How Much Do You Know About Your Agency’s Facilities?

May 1, 2016, Department, by Kevin Roth, Ph.D.

Just how well do you know the users of your agency’s park and recreation facilities? Do you consider the characteristics of the residents who live near your agency’s parks, recreation centers and other facilities when you make programming decisions? Do you know which communication channels may be most effective in reaching likely users of your park and recreation facilities? Has your agency tapped the power of geospatial tools to optimize decision-making?

We all know the importance of demographics and data — this information is vital for knowing who we serve and where they live. For example, there may be a great need for a recreation center surrounded by a large child population to offer afterschool and summer child care, while one serving an aging population may want to program activities that would engage a senior audience. 

Today, there are a number of powerful resources that provide greater insights about who we serve — and who we can serve — at our agencies. Unfortunately, getting your hands on that information — especially detailed, facility-specific information — may not be easy because of the expense and expertise needed to use these resources. 

That is where NRPA is able to help. We have created a new tool for your agency to better understand the constituents you serve in your community. NRPA Facility Market Reports, sponsored by Playworld, offer park and recreation professionals key data and insights about the market served by their agency’s park and recreation facilities in an easy-to-understand format. The reports combine U.S. Census Bureau and market research data to provide insights on the size of the market, age trends and more. This data is helpful for programming your facility, identifying the best communication channels to market your offerings and informing your capital spending budget for future master plans.

Each NRPA Facility Market Report is customized to meet the specific nature of the facility being analyzed. The NRPA research team can build a report for any facility, including parks, sports parks, aquatic centers, recreation centers, senior centers and golf courses. 

Each report includes detailed demographic data on: 

  • Size of your market, including population, median age, number and size of households and home ownership 
  • Exercise habits of your community
  • Recreation spending of your community, including participation rates
  • Social media usage of your community to assist with marketing strategies

The NRPA Facility Market Report also features a map of the potential market for a given facility. This could be a 10-minute walk or a 5-, 10-, 15- or 30-minute drive from the facility. You can select the appropriate distance based on the type of facility being analyzed. For example, a 30-minute drive may be the appropriate area for analysis for a large regional park while a 10-minute walk may make more sense for analysis of a smaller neighborhood park. 

Perhaps your agency is looking toward the future? You can request an NRPA Facility Market Report for a park or facility that does not exist today or one that is about to undergo a major renovation or re-purposing. We can produce an NRPA Facility Market Report for a future park site or facility not yet developed, arming your agency with critical information that can help with the planning and development process. 

NRPA Facility Market Reports give you and your colleagues vital market data that will help you:

  • Identify the optimal programming to increase usage and satisfaction with your agency’s offerings 
  • Identify opportunities for new potential markets that your agency can serve
  • Develop strategic plans on capital investments based on potential markets served by your agency

If you agency is an NRPA Premier agency, getting an NRPA Facility Market Report is easy and is included as a benefit of Premier membership. You simply give us the address of the facility and select the radius desired for the analysis — choosing from a 5-, 10-, 15- or 30-minute drive or a 10-minute walk. Within five business days of your request, we will send you a customized report presenting key U.S. Census Bureau and other marketing data for the potential market of your facility.  

Click here to learn more about NRPA Facility Market Reports and find out how many reports your agency can receive. Not a Premier member? NRPAFacility Market Reports are available for a nominal charge. Even better, click here to learn how the NRPA Facility Market Report is just one of the many benefits available to you and your agency as a Premier member. 

Kevin Roth, Ph.D., is NRPA’s Vice President of Research.