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


When it comes to costs and revenues, the percentage of costs recovered tends to depend on the type of organization represented. Obviously, private for-profit organizations will be more likely to cover a higher percentage of their operating expenditures via revenues than nonprofits and public organizations. On average, all respondents said they recover 51.7% of their operating costs, up from 47.3% in 2019. For public organizations, 45.2% of costs are recovered, up from 42% in 2019. This compares with 74.2% for private for-profit organizations (up from 69.3%) and 65.9% for private nonprofits (up from 60.1%). (See Figure 15.)

Depending on the type of facility, some are more or less likely to recover more or less of their costs via revenues, with some like parks and schools relying more heavily on tax dollars, while others like health clubs receive little support outside of the revenues they earn.

Respondents from camps, health clubs and Ys are the most effective at covering their operating costs with revenues. Camp respondents recover nearly three-quarters (74.4%) of their costs, while health clubs earn 71.3% and Ys earn 71%. Respondents from schools and parks earn back the lowest percentage of their operating costs via revenues, with parks earning back 43.8% and schools earning 42.9%. (See Figure 16.)