Slightly fewer respondents this year indicated that they charge a fee for membership or usage, 61.5 percent, versus 62.6 percent last year. (See Figure 13.)
YMCAs were the most likely to charge a fee, with 97.8 percent of respondents from these facilities indicating they did charge a fee for membership. Health clubs were also more likely than other respondents to charge a fee, with 88.5 percent of these respondents indicating they did so. The least likely to charge a membership fee were respondents from schools and school districts, where only 26.5 percent of respondents said they charge a fee.
Last year, 37.6 percent of respondents projected an increase in user fees from 2008 to 2009, and in fact, 36 percent of this year's respondents indicated that such an increase took place. And while 1.7 percent last year were actually expecting a decrease, 2.2 percent of this year's respondents actually saw a decrease.
This year's respondents were a bit more likely to expect membership fees over the next couple of years to hold steady. (See Figure 14.) Last year, 41.6 percent said they expected to increase fees from 2009 to 2010, but this year, only 35.4 percent are projecting such a change, while 62.6 percent expect those fees to hold steady. Slightly more respondents are anticipating an increase to fees next year, in 2011, perhaps anticipating that economic recovery will allow their patrons to more easily bear such increases.