Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

January 2017

Majority of U.S. Households Visit Attractions

A majority of U.S. households—82 percent—visited an attraction in 2015, according to new research from PGAV Destinations. The research offers insight into why some guests become members and season pass holders.

In the latest edition of its quarterly Destinology research series, St. Louis-based design firm PGAV Destinations has published "The Value of Membership: Insights Into Members and Season Pass Holders." Conducted in partnership with H2R Market Research, the study surveyed members, nonmembers, visitors and non-visitors of American destinations about their perception and utilization of memberships and season passes.

"Eighty-two percent of American households visited an attraction in 2015, and 37 percent of those guests had memberships or season passes to those destinations," said Mike Konzen, principal and chair of PGAV Destinations. "As members are an essential market segment, a key revenue driver and considered devout supporters, we knew they would be a fascinating and illuminating demographic group to study."

"The Value of Membership" features an insightful interview with Ann Hobing, senior director of business growth at Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC). This destination is currently experiencing an intriguing membership challenge because a majority of the facility is closed for two years as it undergoes renovations and remodeling.

"Today, I cannot emphasize enough that [membership] means curating a guest-centric practice philosophy, putting guests first and listening critically to all of their feedback and concerns," Hobing said. "It's that honesty and authenticity that really empowers our ability to enrich the guest experience and retain members."

The Destinology report explores the demographic makeup of members and season pass holders across the country, breaking down the results by generation, family composition, income, proximity to attractions and more. It also investigates the "journey" for destination guests to become members, including how long it takes them to consider purchasing the membership or season pass, as well as the key influencers in making that decision.

The report also reveals reasons why people choose not to purchase season passes and memberships, and what destination managers can do to help mitigate their concerns. Another focus section highlights key demographics and behavior trends of members at specific types of destinations, including zoos and aquariums, theme parks and waterparks, and museums.

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