Editor's Desk - October 2009
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10 Years Strong

Ten years ago, Recreation Management was launched with a mission to move ahead boldly into the new millennium and focus on the rapidly changing needs of the managed recreation sports and fitness facility market. At the time, Publisher Chris Belbin and Editorial Director Pierce Hollingsworth stated, "Changing demographics, new technology, economic priorities and legislation demand a bold magazine for the next millennium."

The more things change…

Ten years along, the market for recreation, sports and fitness is still just as demanding. The public still desires safety, convenience and innovation. While much has changed in the past decade, the need and desire for recreation, sports and fitness facilities remains constant. The need to ensure that players and athletes are exposed to the lowest possible risk of injury is still an imperative. The innovations keep coming strong.

Some priorities, on the other hand, have seen an increasing emphasis.

There is a growing awareness of the importance of the recreation, sports and fitness market in combating obesity at all ages. As the health care reform effort continues to embroil our political leaders, recreation leaders work quietly (and sometimes not-so-quietly) in the background to make a real impact on the incidence of the chronic diseases that have such a major impact on everyone's health care costs.

A growing commitment to all things green has seen the introduction of a program that certifies sustainable architecture (the U.S. Green Building Council's now-well-known LEED program), followed by a program that aims to recognize more environmentally friendly site development (the Sustainable Sites Initiative). This rising recognition of the importance of ensuring the health and safety of the planet while simultaneously ensuring the health and safety of patrons has led facilities to focus more on how their operations impact the world around them. Consequently, vast improvements in energy efficiency, water conservation and more have taken hold in recreation, sports and fitness facilities over the past decade. More and more of these facilities are earning LEED certification, and even those that don't go so far as to apply for review are taking steps to make their operations more environmentally friendly.

There also has been a rising movement to encourage kids—and adults—to go outside. With ever-increasing screen time—time spent watching TV, playing videogames or staring at a computer screen—impacting the wellness of people of all ages, and with access to the great outdoors decreasing as land is developed for private uses, many are now hearing the clarion call that warns us of "nature deficit disorder." Parks and recreation has been at the vanguard of combating this problem, instituting programs to help kids of all ages reconnect with nature.

So what have you seen change over the past 10 years? And what do you expect will change in the decade to come?

Over the past 10 years, Recreation Management has been a constant partner, covering the new innovations and the changes. Chronicling the brilliant solutions you're coming up with every day in communities across the country to help address problems we all face and to bring a little more fun and fitness into the lives of those you serve. We hope that every issue sounds a round of applause for everything you do to make an impact on the lives of those you work so hard to serve.

And we hope to continue to stand with you at the cusp of change. Celebrating your innovations. Recognizing change as it approaches and offering you sound advice to help address new issues as they arise.

So we hope you'll join us in raising a virtual toast to 10 years behind us on this wonderful journey! And at the same time, here's to the coming decade! While new challenges are sure to arise, we can't wait to see what brilliant innovations develop as you look to address them!


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director

Letter to the Editor

The following letter from Attorney James H. Moss makes some clarifications to the August Guest Column on liability waivers. Keep reading to get the most up-to-date information:

"The article 'Understanding Liability Waivers' was interesting, but very out-of-date.

"Colorado allows a parent to sign away a minor's right to sue (C.R.S. Sections 13-22-107). Florida does not allow a parent to sign away a minor's right to sue (Kirton v. Fields, No. SC07-1739, No. SC07-1741, No. SC07-1742, FL 2008). Florida does allow a parent to require a minor to arbitrate a claim (Global Travel Marketing, Inc v. Shea, 2005 Fla. LEXIS 1454). Wisconsin does not recognize releases for adults or minors (Atkins v. Swimwest Family Fitness Center, 2005 WI 4; 2005 Wisc. LEXIS 2). Alaska (Alaska Stat. Section 09.65.292 (2007)) and Arizona (9 ARS Section 12-553 (A) (2)) allow a parent to sign away a minor's right to sue for specific recreational activities.

"Four states do not allow releases to be signed by a minor or an adult: Louisiana, Montana, Connecticut and Virginia. Three states severely restrict the use of releases by everyone in recreational activities: Utah, Hawaii and New York."

James H. Moss, P.C., Attorney at Law, Golden, Colorado


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