The 7 factors that are shaping the function of recreation centers, and why you should know them


Recently, a customer of STAK’s referred to us the below article from the U.S. based National Parks and Recreation Association website.

Although many things U.S. based don’t always apply to the Canadian trends, many of the points discussed are right on what the STAK Fitness team has found in the field in recent years.

The article was bang on from our perspective and applies to what we are seeing in any large organization that offers recreation – this includes Universities, Municipalities, Colleges, YMCA, etc.

The form and function of municipal recreation, and in particular offering fitness, has changed and evolved over the last number of years. STAK Fitness has found that many recreation centers, and large organizations that offer fitness are being shaped in function by considerations that were not in existence years ago.


University of Manitoba supplied by STAK Fitness, April 2015

Here are the 7 factors that are shaping the future of operations in large recreation centers (this would include any organization that traditionally has not offered recreation or fitness as its primary business).

  1. Financial self-sufficiency – operational costs are replacing “community demand” as theprimary drivers to decisions in how recreation centers are created. This changes the mindset of implementation strategies, staffing and all aspects of operations to areas not formerly a priority
  2. Holistic planning – data driven decision making process is a different process than the one used in the past. The focus today is not just to address current needs (primary focus in the past) but also how recreation centers can evolve with the needs of the community.
  3. Use of Technology – infrastructure requirements and use of technology to better serve the community. This is also an area that opens to door to addressing the financial question, as technology provides an opportunity to drive secondary revenue.
  4. Generational Changes – how to appeal to wide variety of age groups.
  5. Health Care – the role of community in preventative health for the people being served has changed.
  6. Overlapping programs – the ability for centers to be flexible in hosting and offering different programs.
  7. Ethnicity – many regions now are have populations from a wide variety of cultures that need to be considered.


For expansion on each of these points, see the original article here: Parks & Recreation magazine

A big thanks to Greg Simmons of Health Systems Group for sharing

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STAK Fitness provides fitness equipment solutions that address the challenges and obstacles of fitness operators across Canada. Since 2010, we have worked with over 3000 such organizations and continue to do with a priority of making sure your organization can serve more people better – and that means having equipment address most of the above points


For more information and a free consultation contact via info@stakfitness.com



We have a number of specialized programs specifically for the type organizations referred to above.

Look forward to connecting.