challenges, Instagram challenges, online/virtual workouts. Leadership staff has had to step in and help out in childcare. We partnered with other like organizations in our area to create backpacks full of activities for the youth in our community. We are constantly trying to come up with plans on what reopening will look like." (YMCA)


"It has been a difficult time to try and operate for our organization. We are in a holding pattern now awaiting guidance from our elected officials on when we can resume and to what extent possible! My best wishes to you all." (Parks & Recreation) RM