Supplement Feature - January 2022
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Calmer Waters

The 2022 Aquatic Trends Report

By Emily Tipping

Budget Issues

With supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures, it should come as no surprise that respondents to the survey expected their overall operating expenditure to be up sharply in 2021. After an increase in 2020 to an average of $620,000, 6.9% higher than the average for 2019, respondents reported an expected average operating cost of $670,000 for 2021, a year-over-year increase of 8.1%. They expect a further 6% increase in 2022, to an average annual aquatic operating expenditure of $710,000. (See Figure 7.)

Respondents from Ys, parks and rec centers had the highest average operating cost in 2020. Y respondents reported spending an average of $860,000. They were followed by parks ($750,000) and rec centers ($730,000). Camps reported the lowest average operating costs by far, spending an average of $210,000 in 2020. (See Figure 8.)

From 2020 to 2021, most types of respondents reported an increase to their average aquatic operating expenditures, with the greatest increase reported by rec centers. Rec center respondents reported an average annual expenditure of $1,040,000 in 2021, up 42.5% from the average for 2020 of $730,000. Camps saw a 19% increase, from an average of $210,000 in 2020 to $250,000 in 2021. Only college respondents reported a decrease, with average operating expenditure falling 6.7%, from $300,000 in 2020 to $280,000 in 2021.

Only respondents from schools reported no change to their operating costs from 2020 to 2022. Among other respondents, the greatest increase over that time frame was expected by those from rec centers and camps. Rec center respondents projected a 31.5% increase in operating costs, from $730,000 in 2020 to $960,000 in 2022, while camps projected a 28.6% increase, from $210,000 in 2020 to $270,000 in 2022. Smaller increases were expected from 2020 to 2022 by respondents from parks (up 13.3%), Ys (up 10.5%) and colleges (up 3.3%).