While the economic downturn continues to be a pressing influence for most of our respondents, we also wanted to gauge other concerns they have at their facilities. Like last year, equipment and facility maintenance are the most common concern now and over the next several years. This is likely exacerbated by the crunch to operating budgets and revenues many respondents are reporting for 2010. With less money to deal with these problems, the concern has grown. While last year, 54.6 percent of respondents reported this as a top concern now, and 43.1 percent said it would continue to be a top concern over the next three years, this year, 55.1 percent are concerned now, and 49.7 percent anticipate this will continue to be a difficult area over the next three years. (See Figure 28.)
"Our No. 1 priority is to keep our facilities well maintained and safe for our users," one respondent said, "not only for the present, but for the foreseeable future. We are in the process of renovating two 50-year-old facilities now that when completed should give us an additional 50 years of usage with only normal maintenance and upkeep."
Perhaps as a result of this focus on facility upkeep, safety and risk management also seems to be registering a higher level of concern this year.