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Feature Article - June 2010


What's Happening in Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facilities

Among the respondents this year who indicated they were planning to add new features to their facilities over the next three years, the most commonly planned additions included:

  1. Park structures, such as shelters, sun structures and restrooms, planned by 22.1 percent of these respondents
  2. Splash play areas (21.5 percent)
  3. Trails (20.8 percent)
  4. Playgrounds (20.5 percent)
  5. Synthetic turf sports fields (18 percent)
  6. Bleachers and seating (17.8 percent)
  7. Fitness center, with weight and cardio equipment (17.7 percent)
  8. Dog park (15.6 percent)
  9. Open spaces, including gardens or natural areas (15.5 percent)
  10. Concession areas (15.4 percent)

Among respondents from parks and recreation agencies, park shelters and splash play areas were the most commonly planned additions. Likewise, for YMCAs and community recreation and sports centers, splash play areas were the most commonly planned addition. At colleges and universities, synthetic turf sports fields were the most often cited planned addition, while at schools and school districts, fitness centers were the top choice. At health clubs, locker rooms, indoor sports courts and indoor aquatic facilities were the most commonly planned addition. And, at camps and campgrounds, disc golf courses were the top planned addition.

Staffing and Training

As reported earlier, 50.5 percent of respondents this year indicated that they had made staffing cuts in order to reduce operating expenses. This is clear from the staffing averages reported. Every type of employee saw a decrease in numbers from 2009. There were 11.3 percent fewer full-time employees, 21.4 percent fewer part-time employees, 42.9 percent fewer seasonal employees, and 67.5 percent fewer volunteers. (See Figure 22.)

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