Editor's Desk - October 2008
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Happy Birthday, Rec Management!


This month we celebrate the beginning of Recreation Management's 10th year of publication. Like all 9-year-olds, we've done a lot of growing in the past near-decade, and like all 9-year-olds, we're still growing.

Over time, we've added more issues and more special publications: with an annual Buyers Guide to help you find the products and services you need to keep your facilities running; our annual Q&A Book to answer tough challenges you face; the annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards, which highlight top-judged facilities across the country, giving you a chance to learn from others' successes; and our most recent addition: the annual State of the Industry Report, which benchmarks what's going on in facilities of all kinds across the country to help you see how you measure up.

We've also added all kinds of special supplemental reports, to help you dig deeper into the products and programs that work best at specific types of facilities. Our special guides offer you all kinds of advice on finding the right design and equipment options for your aquatic facilities; outfitting and furnishing your playgrounds and park sites; selecting the right recreation or sports surface for your indoor sports courts, outdoor ball fields or other sports or recreation venue; and designing and selecting equipment for your fitness center, whether it's a state-of-the-art gym, a college recreation facility or a park-district-run community center. In the coming year, look for more special guides covering what you need to know about designing and equipping a sports facility, as well as the ins and outs of landscape design and grounds maintenance.

Over these nine years, we've also been bringing you the newest product introductions, the latest trends and innovations in managing facilities of all kinds, expert commentary and more in our features, columns, profiles and product showcases.

We've come a long way, but to turn to an old cliché, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Nine years ago, in the inaugural issue, Publisher Chris Belbin stated that "Success demands that you stay on top of trends, technology and the products that will hone your competitive edge."

Despite the fact that nearly a decade has passed, as we launch into our 10th year, that statement still holds up.

Some things never change: your need for relevant information to help you make critical decisions as you build, equip, program, market and operate your facility; the tried-and-true offerings all recreation, sports and fitness facilities offer, including opportunities to play on the playground or on the ballfield, outlets for exercise and more; and the basic equipment needed to outfit a facility, from places to sit like benches and picnic tables, to places to play and work out like trails, fitness equipment and climbing walls.

On the other hand, technology is in constant flux, and as a result, the specifics are always changing. That's why our kids still play on playgrounds, but those playgrounds look nothing like the swings and slides of our own youth. That's the reason why aerobic exercise is still considered critical, but the equipment we use to support that exercise isn't the same as the aerobics videos (remember leotards and legwarmers?) of our younger days. That's why our teams still compete in sports of all kinds, but they compete on a variety of surfaces whose manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve safety and performance.

Nowadays, we find parks, gyms and other facilities struggling to compete with the ever-increasing screen time, incorporating gaming options into play equipment and workout equipment. We see recreation, sports and fitness facility directors looking for ways to combat the rise of obesity among kids and adults. We see innovative new programs aimed at getting more people interested in being outdoors again. And we see a definite uptick in the number of facilities that aim to improve their operating budgets—and the environment—by conserving energy and other resources.

So welcome to our 10th year! We invite you to ride with us as recreation, sports and fitness facilities continue to grow and change over the next decade. Above all, we hope you're having a little bit of fun out there!

Cheers!

Emily Tipping

Editorial Director
emily@recmanagement.com



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