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


Many recreation, sports and fitness facilities partner with other organizations in order to broaden their capabilities in terms of funding, programming, outreach and more. A vast majority, 89%, of respondents to the Industry Report survey indicated that they form these kinds of partnerships, up from 87.9% in 2019.

As usual, local schools hold the top spot as the most common type of partner for all facility types. Nearly two-thirds (64.2%) of survey respondents said they had partnered with local schools. (See Figure 8.) They were followed by local government (58.8%), nonprofit organizations (50.9%), state government (39.4%), and corporations or local businesses (37.5%).

Respondents from Ys and parks were the most likely to report that they had partnered with outside organizations, while those from health clubs and camps were the least likely to do so. All Y respondents (100%) said they partner with other organizations, and 94.9% of parks respondents had done so. This compares with 70.3% of health club respondents and 76.7% of camps. (See Figure 9.)

Given that all Y respondents report partnering with other organizations, it's no surprise that they were the most likely to partner with most of the different types of organizations covered by the survey. The only exceptions were local government, and colleges and universities. Ys were more likely than other respondent types to indicate that they partnered with local schools (91.9% of Ys had partnered with local schools), nonprofit organizations (82.6%), corporations and local businesses (72.1%), health care facilities (59.3%), state government (51.2%), other Ys (48.8%), military (33.7%), federal government (30.2%), and private health clubs (11.6%).

Park respondents were the most likely to report that they had partnered with local government (73.7% had done so), while college respondents were the most likely to report that they had partnered with other colleges and universities (64.4%).